Jury's Finding of Willfulness Sufficient Under Halo to Support Judgment of Willful Infringement

July 28, 2016

Sociedad Espanola de Electromedicina Y Calidad, S.A. (Sedecal) filed a patent infringement action against Blue Ridge X-Ray Company, Inc. (Blue Ridge X-Ray), DRGEM USA, Inc. (DRGEM USA), and DRGEM Corporation (DRGEM Corp.), alleging infringement of Sedecal's U.S. Patent No. 6,642,829 ("the '829 Patent"). After a jury returned a verdict finding that the Defendants had infringed the '829 Patent, the same jury awarded the Plaintiff $852,000 in damages against all three Defendants in a second trial and found that DRGEM USA, Inc. and DRGEM Corporation's infringement was willful.

The district court then ordered supplemental briefing on the objective prong of the Seagate case since the jury verdict was rendered before the Supreme Court's decision in Halo. While the matter was still under advisement, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016). In Halo, the Supreme Court overruled Seagate, concluding that the Federal Circuit's two-part inquiry was "unduly rigid, and it impermissibly encumbered the discretion of district courts." Halo, 136 S. Ct. at 1932.

Continue reading "Jury's Finding of Willfulness Sufficient Under Halo to Support Judgment of Willful Infringement" »

District Court Denies Motion to Lift Stay Even after Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB's Decision Upholding Claims of Patent-in-Suit Because Petition for Certiorari Was Pending before Supreme Court

July 26, 2016

The district court had previously granted a stay pending an inter partes reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") of U.S. Patent No. 6,797,454 (the "'454 patent"). After the PTO affirmed the validity of claims 2-6, 15, and 16 of the '454 patent, the Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed the PTO's decision.

Although a reexamination certificate had not yet been issued, the plaintiff argued that the stay should be lifted and further argued that the certificate had not yet been issued only because the defendant had filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. The plaintiff argued that given the extreme unlikelihood that the United States Supreme Court would grant certiorari in this matter, particularly in light of the Federal Circuit's summary affirmance of the PTO's decision, the stay be lifted now.

Continue reading "District Court Denies Motion to Lift Stay Even after Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB's Decision Upholding Claims of Patent-in-Suit Because Petition for Certiorari Was Pending before Supreme Court" »

After Defendant Seeks to Claw Back Attorney-Client Privileged Documents, District Court Determines Privileged Waived (Including Work Product) Because Witness Gave Testimony Regarding Privileged Documents at Deposition

July 21, 2016

The defendants produced documents in response to plaintiffs' first set of requests for production and included in the production were five documents that the defendants were later claim were subject to attorney-client privilege. Before the defendants made that claim, however, the plaintiffs deposed a corporate designee of Defendants Musion Events Ltd. and Musion 3D Ltd. During that deposition the five documents in questions were marked as exhibits. For some of the documents, the deponent testified regarding the contents of the documents and even read portions of the documents into the record--all without objection as to privilege or work product.

Shortly after that deposition, the defendants' counsel to plaintiffs' counsel and requested a claw-back of the five documents pursuant to the parties' protective order.

Continue reading "After Defendant Seeks to Claw Back Attorney-Client Privileged Documents, District Court Determines Privileged Waived (Including Work Product) Because Witness Gave Testimony Regarding Privileged Documents at Deposition" »

District Court Orders Production of Bills from Expert Witnesses But Permits Redaction of Narrative Statements in Bills

July 19, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendant, Ericsson moved to compel the plaintiff, TCL, to produce bills and invoices for worked performed by TCL's expert witnesses. TCL sought to redact the bills and invoices to eliminate statements and narratives from the bills that do not reflect compensation.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(4)(C) provides that "Rule 26(b)(3)(A) and (B) protect communications between the party's attorney and any witness required to provide a report under Rule 26(a)(2)(B), regardless of the form of the communications, except to the extent that the communications . . . relate to compensation for the expert's study or testimony." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4)(C).

Continue reading "District Court Orders Production of Bills from Expert Witnesses But Permits Redaction of Narrative Statements in Bills" »

Subsequent Employment Agreement Assigning Inventor's Intellectual Property Rights Does not Defeat Standing for Inventions Created Prior to Employment Agreement

July 14, 2016

The plaintiff, Odyssey Wireless ("Odyssey") filed four separate actions for patent infringement against Defendants Apple, Samsung, LG, and Motorola, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,881,393; 8,199,837; 8,576,940; 8,660,169; 8,855,230; and 8,879,606. Each of the patents-in-suit lists on its face Peter D. Karabinis as the inventor and EICES Research, Inc. as the assignee of the patent. Dr. Karabinis is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of EICES, and EICES is the predecessor of Odyssey Wireless.

