District Court Grants Summary Judgment of No Damages for Failure to Mark

August 26, 2015

Plaintiff Juno Manufacturing, LLC ("Plaintiff" or "Juno") filed a patent infringement complaint against Defendant Nora Lighting, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Nora"). The complaint alleged that Defendant infringed Plaintiff's patent, No. 5,505,419 (the "'419 Patent"), entitled Bar Hanger for a Recessed Light Fixture Assembly. Nora filed a motion for summary judgment seeking a judgment that Juno was barred from recovering damages on the ground that Juno failed to properly label its products.

In its motion, Nora asserted that Juno failed to provide proper notice of the '419 Patent. As explained by the district court, the requisite notice can be actual or constructive.

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District Court Denies Motion to Exclude CEO from Providing Expert Testimony on Infringement

August 24, 2015

Defendant filed a motion to strike plaintiff's expert report on infringement, asserting that the report failed to comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 because, among other things, the report did not constitute a written report under Rule 26. Instead, the plaintiff had provided a declaration from its CEO, who was also the inventor of the patents-in-suit.

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Enovsys v. AT&T: Court Excludes Plaintiff's Damage Expert for Failure to Apportion and Sua Sponte Bifurcates Trial into Liability and Damage Phases to be Tried to Different Juries

August 19, 2015

After the court struck plaintiff's damage expert's report for failing to tie damages to the limited feature of the patented invention, the court permitted the plaintiff to submit a supplemental expert report. Once the supplemental expert report was served, AT&T again moved to exclude the plaintiff's damage expert from the upcoming trial.

AT&T contended that the opinions in the Supplemental Report, organized around four alternative damages calculations presented in two sets of two, did not correct the defects in the original report because plaintiff's expert (Parr) did not tie "his damages calculations to the value of the patented invention." AT&T further argued that the calculations simply attempt to exclude certain non-infringing revenue from the royalty base and do not attempt to address apportionment at all, which runs afoul of the entire market value rule.

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Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Based on Unpatentability Under Section 101 Denied Where Patents Were Not Directed to an Abstract Idea

August 17, 2015

Defendants Motorola Mobility, LLC, Amazon.com, Inc., Apple Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Huawei Device USA, Inc., HTC Corp., HTC America, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., and Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively, "Defendants"), filed a Joint Renewed Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Declaring All Asserted Patent Claims Invalid Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. ยง 101. The Plaintiff ContentGuard Holdings, Inc. ("ContentGuard") opposed the motion arguing that the claims were patentable.

The district court began by explain that: At a high level, the Stefik Patents are generally directed toward systems and methods for controlling the use and distribution of digital works in accordance with "usage rights" through the use of "trusted" systems. See claim 1 of the '007 Patent ("sending the digital content . . . to the at least one recipient computing device only if the at least one recipient device has been determined to be trusted"). The Court construed "trusted" to require that three types of "integrities"--physical, communication, and behavioral--be maintained. Similarly, the Nguyen Patents are generally directed toward systems and methods for controlling the use and distribution of digital works in accordance with "usage rights"--and more particularly, "meta-rights"--through the use of "trusted" systems.

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In-House Counsel Ordered to Sit for Additional Deposition After Emails Improperly Withheld on Basis of Privilege

August 13, 2015

Sprint Communications Company, L.P., filed a patent-infringement action against Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, Comcast IP Phone, LLC, and Comcast Phone of Kansas, LLC (collectively, "Comcast"). The district court had previously ordered Comcast to produce seven emails received by Comcast's in-house patent counsel, David Marcus, that Comcast had improperly withheld as privileged. After it received copies of the emails, Sprint moved to compel Comcast to produce Marcus for a second deposition to answer questions related to the emails.

The district court explained that the "recently produced emails involve communications from 2007 between in-house counsel for Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner Cable, and attorneys from the law firm of Dreier, LLP. The three cable companies had jointly retained Dreier to monitor proceedings in a patent-infringement lawsuit that Sprint had brought against Vonage Holdings Corp. and Vonage America, Inc. in the District of Kansas. Some of the patents that were at issue in Vonage are at issue in this case."

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District Court Denies Stay Based on Inter Partes Review ("IPR") Where Less than 25% of Claims at Issue were Subject to IPR

August 11, 2015

Defendants HTC America, Inc., HTC Corporation, AT&T Mobility LLC, Cellco Partnership, Sprint Spectrum L.P., Kyocera Corporation, Boost Mobile, T-Mobile USA, Inc. and ZTE (USA), Inc. filed a motion to stay pending resolution of an inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB").

The court began its analysis by explain that "[p]art of the quid pro quo of any stay pending inter partes review before the Patent Office is the promise of simplification. Not a guarantee, to be sure, but at least a promise that in exchange for freezing a case on the court's docket, significant issues may go away for good. Where the IPR will address some, but not all, claims asserted in the district court, relative to the quo the value of the quid shrinks considerably."

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Smartflash v. Apple: District Court Stays Case Sua Sponte Based on Pending Covered Business Method ("CBM") Patent Review

August 5, 2015

The court had previously stayed a cased pending between Smartflash LLC and Amazon and simultaneously declined to stay an earlier-filed case between Smartflash LLC and Apple, Inc. because the stay request came after a jury trial. The court was perplexed that despite Apple's argument for a stay in the first case well after conclusion of a jury trial, Apple had "curiously not requested a stay in this case even though CBM review has been instituted on all but one of the asserted patents."

