Murata v. Daifuku: District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Motion for a Second Time After Remand from Federal Circuit Based on Pending IPR and Previously Issued Stay

August 25, 2016

In September 2013, Murata filed a patent infringement action alleging that Daifuku infringed three of its patents (the "Original Patents"). A year later, in September 2014, Murata moved to amend its Complaint to add two patents that Murata alleged were also infringed by Daifuku (the "Additional Patents"). Daifuku filed an inter partes review ("IPR") of the Original Patents and then moved to stay the case pending the outcome of the IPRs.

The district court then stayed the case and simultaneously granted permission for leave to amend the complaint to add the Additional Patents. After the PTAB instituted review of the Original Patents, Murata moved to lift the stay with respect to the Additional Patents and moved for a preliminary injunction on the Additional Patents. Daifuku also filed IPRs with respect to the Additional Patents. The district court denied the motion for preliminary injunction as untimely because it declined to lift the stay.

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EON v. Apple: District Court Permits Plaintiff to Present Technology Tutorial Through Expert Consultant Not Previously Designated

August 23, 2016

Apple filed an objection to EON's plan to present a technology tutorial through its expert consultant. Apple asserted that the consultant was not disclosed as an expert on whom EON intended to rely upon during claim constructions, as required by the Local Patent Rules. Apple also asserted that the disclosure, which came only two days before the tutorial, was prejudicial because Apple did not have sufficient time to learn about and/or test the consultant's opinions and credentials.

EON opposed the objection on the ground that Apple already knew of the consultant because he was disclosed under the protective order as someone who would have access to technical information. EON also argued that the consultant did not need to be disclosed because he was not testifying in support of EON's claim construction positions. EON also argued that it would be prejudiced if the consultant was disclosed since it would be too late for EON to use another expert or present the tutorial through its counsel.

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Boston University v. Everlight: District Court Grants Immediate Appeal Over Whether Lump-Sum Royalty Award Can Be Converted to Ongoing Royalty Payments Post Verdict

August 18, 2016

After a jury awarded the Trustees of Boston University ("BU") a $9.3 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Epistar and a $4 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Everlight, the district court denied the defendants' motions for judgment as a matter of law and/or a new trial, other than with respect to the issue of damages. On the damage issue, the district court granted a remittitur because the lump-sum damages awards were not supported by the evidence.

After the district court denied a motion for reconsideration, BU notified the district court that it elected to have a new trial on damages or, in the alternative, to permit an interlocutory appeal.

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District Court Denies Apple's Request to Add Acacia into Patent Infringement Lawsuit as Alter Ego of Plaintiff

August 16, 2016

In this patent infringement action, Apple filed a motion to add additional Acacia entities as plaintiffs in the action. Apple's primary argue was that the Acacia entities were the alter egos of the plaintiff and that the plaintiff is undercapitalized, which would mean that Apple might be unable to collect attorney's fees and costs it might be awarded against the plaintiff at the end of the litigation.

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District Court Denies Request for Production of Documents Provided to Prospective Litigation Funding Organizations

August 10, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendant sought the production of documents that the plaintif, IOENGINGE, had provided to potential companies that could fund litigation. IOENGINGED claimed that the documents were protected by the work product doctrine. The defendant sought production of the withheld documents.

IOENGINE explained that the approximately 70 documents listed on the privilege log were prepared by its counsel and by the inventor of the patent-in-suit, Mr. McNulty, for litigation funders in anticipation of and during litigation.

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District Court Excludes Evidence of Lost Profits Where Inventor Did Not Make Products That Practiced the Patent Even Though a Related Corporation Did

August 8, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of any claimed lost profits damages alleged by the plaintiff, the inventor of the patent-in-suit.
The defendants asserted that the plaintiff could not recover lost profits damages because he did not make or sell products covered by the patent-in-suit.

In support of their position, the defendants cited cases stating that only a plaintiff who sells the patented device may claim lost profits damages. See Poly-America, L.P. v. GSE Lining Tech., Inc., 383 F.3d 1303, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2004). The defendants also cited cases showing that a plaintiff cannot claim as patent infringement damages the lost profits of a related corporation, arguing that the plaintiff could not recover the lost profits of Death Door Marine, Inc. ("DDM") because DDM's profits "flow inexorably" to the plaintiff.

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District Court Grants Motion to Strike Errata Changing Deposition Answers from a "Yes" to a "No"

August 4, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants filed a motion to strike an errata change to the deposition testimony of a witness, Joseph Tindall. The district court noted that if the errata were allowed, it would change an answer from "yes" to "no." As a justification for the change, the witness contended he "did not understand the question and gave an incorrect response when [he] answered it 'yes.'" In response, the defendants argued that the requested change was improper.

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District Court Precludes Defendant from Making Disparaging Remarks Directed at Patent and Trademark Office in Front of Jury But Permits Plaintiff to Make Remarks Consistent with Presumption of Validity

August 2, 2016

Core Wireless Licensing ("Core Wireless") filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics, Inc. ("LG"). As the matter approached trial, both parties filed motions in limine. Core Wireless filed a motion to prevent LG from making disparaging remarks regarding the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") to the jury during trial.

The district court agreed that such remarks would not be appropriate and stated that "LG may not disparage the PTO and its examiners, such as by arguing that examiners are overworked or that the PTO is prone to error."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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