After the district court issued a Markman ruling, the parties informed the court that they had reached an agreement in principle to settle the action. The plaintiff, FlatWorld, then moved to vacate the claim construction order. The district court noted that it had only adopted FlatWorld's proposed construction for one out of nine terms. "Now plaintiff FlatWorld Interactives LLC wants me to vacate the claim construction order, in which I adopted only one of its proposed constructions out of nine terms to be construed, because it is concerned about the potential collateral estoppel effects of my order in two actions pending before the United States District Court for the District of Delaware."
The district court then explained that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60 provides that a court may relieve a party from an order if "applying it prospectively is no longer equitable" or for "any [ ] reason that justifies relief." FED. R. CIV. P. 60(b). "Although the Court may vacate an order upon settlement there is no requirement to do so; otherwise any litigant dissatisfied with a trial court's findings would be able to have them wiped from the books." White v. Shen, No. 09-cv-989-BZ, 2011 WL 2790475, at *1 (N.D. Cal. July 13, 2011) (internal quotation marks omitted). A "district court can decide whether to vacate its judgment in light of 'the consequences and attendant hardships of dismissal or refusal to dismiss' and 'the competing values of finality of judgment and right to relitigation of unreviewed disputes.'" Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365, 1371 (9th Cir. 1995).