The court then found that "[a]lthough the Court denied Apple's motion to stay in the earlier Apple case, this case is procedurally more similar to the Amazon case. This case involves the same asserted patents at the Amazon case. As with Amazon, this case is in its very early stages; the court has not yet held a scheduling conference. Similarly, substantial opportunities remain for cost-savings and issue simplification."

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District Court Denies Motion to Stay Pending Inter Partes Review as "Toss Up"

August 3, 2015

The Boeing Company ("Boeing") filed a motion to stay pending inter partes review" ("IPR") after Boeing had requested that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") conduct an inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. RE39,618 ("the '618 patent"). Boeing argued that the asserted claims of the '618 patent were unpatentable and sought a stay of the case until the PTO decided whether to accept review and determines the patentability of the challenged claims.

The district court noted that it has broad discretion to manage its docket, including the inherent power to grant a stay pending agency review. Procter & Gamble Co. v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., 549 F.3d 842, 849 (Fed. Cir. 2008). When determining whether to grant a stay, courts generally consider three factors: 1) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question; 2) the stage of litigation, i.e., whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set; and 3) whether a stay would unduly prejudice the non-moving party. Zillow, Inc. v. Trulia, Inc., C12-1549JLR, 2013 WL 5530573, at *3 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 7, 2013); Nat'l Prods., Inc. v. Gamber-Johnson LLC, C12-840RSL, 2012 WL 3527938, at *1 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 14, 2012).

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District Court Excludes Plaintiff's Infringement Expert for Conflict of Interest

July 29, 2015

Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC ("Mobile") filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A. ("LG"). As trial approached, LG filed a motion to disqualify Mobile's infringement expert, Dr. Bims, on the grounds of conflict of interest arising from his retention by LG to serve as its expert in connection with two ITC proceedings in 2011-2012.

LG asserted that the ITC proceedings related to the same products accused by Mobile in this case. Mobile responded by arguing that Dr. Bims' contract with LG expired in February 2015, before his retention by Mobile in March 2015 and that the subject of his work during the ITC proceedings did not relate to his current work for Mobile in this case.

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District Court Stays Case Pending Petition for Writ Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court

July 27, 2015

After the Federal Circuit remanded the case to the district court, the defendant filed a motion to stay the case pending the United States Supreme Court's review of the petition for writ of certiorari. As explained by the district court, "[t]his case for patent infringement is back in this court on remand from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Promega Corp. v. Life Technologies Corp., 773 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2014). The question before the court is whether the case should be stayed while defendants' petition for a writ of certiorari is pending before the Supreme Court."

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District Court Strikes "Shotgun Complaint" That Incorporated Allegations by Reference in Each Count

July 21, 2015

Lanard Toys Limited ("Lanard") filed a patent infringement action against Toys "R" US. Lanard subsequently filed a four-count Amended Complaint and Demand for Trial by Jury, both of which were filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. After the amend complaint was filed, the case was transferred to the Middle District of Florida.

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Smartflash v. Apple: After $500M Verdict, District Court Grants New Trial on Damages Based on Improper Use of Entire Market Value Jury Instruction

July 20, 2015

After a jury returned a verdict against Apple, Apple filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial. The district court subsequently notified the parties pursuant to Rule 59(d) that it was considering granting a motion for a new trial for a reason not stated in Apple's original motion.

During the trial and apparently at Apple's request, the district court instructed the jury on the entire market value rule. Smartflash had argued that it did not employ the entire market value rule at trial and instead employed an apportionment analysis.

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District Court Lifts Stay after PTAB Confirms Eight Claims Even Though Defendant Planned to Appeal to the Federal Circuit

July 14, 2015

The district court had previously granted Defendant Respironics, Inc.'s
("Respironics") unopposed motion to stay the patent infringement action filed by the plaintiff, Zoll, pending an inter partes review ("IPR") of the patent-in-suit, on which the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") had instituted review. When Respironics filed the motion to stay, it had assured the district court that the length of the stay would not exceed 18 months. Based on this representation, Zoll withdrew its prior opposition to the requested stay and, based largely on the lack of opposition, the district court granted the stay.

After the completion of the IPR proceeding, the PTO confirmed the patentability of Zoll's patent claims. As explained by the district court, "Zoll now wishes to proceed with the litigation it filed more than 2 1/2 years ago, on December 27, 2012. Oddly, however, and in tension with its prior representations that it was only seeking a stay pending IPR, and that such a stay would not exceed 18 months, Respironics opposes lifting the stay."

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Court Grants Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Standing Where Plaintiff Merely Alleged That It Had All Substantial Rights to Patent

July 13, 2015

Verify Smart Corp. ("Verify") filed a patent infringement action against Bank of America, N.A. ("BoA"), alleging infringement of United States Patent No. 8,285,648 ("the '648 Patent"). As part of its complaint, Verify claimed to have all substantial rights through an exclusive license. BoA filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), contending that Verify lacked standing.

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After Transfer, Case Is Stayed Pending IPR Even Though Only Three of Twenty-Two Claims Were at Issue in the IPR

July 8, 2015

Plaintiff ACQIS, LLC ("ACQIS") filed a patent infringement action in the Eastern District of Texas alleging that Defendant EMC Corporation ("EMC") had infringed claims in 11 patents owned by ACQIS. Specifically, ACQIS alleged that 20 EMC computer storage products infringe 22 claims from these 11 patents, including EMC products for modular computer systems.

After the Eastern District of Texas transferred the case, EMC moved to stay the case pending Inter Partes Review ("IPR"). The United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") has instituted IPRs for 2 of the 11 patents-in-suit, involving 3 of the 22 claims asserted against EMC.

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