January 2015 Archives

Blue Spike v. Adobe: Court Grants Motion to Strike Infringement Contentions Where Contentions Failed to Crystalize Theory of the Case and Used an Open-Ended Priority Date

January 29, 2015

In this patent infringement action between defendant Adobe Systems, Inc. ("Adobe") and plaintiff Blue Spike, LLC ("Blue Spike"), Adobe filed a motion to strike the infringement contentions ("ICs") filed by Blue Spike. In the motion, Adobe contended that Blue Spike's ICs fail to comply with the Patent Local Rules for the following reasons: (1) the ICs fail to provide a claim chart for each of the accused instrumentalities and instead group together all four products in violation of Patent Local Rule 3-1(c); (2) the claim chart cites to exhibits that discuss Auditude's (a company acquired by Adobe) products generally--both fingerprinting and ad insertion products--without identifying the particular product to which each exhibit refers, rendering the documentary support insufficient under Patent Local Rule 3-2; (3) the ICs chiefly rely on online articles published by third parties that do not specifically identify the accused products and are therefore insufficient under Patent Local Rule 3-2; and (4) the ICs do not properly set forth allegations of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents in violation of Patent Local Rule 3-1(e); and (5) fail to allege indirect infringement, willful infringement, or assert a priority date in accordance with the Patent Local Rules.

Continue reading "Blue Spike v. Adobe: Court Grants Motion to Strike Infringement Contentions Where Contentions Failed to Crystalize Theory of the Case and Used an Open-Ended Priority Date" »

PTAB Will Not Consider An Expert Report Prepared for Litigation And Created After the Filing of the Petition

January 27, 2015

In IPR2014-01510, 01511, and 01513, in connection with its preliminary response the Patent Owner Mag Aerospace Industries, LLC, submitted an expert report by its expert in the related litigation. The expert report addressed issues relevant to the IPR proceedings, including the patentability of the claims in light of the prior art asserted in the IPRs. As explained below, the Board held that the expert report constituted "new" evidence and thus violates 37 C.F.R. § 42.107(c) even though it was created for the related litigation and not expressly for the IPR proceedings.

The Petition was filed on September 16, 2014. The expert report, filed as Exhibit 2002, is dated November 4, 2014, and was filed on January 2, 2015, along with the Patent Owner's Preliminary Response. It also is uncontested that the expert report was created for related litigation according to the schedule for that litigation.

Continue reading "PTAB Will Not Consider An Expert Report Prepared for Litigation And Created After the Filing of the Petition" »

District Court Denies Motion to Exclude Defendants' Experts from Claim Construction But Orders the Defendants to Supplement Their Disclosures or Face Exclusion

January 26, 2015

In this patent infringement action, the plaintiff filed a motion to exclude the defendants' claim construction experts. The plaintiff's motion was based on the argument that the defendants' disclosures did not comply with local rules in that they did not identify the actual opinions of the experts.

The district court agreed with plaintiff's position. "After consideration of the briefing and of Defendants' expert disclosures, the Court agrees with Plaintiff that Defendants' disclosures do not comply with Local Rule 4.2.d.2. insofar as Defendants simply identify the general subjects on which their experts may testify, but do not identify the actual opinions Defendants expect the experts to offer."

Continue reading "District Court Denies Motion to Exclude Defendants' Experts from Claim Construction But Orders the Defendants to Supplement Their Disclosures or Face Exclusion" »

District Court Holds Plaintiff and Plaintiff's Attorneys Jointly and Severally Liable for Attorney's Fees and Costs After Finding that Attorneys Knew of False Affidavits Filed with the Patent Office

January 22, 2015

After trial, HTC Corporation and HTC America, Inc. ("HTC") filed a motion seeking to recover attorney fees and costs from plaintiff's attorneys as well as from plaintiff Intellect Wireless, Inc. ("IW"). IW withdrew its initial opposition and conceded that the case was exceptional within the meaning of the Patent Act. HTC also contended that a finding should also be made that the attorneys for IW are jointly and personally required to satisfy HTC's attorney fees and costs because, among other things, IW's attorneys unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1927.

Continue reading "District Court Holds Plaintiff and Plaintiff's Attorneys Jointly and Severally Liable for Attorney's Fees and Costs After Finding that Attorneys Knew of False Affidavits Filed with the Patent Office" »

Court Orders Production of Work Product Documents under Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Where Defendants Had Falsely Identified Source Code

January 20, 2015

In an earlier filed decision, the district court had previously found that Escort and its defense counsel had knowingly misled the plaintiff, Fleming, which warranted a sanction of attorney fees. As explained by the district court, "they falsely claimed that the source code identified as ESC17363 was the current operating source code for Escort's commercially sold products and that it provided a complete defense to Fleming's patent infringement charges."

After awarding attorney's fees, the district court turned to Fleming's motion to compel the production of certain documents. "Fleming seeks discovery of a wide variety of documents and communications in an effort to determine if Escort fabricated ESC17363 and falsely represented that it was created in the normal course of product development."
In response, Escort argued that all of the material sought by Fleming was protected by the work product doctrine and the attorney client privilege.

