A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: trial

353? Ridiculous.
Andrew E. Russell, CC BY 2.0

Judge Andrews gave some strong guidance about the contents of pretrial orders today. District of Delaware local rule 16.3 requires that pretrial orders include a lengthy list of materials, including a "statement of the issues of fact which any party contends remain to be litigated."

These are often disputed. Parties typically file a pretrial order that sets forth each parties' version of the issues of fact, sometimes with a joint section for any issues where the parties agree. (By the way, that's why it's best for the parties to agree on a schedule for pretrial disclosures in advance of the pretrial order—to avoid having to Frankenstein a pretrial order together on the day of …

Chalkboard Math
Roman Mager, Unsplash

By default, patent cases in Delaware are typically scheduled for a five-day jury trial in the initial scheduling order. Sometimes, however, it seems that parties don't give any further thought about what the actually means until they need to file a pretrial order much later in the case.

Delaware jury trials are strictly timed. Those who are less familiar with how jury trials typically go may expect that they'll have more time than they really will. A simple back-of-the-envelope calculation by someone who is not in-the-know might be:

40 hours per week / 2 sides = 20 hours per side

That would be wrong. The actual, practical number of hours per side for a five-day patent …

"Oh god. What did our expert just say?" Jamie Haughton, Unsplash

More and more NPE cases have moved to Delaware over the last few years, following TC Heartland. Defendants often try to deal with NPE cases by threatening fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285, with varying degrees of success.

A § 285 fees opinion today by Judge Stark offers an interesting data point as to what kind of conduct is not sufficient to render a case as a whole exceptional under § 285, as well as a lesson on how to best to pursue a fees motion.

In Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Trend Micro Inc., C.A. No. 12-1581-LPS (D. Del.), the patentee's …

Scissors
Markus Winkler, Unsplash

A few months ago, we wrote about claim narrowing in patent cases, noting that Delaware judges will often set additional limits when a case reaches trial. Because this typically comes up during the pretrial conference, there is often no written record on the docket.

Last Thursday, however, Chief Judge Connolly issued a rare, written order requiring the parties to narrow their claims and defenses before trial:

ORAL ORDER: Per today's call, it is HEREBY ORDERED that the pretrial conference will be held on July 27, 2021, and the trial will be held on August 2, 2021. Plaintiff shall identify for Defendant no later than 5:00 p.m. on July 7, 2021 no more than two patents and …

Arrows on Sign
Adrià Tormo, Unsplash

In another ruling from the In Re ChanBond litigation as it approaches trial, Judge Andrews today issued an in-depth opinion granting a motion in limine to exclude reference to prior expert testimony from a related IPR proceeding, on the grounds that the testimony is hearsay.

Plaintiff sought to admit the material as former testimony under FRE 804(b)(1), because it is helpful to its infringement case. The rule requires, however, that the former testimony was offered against the parties' predecessor who had "an opportunity and similar motive to develop it."

Here, Judge Andrews found that an IPR petitioner's motive in developing expert testimony to show invalidity is different from a defendant's motive developing its non-infringement position:

I …

In In Re Chanbond, LLC Patent Litigation, Judge Andrews denied a request for post-pretrial-order discovery on Friday. The request came after Defendants received an e-mail from attorneys from third-party Deirdre Leane alleging that her consent was required for any settlement between the defendants and plaintiff ChanBond:

On September 2, 2020, Defendants received an email from Ms. Leane’s counsel, informing them of a dispute between Ms. Leane and ChanBond. . . . The email stated, “As we read Section 8.3 of the ISA, Ms. Leane’s written consent is required given that a license is a transfer of an interest in the patents-in-suit, which in turn are material assets of ChanBond.” . . . The email warned, “[P]lease take notice …

Bridge
Jamie Street, Unsplash

Motions in limine can be kind of exciting. The motions and the rulings are typically short, and they are ordinarily filed with the pretrial order just before trial. Unlike most motions, the Court usually rules on them quickly (between the PTO and the trial), sometimes live at the pretrial conference, and the impact is felt almost immediately.

Plus, orders that result from MILs can sometimes have a huge effect on the practical course of the trial by precluding important arguments and evidence, or even by interfering with your trial themes—frequently at the last minute. So it's worth keeping in mind the kinds of things that may come up at the MIL stage.

Last week, Judge Andrews …

Expert Witness Examines Evidence at Upcoming Bench Trial
Expert Witness Examines Evidence at Upcoming Bench Trial Ani Kolleshi, Unsplash

As the court moves closer and closer to resuming normal operations, Judge Noreika has released a new order describing the procedures for her first COVID-19 bench trial with live attorneys (although still remote witnesses).

TriMed, Inc. v. Arthrex, Inc., C.A. No 18-666-MN, was originally slated for a jury trial on September 14, 2020, but was converted to a bench trial on the same dates following a teleconference on July 30.

Other than the lack of in-person witnesses, the trial appears to be remarkably similar to a bench trial in the before-times, with the only major concessions to the pandemic being required masks, the use of electronic witness …

Artist's rendering of the
Brando Makes Branding, Unsplash

The trial in Xcoal Energy & Resources v. Bluestone Energy Sales Corp., C.A No. 18-819-LPS (D. Del.) was adjourned this morning following receipt by the parties of an "anonymous letter." The trial had started yesterday, after the Court previously overruled Xcoal's due process objections to a remote trial.

All of the discussion of the letter was at sidebar, so its contents are not yet public. But it must be something interesting!

The parties had asked for a sidebar immediately after opening statements yesterday. Counsel mentioned that the situation is like "something out of a John Grisham novel."

At the sidebar, they read the "anonymous letter" into the record, and both parties …