September 2013 Archives

Activision TV Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Nebraska Attorney General: Court Permits Law Firm to Represent Activision in Patent Infringement Action Where Nebraska Attorney General Had Ordered Law Firm to Stop Patent Enforcement Efforts in Nebras

September 30, 2013

Activision TV, Inc. ("Activision") filed a patent infringement action against Pinnacle Bancorp, Inc. ("Pinnacle"). Counsel for Activision, Farney Daniels, had previously sent letters to companies throughout the United States that Activision believed were infringing its patents. Five of these companies were in Nebraska. The letters requested information to determine if three was infringement of the patents.

As a result of these letters, the Attorney General's office for the State of Nebraska opened an inquiry. After the action was filed against Pinnacle, the Nebraska Attorney General filed a cease and desist letter against the law firm of Farney Daniels. The cease and desist letter prohibited Farney Daniels from initiation new patent infringement enforcement efforts in the State of Nebraska. Because of the cease and desist order, Farney Daniels asserted it would be unable to represent Activision in this case and in other federal court cases.

Activision then moved for a preliminary injunction to permit Farney Daniels to represent it in the currently pending patent infringement case. The district court conducted a hearing at which it questioned representatives from the Nebraska Attorney General's office.

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Kimberly-Clark v. First Quality: Request to Require Defendant to Present Deposition Testimony in Plaintiff's Case Denied Because It Would Interfere with Defendant's Trial Presentation

September 25, 2013

As this patent infringement action proceed toward trial, plaintiff Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. ("Kimberly-Clark") filed a request with the district court on an "extremely time-sensitive case management issue concerning the use of depositions at trial and deposition designations." During a telephonic status conference, Kimberly-Clark requested that the district require the defendants First Quality Baby Products, LLC ("First Quality") present at trial any deposition testimony of Kimberly Clark's testifying employee witnesses when they are called by Kimberly-Clark instead of during First Quality's case-in-chief.

As part of its request, Kimberly-Clark asserted that its proposed procedure would be more efficient and would prevent delay and any potential confusion that would be created by calling the same witnesses to testify, whether by live testimony or by depositions, during different phases of the trial. First Quality opposed Kimberly-Clark's request by arguing that this type of procedure would improperly permit Kimberly-Clark to dictate the manner in which First Quality presents its case.

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Robocast v. Apple and Microsoft: Preliminary Surveys Ordered Produced Even Where Expert Did Not Rely Upon Surveys and Had Deleted Them Before Creating His Expert Report

September 23, 2013

Robocast filed patent infringement actions against Apple and Microsoft. As expert reports were underway, Apple and Microsoft moved to compel undisclosed surveys that were commissioned by one of Robocast's experts. As the Magistrate Judge explained, "Specifically, I am asked to resolve the parties' dispute concerning certain undisclosed surveys commissioned by Professor James T. Berger in anticipation of his issuing expert reports vis-a-vis each defendant. Those two reports, in turn, are the foundation upon which another plaintiff's expert directly relies for the purpose of establishing the scope of damages against the defendants. Robocast's survey expert actually had preliminary surveys conducted for each of the two defendants, Apple and Microsoft, prior to the surveys which form the basis for his expert reports' conclusions."

Robocast resisted to reveling the prior surveys was predicated on the argument that Professor Berger claimed he did not rely upon any of the prior surveys in connection with reaching the conclusions reflected in his final reports concerning each defendant. "Indeed, because the expert deleted the earlier surveys (which had been performed after his retention by the plaintiff) from his computer, he was physically unable to take them into consideration at the time he reviewed and adopted the later-commissioned surveys into his final reports."

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On Sale Bar Doctrine Rendered Patent Invalid Where Presentation and Manufacturer's Quote Constituted Offers for Sale

September 18, 2013

Orbis Corporation ("Orbis"), a manufacturer of commercial baking trays, owns U.S. Patent 6,273,259 ("the '259 patent"), which covers a baking tray ("the NPL663 tray"). As explained by the district court, "Orbis sells the NPL663 trays solely to Bimbo Bakeries, Inc. ("Bimbo"), and Bimbo's affiliated brands. Several years ago, one of those affiliated brands, Sara Lee Corporation ("Sara Lee") approached the defendant, Rehrig Pacific Company ("Rehrig"), to request that Rehrig design a tray that was both compatible with and similar to the NPL663 tray. Rehrig obliged and designed its SLBT180 tray, which it then began selling to Sara Lee. After several years of allowing Rehrig to sell its SLBT180 tray to Sara Lee, Orbis sued Rehrig, alleging that the SLBT180 tray infringed upon Orbis' '259 patent."

