A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


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Mario La Pergola, Unsplash

It's easy to fall into the trap of separating rules into "technical" and "substantive" and on that basis to choose which must be followed and which can be safely ignored. Judge Noreika neatly illustrated how foolhardy this practice can be last week, when she issued a brief, two-sentence order denying a summary judgment motion:

WHEREAS, pursuant to the 47 Scheduling Order, a separate concise statement of facts shall be filed with any summary judgment motion; and WHEREAS, Plaintiff did not file such statement with its 194 Motion for Summary Judgment. THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion is DENIED for failure to comply with this Court's procedures set forth in the Scheduling Order

Board …

RIP, dear stipulated extension
Mr Xerty, Unsplash

Just a heads up, since this has to be one of the more common things that counsel do in cases—this week, Judge Connolly denied a stipulation extending the answer deadline as untimely and lacking a reason:

ORAL ORDER: The parties' stipulation (D.I. 16) being untimely and offering no justification for an extension, it is HEREBY DENIED. Defendant has until June 23, 2022 to answer, move, or otherwise respond to the complaint. ORDERED by Judge Colm F. Connolly on 6/21/22. (ntl) (Entered: 06/21/2022)

Wikeshire IP LLC v. TransCore, LP, C.A. No. 22-445-VAC (D. Del.).

It's not clear from the docket why it was untimely. It looks like the answer deadline was originally 4/28/2022, then it was extended by stip to 5/28, then 6/14. Then, on 6/14 (the due date), the parties filed another stipulation extending the answer deadline to 6/28.

So it looks like the Court rejected a stipulation filed on 6/14 to extend a 6/14 due date. It may be that the parties filed after the 6pm filing deadline. Or, it may be that the Court is taking the view that the stipulation must be filed early enough for the Court to "so order" it prior to the deadline—but I haven't seen that in other cases.

Either way, it's probably safest to list a justification for your stip extending the answer deadline, and to file early going forward! Of course, this can be tricky in high-volume NPE cases, where plaintiff's counsel may be unresponsive until the parties are right up against a deadline.

This is definitely not a District of Delaware courtroom. But you get the idea...
This is definitely not a District of Delaware courtroom. But you get the idea... David Veksler, Unsplash

Under the D. Del. local rule 7.1.4, a written request for oral argument is due seven days after the reply brief on a motion.

According to the rule, the Court may or may not schedule oral argument on receiving a request—and may schedule argument even if it is not requested:

Oral argument on any motion may be scheduled upon the application of a party, or sua sponte by Court order.

That leads to a common question, "Should we request oral argument on our motion?"

The short answer is: yes, if you want oral argument. The Court is going to schedule …

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Candice Seplow, Unsplash

Since the Court suspended its mediation program, parties have noticed that the District of Delaware lacks an established pool of local mediators who are available to mediate patent cases.

As I mentioned a while back, I wanted to put together a list to help match attorneys and clients with mediators who have District of Delaware patent-case experience. I've now heard from multiple D. Del. mediators and attorneys about who people are using, and I put together this list.

Spoiler alert: It's a short list. My primary criteria were: local or nearby, active, and experienced in patent cases or patent case mediations. Even so, there are just not a ton of names, and people largely …

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Jeff Castellano

It's no secret that the Court has been cracking down on redactions over the past several years [pause for polite laughter]. Nowhere is this more evident than in Judge Andrews' practice of automatically rejecting filings that redact exhibits in their entirety with a brief form order like the following:

The redacted filings (D.I. 453 , 454 , and 458 ) are REJECTED because parts of them are redacted in their entirety. Absent a compelling reason, supported by a statement under oath by a party, redactions in their entirety are impermissible; redactions must be done so as to redact the least possible amount of the materials submitted. Failure to make a good faith attempt at such redactions may result in sanctions, the most common of which would be simply unsealing the entire filing. Redacting in its entirety a document that contains publicly available materials is prima facie evidence of bad faith. Revised redacted filings are DUE within five business days.

Sysmex Corp. v. Beckman Coulter, Inc., C.A. No. 19-1642-RGA, D.I. ...

On Friday, former District of Delaware Chief Judge Stark authored what I believe is his first Federal Circuit opinion as a sitting Federal Circuit judge: In re A. Zeta S.R.L., No. 2022-1178, 2022 U.S. App. LEXIS 15992, at *1 (Fed. Cir. June 10, 2022) (affirming a PTAB trademark decision).

Note—before you e-mail to say I'm wrong!—Judge Stark has sat by designation at the Federal Circuit many times before, and has authored at least one Federal Circuit opinion as a district judge. See, e.g., Mortg. Grader, Inc. v. First Choice Loan Servs., 811 F.3d 1314 (Fed. Cir. 2016). But I think this is his first written opinion since his nomination.

Interestingly, ever since moving to the Federal Circuit, …

People still use paper documents?!?
People still use paper documents?!? Wesley Tingey, Unsplash

Magistrate Judge Fallon addressed a discovery dispute last week, and denied a motion to compel a response to interrogatories regarding efforts to preserve documents in anticipation of litigation:

ORAL ORDER: Having reviewed the parties' discovery dispute letter submissions . . . , IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: . . . (3) Defendant's request to compel Plaintiff to supplement its responses to Interrogatory Nos. 16-17 and Request for Production Nos. 104-05 is DENIED. Discovery regarding efforts undertaken by Plaintiff to preserve documents in anticipation of litigation is barred under the Court's Default Standard for Discovery of ESI and Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(A) and (B), particularly in the absence of a credible …

The Federal Judicial Center patent video. I find it exciting to watch, for a moment, because it reminds me the start of a jury trial...
The Federal Judicial Center patent video. I find it exciting to watch, for a moment, because it reminds me the start of a jury trial... Federal Judicial Center

Every once in a while, parties will offer a "patent law expert" with opinions about patent office proceedings, such as patent prosecution. Often, smart opposing counsel will move to exclude that testimony, and it's not unusual for the Court to grant those motions.

A decision last week reminded of this issue. Late last week, Judge Burke granted a motion to preclude some expert testimony about patent prosecution, and excluded expert testimony regarding the patent examiner and plaintiffs' state of mind:

ORAL ORDER: The Court, having reviewed the portion of Plaintiffs' Daubert motion …

There go the patentee's chances to oppose a stay....
Saad Chaudhry, Unsplash

In an oral order today, Judge Fallon stayed an action where there was an IPR on just one of two asserted patents:

ORAL ORDER: Having reviewed Defendant's letter motion to stay the case pending issuance of the PTAB's final written decision in the IPR proceedings . . . IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: (1) Defendant's motion to stay is GRANTED because Defendant has satisfied the three stay factors. See IOENGINE, LLC v. PayPal Holdings, Inc., C.A. No. 18-452-WCB et al., 2019 WL 3943058, at *2 (D. Del. Aug. 21, 2019). First, the stay will simplify the issues for trial because the PTAB's final written decision is likely to resolve prior art-based invalidity …

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Jason Leung, Unsplash

So your case has been assigned to the VAC docket.

It's Okay

It happens fairly often in this grey world we all live in following Judge Stark's departure. Per the standing order creating the vacant judgeship, you can consent to a magistrate judge, in which case things should proceed more or less as they would under one of our Article III judges.

What's that? You're one of the surprising number of cases where the parties cannot agree on magistrate consent?

You Walk A Particularly Dark Road

Per that same standing order, you a will be assigned a visiting judge. Unfortunately, that assignment can occur any time before trial, and a cursory review of cases …