Continue reading "Court Orders Production of Work Product Documents under Crime-Fraud Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege Where Defendants Had Falsely Identified Source Code" »

Patent Owner: Preponderance of Evidence Standard Can Never Be Met Without Expert Testimony

January 16, 2015

In IPR2013-00357, Patent Owner Overland Storage, Inc. filed a request for rehearing of the final written decision holding that claims 1-11 of U.S. Patent No. 6,328,766 are unpatentable. The basis for the patent owner's reconsideration request was that, among other things, the petitioner failed to meet its burden of proof because it offered no expert testimony. As explained below, the Board rejected this position and held that a lack of expert testimony is not dispositive.

Continue reading "Patent Owner: Preponderance of Evidence Standard Can Never Be Met Without Expert Testimony" »

Court Denies Motion for Extended Deposition Despite over 300 Objections During Deposition Where Defendant Failed to Raise Issue with Objections During the Deposition

January 14, 2015

In this patent infringement action, the Defendants requested that the court order a further Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of one of the deponents, Mr. Pang. In the motion, Defendants argued that Plaintiff's counsel objected more than 300 times during the course of Mr. Pang's deposition, and the objections impeded the fair examination of Mr. Pang.

In response, the Plaintiff argued that Defendants failed to show good cause to compel a second deposition of Mr. Pang and pointed out that during the deposition, Defendants never raised any issue with Mr. Pang's responses or with Plaintiff's counsel's objections. Plaintiff also argued that its objections were necessary and were stated in a concise, nonargumentative and nonsuggestive manner and noted that Mr. Pang answered every question after Plaintiff's counsel stated his objection on the record.

Continue reading "Court Denies Motion for Extended Deposition Despite over 300 Objections During Deposition Where Defendant Failed to Raise Issue with Objections During the Deposition" »

District Court Sanctions Defendants for Failing to Agree to Standard Protective Order

January 12, 2015

In this patent infringement action, the plaintiff filed a motion for entry of a standard protective order after the defendant would not agree to sign a stipulated protective order. As explained by the district court, the plaintiffs sued defendants, alleging that they infringed on several patents.

After the lawsuit was filed, plaintiffs' counsel requested that defendants' counsel sign off on a stipulated protective order to protect certain confidential/proprietary materials that the parties were going to exchange in discovery. The district court explained that "[t]his is standard operating procedure in patent cases in federal court and the parties and the Court routinely sign off on them in these cases."

Continue reading "District Court Sanctions Defendants for Failing to Agree to Standard Protective Order" »

PTAB Authorizes the Filing of a Motion for Sanctions Against Inventor

January 6, 2015

In IPR2014-00739 involving petitioner Shire Development LLC and patent owner LCS Group, LLC, the petitioner sought authorization to file a motion for sanctions against the inventor based on his communications with petitioner in violation of a prior order from the Board. The Board's prior order stated that "the inventor, Dr. Louis Sanfilippo, is prohibited from contacting Shire, Shire's employees, the expert retained by Shire for this proceeding (Dr. Timothy Brewerton), and counsel for Petitioner, except through counsel for Patent Owner or in the presence of counsel for Patent Owner." Paper 9. According to the Petitioner, "the [inventor's] e-mail, as well as the hyperlink contained within the e-mail, contained misrepresentations, and constituted harassment, as well as veiled threats against Petitioner."

The Petitioner also sought an adverse judgment based on a statement in the e-mail that "Patent Owner has determined that in order to best protect its interests it is foregoing any further involvement in the IPR process so that it can take the appropriate actions, including legal remedies, to resolve such representations made to the Board that have now caused Patent Owner harm, and so that it can pre-empt further harm from the undue burden of such representations."

Continue reading "PTAB Authorizes the Filing of a Motion for Sanctions Against Inventor" »

Smartflash v. Apple: District Court Excludes Damage Theory Based on Survey Responses That Were Insufficient to Show That the Patented Feature Alone Motivated Survey Respondents to Purchase the Accused Devices

January 5, 2015

Plaintiffs Smartflash LLC and Smartflash Technologies Limited (collectively "Smartflash") filed patent infringement actions against Apple, Inc. ("Apple"), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Samsung Electronics America, Inc., Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC (collectively "Samsung"), HTC Corporation, HTC America, Inc., and Exedea, Inc. (collectively "HTC") (all collectively "Defendants") alleging infringement of several patents.

Smartflash's expert on damages, Mr. Mills, based portions of his damage calculations on surveys conducted by Dr. William Wecker. As explained by the district court, Smartflash hired Dr. Wecker, a statistician, to conduct four surveys related to consumer purchasing decisions of the accused products: (1) an "App Store" survey; (2) a "Movies and TV Shows" survey; (3) a "Music" survey; and (4) a "Books and Parental Controls" survey. Each of the surveys asked consumers if certain features "motivated" them to purchase accused products.

Continue reading "Smartflash v. Apple: District Court Excludes Damage Theory Based on Survey Responses That Were Insufficient to Show That the Patented Feature Alone Motivated Survey Respondents to Purchase the Accused Devices " »