Rehrig moved for summary judgment based on the "on-sale bar" doctrine pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 102, which states that "[a] person shall be entitled to a patent unless...the claimed invention was...on sale" more than one year "before the effective filing date of the claimed invention." 35 U.S.C. §§ 102(a-b).

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Daubert Motion to Strike Expert Testimony Denied Where Lump Sum Royalty Was Not Improperly Based on Total Market Value of Accused Products

September 16, 2013

In this patent infringement action, the patent owner sought a reasonable royalty in the form of a lump sum payment. HTC filed a Daubert motion to exclude the expert's opinion on the ground that the lump sum royalty impermissibly included the entire market value.

The district court began its analysis with a commentary on Daubert motions in patent cases. "Another patent case on the eve of trial, another Daubert motion to strike a patent damages expert's testimony. The undersigned only recently observed that such motions have become a routine affair in patent litigation. And yet, as routine as the motion has become, skilled experts continue to fashion new theories prompting additional lines of attacks. In short, no two motions are quite the same."

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Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Invalidity Contentions Denied Where Defendant Disclosed Prior Art to Plaintiff But Waited Four Months to File Motion for Leave to Amend

September 11, 2013

Defendant Green Max Distributors, Inc. ("Green Max") filed a motion for leave to amend its invalidity contentions. In the motion, Green Max sought to add photos, publications, and prior-art references to its original invalidity contentions. These additional references included additional photos that "more clearly and from different angles" depicted the prior art, full versions of the publications that depicted the prior-art references, nine newly cited publications, and eleven newly cited prior art references.

Green Max moved to amend its invalidity contentions in August 2013. Nonetheless, Green Max asserted that it was diligent because it provided Hydrodynamic with many of the additional references it sought to include, asserting that it provided Hydrodynamic with updated invalidity contentions containing "most" of the additional references in response to an interrogatory on February 20, 2013, and then disclosed some of the additional references at Green Max's deposition of Hydrodynamic conducted on July 16, 2013. The district court found that this argument was irrelevant. "But Green Max's disclosure of the prior art to Hydrodynamic is irrelevant to the diligence inquiry. Green Max must have been diligent in discovering the new prior art and in bringing its motion to amend its invalidity contentions--not in its disclosure to Hydrodynamic."

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Softview v. Apple: District Court Grants Stay Pending Inter Partes Review Even Though It Had Denied Previous Request for Stay Pending Reexamination

September 9, 2013

In this patent infringement action, a number of the defendants moved to stay the case pending an Inter Partes Review ("IPR") of the patent-in-suit. The district court had previously denied a motion to stay pending a previous reexamination proceeding before the patent office.

In October 2012, shortly after the America Invents Act's IPR process became available, Kyocera filed an IPR against all asserted claims of the patents-in-suit. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") found that Kyocera demonstrated "a reasonable likelihood of prevailing in its challenge" to the asserted claims. Kyocera then moved to stay pending the IPR process and the other defendants filed a motion to stay pending the IPR process as well.

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Motion to Amend Infringement Contentions Denied Where Plaintiff Waited Too Long After Claim Construction Ruling

September 5, 2013

Plaintiff Power Integrations, Inc. ("Power Integrations" or "PI") filed a patent infringement action against Defendants Fairchild Semiconductor Int'l, Inc., Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. (collectively, "Fairchild") and System General Corp. ("System General"). Power Integrations is a manufacturer of power conversion integrated circuit devices, which are used in power supplies for electronic devices such as cellular phones, LCD monitors and computers.

Fairchild filed a Second Amended Answer and Counterclaims, which included the '700 patent, entitled "Control Circuit With Adaptive Minimum On Time for Power Converters" for the first time. The District Court issued its Claim Construction Order construing various terms in the '700 patent on May 6, 2013.

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Carnegie Mellon v. Marvell: District Court Upholds $1.1 Billion Jury Verdict Against Marvell

September 3, 2013

Carnegie Mellon University ("CMU") filed a patent infringement action Marvell Technology Group and Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. ("Marvell") that alleged infringement of two CMU patents. The jury rendered a verdict in favor of CMU, finding that Marvell infringed the patents, that the patents were valid and that there was willful infringement. The jury also awarded damages in excess of $1.1 billion.

Marvell filed several post-trial motions, including one for judgment as a matter of law or, in the alternative, for a new trial on damages. Marvell also argued for a mistrial based on certain of CMU's counsel's statements during closing argument and throughout the trial. After reciting the standard for granting a new trial, the district court addressed the specific issues raised by Marvell.

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