A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

DE State
Delaware State Courts

No Trespassing
Bruno Figueiredo, Unsplash

Here's something you don't see every day. Judge Noreika today remanded a case with a DJ claim seeking a “determination that Nokia’s patent rights are exhausted” back to the Delaware Court of Chancery where it was initially filed.

Continental Automotive Systems requested that determination in its breach of contract complaint, which it filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Continental claims that Nokia's patents are subject to FRAND obligations, and that it breached a contract by failing to offer licenses to patents on FRAND terms.

Judge Noreika held that because patent exhaustion is a defense, not an affirmative claim, it does not raise a question of federal law, and there is no subject matter jurisdiction ...

Peterson Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington, <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Delaware'>DE</a>
Peterson Wildlife Refuge in Wilmington, DE Andrew E. Russell, CC BY 2.0

The Delaware Supreme Court recently announced their expectation that they can safely return to jury trials in June, noting the recent decline in COVID-19 cases. They also announced that the 2021 bar examination for will be administered remotely.

The District of Delaware, however, is still set to restart jury trials on April 5. But there have been a few changes to D. Del.'s April jury trial calendar since our last update:

Trials Set to Proceed

  • 4/5/2021: JHL Pharmaceuticals, LLC v. PuraCap Laboratories, LLC, C.A. No. 18-553-MN (D. Del.) (contract …

Longstanding practice in the District of Delaware, pursuant to the Court's local rules and the Judges' form scheduling orders and other standing orders, mandated page limits for briefing.
For example, the Court's local rules set limits of 20 pages for opening, briefs 20 pages for answering briefs, and 10 pages for reply briefs, all in 12 point font. See LR 7.1.3(a)(4); LR 5.1.1(a). However, since about mid-2019, some Judges here have permitted or required word limits in lieu of page limits for some types of documents.

CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Just as the District of Delaware restarts its jury trials, the Delaware state courts announced today that they are reverting back to Phase 2 of their reopening plan, after just moving to Phase 3 on October 5.

Under Phase 2, there are no jury trials, but the court houses will stay open, and grand jury proceedings, bench trials, and hearings will continue.

I haven't heard of any COVID-19 outbreaks in the jury trials in Delaware state courts, but Law360 today reported that there was a COVID-19-positive juror in a trial in the Eastern District of Texas, and that seven people involved in the trial have have now tested positive. …

CDC / Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Right now, the District of Delaware has continued all jury trials and jury selection scheduled before June 30, 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. And while the Court's standing order does not require judges to hold pending oral arguments telephonically or by video, that has been the practice thus far. Shaw Keller has a great summary page.

Delaware State Courts Reopening

The Delaware state courthouses and their administrative offices have been closed to the public since March 23. Their COVID-19 page is here....