In April 2001, Mobile Satellite Ventures ("MSV") hired Dr. Karabinis to be its Vice President and Chief Technical Officer and he entered into an intellectual property and confidential information agreement with MSV, which granted MSV ownership rights in Dr. Karabinis' work for MSV. Based on the agreement with MSV, the Defendants moved to dismiss the patent infringement action based on lack of standing.

Continue reading "Subsequent Employment Agreement Assigning Inventor's Intellectual Property Rights Does not Defeat Standing for Inventions Created Prior to Employment Agreement" »

Recent Decision in Halo Requires Reconsideration of Summary Judgment Motion on Willfulness

July 12, 2016

In a multi-district litigation, the district court had previously granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the issue of willful infringement. After the Supreme Court's decision in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the plaintiff moved to reconsider the ruling on the ground that the substantive legal standard required for a finding of enhanced damages due to willful infringement had changed.

In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff's motion was futile because the plaintiff had failed to identify any facts that would suggest egregious conduct subject to enhanced damages. The defendants also argued that if the motion was granted, then they should be permitted time to take discovery on the issue of willfulness and file appropriate motions after the discovery was completed.

Continue reading "Recent Decision in Halo Requires Reconsideration of Summary Judgment Motion on Willfulness" »

District Court Permits Survey Evidence to Support Lost Profits Damage Theory

July 7, 2016

The defendants', Roland DGA Corporation and Roland DG Corporation (collectively "Roland"), filed a motion for summary judgment against plaintiff, Gerber Scientific International, Inc. ("Gerber") regarding Gerber's claims for lost profits and enhanced damages. Gerber's claim for lost profits was based, in part, on survey evidence.

The district court explained that "[t]o recover lost profits a patentee must show that „but for' infringement it reasonably would have made the additional profits enjoyed by the infringer." Micro Chemical, Inc. v. Lextron, Inc., 316 F.3d 1119, 1122 (Fed. Cir. 2003). "A patentee may resort to any method showing, with reasonable probability, entitlement to lost profits „but for' the infringement." Id.

Continue reading "District Court Permits Survey Evidence to Support Lost Profits Damage Theory" »

District Court Denies Leave to Amend to Add Implied License Affirmative Defense Where Motion for Leave Was Filed Just Two Months Prior to Fact Discovery Cut-Off

July 5, 2016

Google, Inc. and YouTube, LLC (collectively "Google") filed a motion for leave to amend their answer to include an implied license affirmative defense. Because Google filed the motion to amend its answer more than two months after the district court's scheduling order's deadline to amend the pleadings, Google had to show good cause for the district court to grant its motion.

The district court noted that Google did not file its present motion to amend until December 22, 2015, near the end of the fact discovery deadline of February 26, 2016. The district court also noted that "[t]he basis of Google's implied license defense is VideoShare's June 21, 2013 covenant not to sue for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,987,492. Nonetheless, Google failed to include the implied license defense in its pleadings for a year and a half after VideoShare entered the covenant not to sue. Google has made no attempt to explain its delay in presenting this defense. Google does not contend that it lacked sufficient information to meet the amendment deadline, or that it discovered new information that could not be timely pled. Therefore, Google has not demonstrated why its amended defense could not have been sought in a timely manner."

Continue reading "District Court Denies Leave to Amend to Add Implied License Affirmative Defense Where Motion for Leave Was Filed Just Two Months Prior to Fact Discovery Cut-Off" »

After Halo, District Court Concludes that Jury's Finding of Willfulness Is Still Appropriate

June 29, 2016

After a jury trial finding American Technical Ceramics Corp. ("ATC) willfully infringed Presidio Component's ("Presidio") patent, ATC filed a motion for a finding of no willful infringement based on the Supreme Court's decision in Halo. At the time the jury reached its verdict, the Federal Circuit's decision in In re Seagate Tech required that "an award of enhanced damages [under section 284] requires a showing of willful infringement." In re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360, 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (en banc).

ATC argued that in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Halo, the jury's verdict as to willfulness is void and should be disregard. The district court explained that on June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., No. 14-1513, 579 U.S. __ (June 13, 2016). In Halo, the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit's two-part test from Seagate for determining when a district court may award enhanced damages as inconsistent with § 284. Id., slip op. at 1-2. The Supreme Court explained that § 284 commits the award of enhanced damages to the discretion of the district court. See id. at 8, 12-13, 15. The Supreme Court further explained that the Seagate test is "'unduly rigid'" and "'impermissibly encumbers'" a district court's discretion, particularly its requirement that there must be a finding of objective recklessness in every case before a district court may award enhanced damages.

Continue reading "After Halo, District Court Concludes that Jury's Finding of Willfulness Is Still Appropriate" »

After Inventor Dies, Patent Infringement Lawsuit Is Dismissed for Lack of Standing on Court's Own Motion

June 27, 2016

Chris Tavantzis and ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, Inc. ("ChrisTrikes") filed a complaint against a number of individuals and entities that allegedly infringed on a patent for a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle (the "Wheelchair Motorcycle Patent"). After the complaint was filed, the district court received notice of Mr. Tavantzis' death. When no party moved to substitute the proper party to continue Mr. Tavantzis' claims within the time required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a), the district court dismissed Mr. Tavantzis from the lawsuit, leaving ChrisTrikes as the only remaining plaintiff.

