A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: Trial

Question Marks
Véronique Debord-Lazaro, CC BY-SA 2.0

It's great that we are getting to point of having frequent jury trials again here in Delaware. Trial is the most dynamic and interesting part of the litigation process. It's where you get to address classic questions like "Can we get this admitted into evidence even though it's not on our exhibit list?", "Where was THAT in his expert report?", and "Can we show the jury this video of the other side's expert saying 'I don't know' for ten minutes straight?"

Luckily, on that last question, we now have some precedent. According to Judge Andrews last week:

I agree with First Quality that Dr. Mitton's availability does not make the deposition inadmissible. But I nevertheless …

This guy knows how to go to trial
This guy knows how to go to trial Henry Hustava

Just a blog service announcement: We'll be going on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the next week or two. Our firm handled a trial last week before Judge Andrews as local counsel, and we're set for three simultaneous trials this week before Judges Connolly, Andrews, and Noreika. Then we have yet another trial the week after, before visiting Judge Wolson.

If you're adding them up, that's five trials in three weeks as local counsel! So we're up to our necks in prep work, with about a dozen visiting co-counsel and staff using our offices as trial space, and we're going to have to slow down a bit on …

Bifurcated Cake
Henry Be, Unsplash

Bifurcation into liability and damages phases used to be common, with former Judge Robinson often splitting liability and damages, at point point saying that “bifurcation is appropriate, if not necessary, in all but exceptional patent cases.” Dutch Branch of Streamserve Dev. AB v. Exstream Software, LLC, C.A. No. 08-343-SLR, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76006, at *2 (D. Del. Aug. 26, 2009).

These days, bifurcation still happens here, but it is a bit less common than it was back then.

Earlier this month, though, Chief Judge Connolly raised bifurcation in a way I hadn't heard of, suggesting that the parties split infringement from invalidity and other issues, with jury deliberations in between:

At …

Ouch.
Ouch. Emil Kalibradov, Unsplash

Back in September we wrote about how Judge Andrews rejected an expert who relied on a 50/50 starting point to show damages in a patent case. We noted at the time that the defendant had moved to strike any follow-up theory by the plaintiff, and it wasn't clear that the Court had ruled on it before trial began.

Now we know what actually happened. Yesterday, the Court released its opinion on the motion to strike. In its opinion, the Court explained that after the plaintiff lost its damages expert, the plaintiff tried to "cobble together" a damages theory from various facts on the Friday before trial. The Court struck that new theory:

[Plaintiff] NexStep …

Talk about 11th hour...
Talk about 11th hour... Bryce Barker, Unsplash

The parties in Genentech, Inc., et al. v. Apotex Inc., C.A. No. 19-78-RGA (D. Del.) are set to start a patent bench trial on Monday relating to a method of treating a particular disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (“IPF”), using the drug pirfenidone.

At the end of last week, plaintiff tried to serve a last-minute supplemental expert report and a new trial exhibit. The report and exhibit involve a newly-released study regarding the treatment of COVID-19. Apparently, according to the defendants, plaintiffs wanted to submit the new evidence on the theory that the COVID-19 treatments may cause IPF, which may be treated using pirfenidone, thus potentially resulting in infringement.

Plaintiff's …

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 …