A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


MN
The Honorable Maryellen Noreika

mario-la-pergola-hxCQXj5mB7Y-unsplash
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 …

Peace Talks
Markus Winkler, Unsplash

This week, after a series of sealed letters from the parties in Evertz Microsystems Ltd. v. Lawo Inc., C.A. No. 19-302-MN-JLH (D. Del.) apparently indicating settlement is imminent, Judge Noreika issued the following order:

ORAL ORDER . . . Having reviewed the parties' letter stating that they have failed to settle the case and the parties' proposal that they engage in mediation with Judge Andrea L. Rocanelli "in the event settlement cannot be reached by close of business tomorrow," IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the parties' proposal is REJECTED. For weeks, the parties have represented to the Court that settlement is imminent. Trial is set to commence on June 6, 2022 …

Open Gate
Stephen O'Donnell, Unsplash

Yesterday, the Court denied three Daubert motions in a short pretrial order in the lead up to a bench trial in a patent action, citing the Third Circuit's conclusion that Daubert motions in a bench trial may waste judicial time, and also noting that the issues are better addressed the judge in context at trial:

WHEREAS, “[w]hen the role of the gatekeeper to admit or exclude evidence (the judge) and the role of the factfinder to assess and weigh the evidence . . . (the jury) are one and the same, the judge who becomes the factfinder as well as the gatekeeper . . . should not be required to waste judicial time.” In re Unisys, 173 F.3d 145, 155–58 (3d Cir. 1999).
WHEREAS, having reviewed the motions to preclude, the Court has determined that it can better address the issues in context at trial when the Court can hear testimony and better understand the bases for the experts’ opinions;
. . .
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that
1) the motions to preclude (D.I. 222, 223, 224) are DENIED with leave to renew during trial to the extent appropriate. . . .

The Court also suggested that the parties could present their evidence at trial and then, potentially, ...

"The white one in the middle is representative..." Andrew E. Russell, CC BY 2.0

This week, Judge Noreika denied a § 101 motion because it challenged more than 60 claims, and because the parties disagreed as to whether any claims were representative:

WHEREAS, Plaintiff’s [§ 101] motion does not precisely specify which claims’ eligibility it is challenging . . . , but in any event details challenges to more than sixty claims’ eligibility . . . without any agreement about representativeness . . . ;
WHEREAS, should this case proceed to trial, the asserted claims will be narrowed through the parties’ disclosures and discovery and, as such, most of the claims subject to the Plaintiff’s § 101 motion will not …

Caution Tape
Hiroshi Kimura, Unsplash

A reader helpfully flagged a stipulation denial by Judge Noreika last week (thank you!). The parties had a pretrial conference scheduled for July 18, 2022, and stipulated to move a number of deadlines, including for Daubert briefing. They moved the Daubert motion reply deadline from May 20, 2022 (52 days before the PTC) to June 10, 2022 (38 days before the PTC).

Judge Noreika denied the stipulation without comment. They smartly refiled, but without the Daubert deadline adjustment. This time it went through just fine, albeit with a comment stating that the Daubert deadlines were not moving:

SO ORDERED re 192 STIPULATION TO EXTEND TIME . . . IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Daubert motion/briefing schedule set by D.I. 134 shall NOT be extended ...

Just some miscellaneous issues, nothing to see here
Just some miscellaneous issues, nothing to see here A nice pile of junk, Lance Grandahl, Unsplash

I pretty frequently see pretrial orders filed with a section labeled "miscellaneous issues" or "additional matters" or, someday, hopefully, "fiddle faddle."

It's a good place to put questions for the Court that might not fit anywhere else -- e.g., whether a witness may testify remotely, or if a large and unwieldy exhibit may be brought in for the jury.

Sometimes, you'll see issues that are a bit more contentious -- usually something procedural that doesn't quite rise to the level of a motion in limine. Naturally, this represents something of a procedural gray area, especially for those judges that place limits …

COVID-19
Fusion Medical Animation, Unsplash

Not all attorneys love remote depositions, even if they are much more convenient and practical in many cases (especially for foreign witnesses). The parties in Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Lupin Limited, C.A. No. 21-1293-MN (D. Del.), an ANDA case, brought two disputes before Judge Noreika about remote depositions:

  1. Whether all parties should be required to make all witnesses available live, instead of via remote deposition; and
  2. Whether all parties, including a defendant who brought counterclaims, should be required to bring their witnesses to the United States for deposition without the other parties having to engage in Hague Convention procedures.

Plaintiff sought to force live, in-person depositions of all witnesses in the …

Parties in Delaware can generally freely stipulate to many things that don't directly impact the Court, including common things like schedule adjustments, authenticity of documents, protective orders, and ESI procedures—as long as you stay away from trouble spots like increasing page limits or dates for dispositive motions or trial. But every once in a while a stipulation is denied, and it's always interesting when and why that happens.

Last month, the parties in ImmerVision, Inc. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., 18-1630-MN-CJB (D. Del.) filed a stipulation staying the action pending the outcome of objections to the magistrate judge's claim construction R&R. They noted that, if the R&R is adopted, plaintiff would stipulate to non-infringement and the …

PTAB trailhead
PTAB trailhead Joshua Sukoff, Unsplash

During some research the other day, I came across the below order that Judge Noreika issued last summer.

A defendant had moved in limine to exclude three of the four asserted claims of a patent from trial, after it prevailed on those claims in an IPR. Easy motion, right?

No. Judge Noreika held that, under Federal Circuit precedent, collateral estoppel does not prevent plaintiff from asserting those claims at trial until the decision is final. And the decision is not final until the appeal is exhausted:

Federal Circuit case law suggests that an IPR decision does not have preclusive effect until that decision is either affirmed or the parties waive their appeal …

Visualization of the average D. Del. judge's <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Summary Judgment'>SJ</a> motion pile (circa 2021, pre-Judge Stark departure)
Visualization of the average D. Del. judge's SJ motion pile (circa 2021, pre-Judge Stark departure) Christa Dodoo, Unsplash

Last month Judge Noreika issued an order praising Chief Judge Connolly's ranking-based summary judgment procedure, and imposing a similar procedure—at least for one case.

Under his SJ procedures, Chief Judge Connolly addresses each party's motions in their ranked order, and if a single motion is denied, he may decline to consider all remaining motions.

Judge Noreika issued her order after the parties in the case, Dali Wireless, Inc. v. Commscope Techs. LLC, C.A. No. 19-952-MN (D. Del.), sought …