As a result, the district court examined whether ChrisTrikes' had standing to maintain the patent infringement claims, which included claims based on theories of direct infringement, contributory infringement, and induced infringement. The district court noted that "[b]ecause standing is a fundamental component of a federal court's subject matter jurisdiction, the Court is entitled to examine ChrisTrikes' standing on its own initiative. See Bischoff v. Osceola Cty., 222 F.3d 874, 877-78 (11th Cir. 2000)."

Continue reading "After Inventor Dies, Patent Infringement Lawsuit Is Dismissed for Lack of Standing on Court's Own Motion" »

District Court Denies Agreed Upon Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction Where Parties Failed to Submit Consent and Injunction within 60 Days after Dismissal

June 22, 2016

After the parties settled the lawsuit, the district court dismissed the case without prejudice, subject to the right of any party to re-open the action within sixty days, upon good cause shown, or to submit a stipulated form of final order or judgment (the "60-Day Order"). Sixty-five days after the district court entered the 60-Day Order, the parties filed a joint motion to extend the 60 day deadline and enter a proposed consent judgment and permanent injunction pursuant the parties' settlement agreement.

In the joint motion, the parties told the district court that a "disagreement arose concerning the terms of the settlement that required the settlement hearing to be transcribed." The district court noted that "whatever disagreement arose between the parties, it arose and was resolved prior to the expiration of the 60-day period. Yet, the parties did not move to extend the deadline within that period."

Continue reading "District Court Denies Agreed Upon Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction Where Parties Failed to Submit Consent and Injunction within 60 Days after Dismissal" »

District Court Declines Parties Joint Motion to Sever New Defendant from Pending Action

June 20, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the parties filed a joint motion to request that the district court sever Defendant Contour, LLC ("Contour") from the case. VStream, the plaintiff, had not effected service on Contour until after the scheduling conference, so Contour had no ability to participate in the dates selected by the court.

The court explained that "[t]ypically, cases of this nature are consolidated after being filed and then set for a scheduling conference, at which time the parties receive Markman hearing and trial dates. Because those dates are set at the time of the scheduling conference and commemorated in the Docket Control Order issued by the Court, the Court is not inclined to revise them other than in exceptional circumstances."

Continue reading "District Court Declines Parties Joint Motion to Sever New Defendant from Pending Action" »

After a Jury Trial Determining that the Defendant Infringed Several Valid Patents, the District Court Certified the Partial Judgment for Appeal Prior to a Trial on Damages Because the PTAB Had Found One of the Patents Invalid

June 15, 2016

Plaintiffs asserted that defendants infringed several patents. The district court bifurcated liability and damages for all four patent infringement claims. After a jury trial, the jury concluded that the patents were valid and infringed. Subsequently, after an inter partes review proceeding, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") issued a Final Written Decision that found all asserted claims of one of the patents-in-suit unpatentable.

The district court denied the defendants' post-trial motions with respect to most of the patents, but withheld any decision on any issues pertaining to the '244 patent, which was the subject of the PTAB proceeding and a pending appeal from the PTAB decision. The defendants then filed a motion for certification of partial final judgment on the patent infringement claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).

Continue reading "After a Jury Trial Determining that the Defendant Infringed Several Valid Patents, the District Court Certified the Partial Judgment for Appeal Prior to a Trial on Damages Because the PTAB Had Found One of the Patents Invalid" »

Defendant's "Piecemeal" Approach to Discovery and Review of Only Select Files of Corporate Employees Results in Sanctions

June 13, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants conducted a "piecemeal approach to discovery, reviewing only the files of select corporate employees." The district court found that this approach was contrary to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and to repeated orders of the court.

In response to plaintiff's motion to compel, the defendant cited Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(2)(C), which allows the court to limit discovery if "the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative..." The district court noted that the rule "allows the court--not a party--to limit discovery where it is unduly burdensome. Absent such an order of the court, a party may not unilaterally refuse to comply with its discovery obligations."

Continue reading "Defendant's "Piecemeal" Approach to Discovery and Review of Only Select Files of Corporate Employees Results in Sanctions" »

District Court Denies Request to Stay Discovery Pending Motion to Dismiss Based on Patent-Ineligible Subject Matter

June 8, 2016

J. Crew filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims for patent infringement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), asserting that the patents-in-suit are drawn to patent-ineligible subject matter and therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. J. Crew also filed a separate motion to stay all disclosures and discovery in the case until the district court ruled on the motion to dismiss.

Continue reading "District Court Denies Request to Stay Discovery Pending Motion to Dismiss Based on Patent-Ineligible Subject Matter" »