A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Waiver

Bye bye, JMOL motion
Bye bye, JMOL motion Ioana Cristiana, Unsplash

In most patent cases that make it through trial, the losing party files a post-trial motion seeking judgment as a matter of law (JMOL), asking the judge to override the jury and find for them instead. It seems fairly uncommon to see a case that went to trial and did not settle that doesn't involve a post-trial JMOL motion from one side or the other.

Under the federal rules, to file a post-trial JMOL motion under FRCP 50(b), you must first file a JMOL motion during trial under FRCP 50(a). That motion must be made before the case is is submitted to the jury, and must "specify the …

Typical day in litigation
Typical day in litigation AI-Generated, displayed with permission

We've talked before about a common question in patent cases: whether parties can (or have to) address indefiniteness during the Markman claim construction process. The answer varies greatly by judge.

The Markman process sometimes occurs early in the case, and parties have to make a call fairly early-on about whether they want to address indefiniteness early in the case, or wait until later.

Plaintiffs usually want to defer indefiniteness for later to keep the case going as long as possible. Defendants, on the other hand, can go either way: Often they want to address indefiniteness early to resolve the action, but sometimes they aren't quite ready and prefer to wait as …

"Gather 'round, fellow developers, while I tell you the age-old tale of how we we have an implied license to Sprint's patents." AI-Generated, displayed with permission

Here's one I haven't seen before. In Sprint Communications Company L.P. v. WideOpenWest, Inc., C.A. No. 18-361-RGA (D. Del.), the defendant apparently sought to admit company "folklore" in support of its implied license defense.

The Court found that this "folklore" was relevant to the implied license defense:

While arguing for its second motion in limine (D.I. 433), Plaintiff Sprint raised the issue of certain privileged communications. . . . Plaintiffs second motion in limine sought to exclude testimony about company "folklore" regarding a right to practice Sprint's patents. Defendants plan to assert the affirmative defense of implied license, supported by this "folklore" testimony from ...

DALL·E 2022-11-03 10.27.28 - a pen held in a foot writing a note
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

One thing I noticed, but failed to mention, in discussing Judge Williams' opinion in Cirba IP, Inc. v. VMware, Inc., C.A. No. 19-742-GBW, week was the following passage on footnotes in briefing:

[T]he Court ultimately needs not address this footnote argument because "arguments raised in passing (such as, in a footnote), but not squarely argued, are considered waived. "

Cirba, at 4 n.3 (quoting Samsung Elecs. Co. v. Netlist, Inc. , C.A. No. 21-1453-RGA, 2022 WL 3027312, at *5 (D. Del. Aug. 1, 2022))

This is a policy we've touched on occasionally on the blog, most notably from Judge Andrews.

Where it gets interesting, is that Judge Williams issued another order with …

Something is missing here.
Something is missing here. Pawel Czerwinski, Unsplash

A recent privilege decision from Judge Fallon became public this week, after the redactions period expired, and it has some interesting conclusions about communications between patent prosecution and patent litigation counsel.

In Huber Engineered Woods LLC v. Louisiana-Pacific Corp., C.A. No. 19-342-GBW-SRF (D. Del.), the defendant accused infringer brought an inequitable conduct counterclaim, alleging that plaintiff knowingly submitted five false "Substitute Statements in Lieue of Oath or Declaration" to the PTO.

As the Court explains, the defendant apparently relied on testimony from the person who signed the statements, and from the inventors, to allege that they were false:

These Substitute Statements, which were signed by [plaintiff] HEW employee Dave …

Freshly preserved arguments, ready to be set aside for the winter...
Freshly preserved arguments, ready to be set aside for the winter... Olia Gozha, Unsplash

Parties often try to expressly reserve, preserve, and/or avoid waiver of arguments or the right to seek relief, often in a paper filed or served on the deadline to make the argument or seek the relief. It may not always work—but it's not very costly to give it a shot, either.

Last week, in Aqua Connect, Inc. v. TeamViewer US, Inc., C.A. No. 18-01572-MN (D. Del.), Judge Noreika rejected an attempt by a plaintiff who prevailed at trial to avoid having to raise its arguments regarding post-trial interest during post trial briefing.

After plaintiff won a $5.7m verdict in a jury trial …

Last summer, Daniel Jensen, Unsplash

We've all spotted a waiver in the other side's papers—some issue that would have been raised earlier or more clearly by a noble opponent in a just world. Normally the issue doesn't merit more than a finger-shaking footnote, but its galling nonetheless.

Forget it Jake, it's Delaware.

An Issue Ignored

This brings us to the convoluted saga of San Rocco Therapeutics, LLC v. Bluebird Bio, Inc. The plaintiff had a license to the patents-in-suit and the parties disputed whether it was sufficient to grant standing. Because that license had an arbitration provision, the defendant moved to stay the case and compel arbitration.

In their opening brief, however, Defendants did not address the threshold …

Sometimes Arguments Solve Nothing
Sometimes Arguments Solve Nothing Sarah Kilian, Unsplash

It's uncommon to see the Court dismiss an ANDA case before trial. The patents are usually grounded enough to avoid easy 101 issues, infringement is as likely to be conceded as disputed, and any other serious invalidity contentions are normally simply reserved for trial (none of our Delaware judges allow for SJ motions in ANDA cases without leave).

That being the case, Judge Stark's dismissal of the complaint in Almirall, LLC v. Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd., C.A No. 20-1373-LPS, D.I. 50 (D. Del. July 13, 2021) ("Almirall II"), via a 12(c) motion is worthy of comment merely because it dismissed an ANDA complaint on the pleadings before Markman. …