Inventor Not Required to Answer Hypothetical Questions at Deposition Because He Was Not Designated as an Expert
Plaintiff Homeland Houswares, LLC ("Homeland") filed a declaratory judgment action for a declaration of non-infringement and invalidity against Sorensen Research and Development Trust ("Sorensen"). Homeland took the deposition of one of the inventors of the patent-in-suit, Mr. Paul Brown. Mr. Brown is the co-inventor of U.S. Patent No. 6,599,460 (the '460 patent), which Homeland's products allegedly infringe. In addition to being a co-inventor, Mr. Brown also conducted testing in support of the patent infringement allegations.
During the deposition of Mr. Brown, Homeland asked the inventor several hypothetical questions which he was instructed by counsel for Sorensen not to answer. Homeland filed a motion to compel answers to the deposition questions.