March 2016 Archives

After Settlement, District Court Declines to Vacate Sanctions Order Requested by Joint Motion from All Parties

March 30, 2016

After all parties agreed to settle the case, the parties jointly moved to vacate a sanctions order. The district court declined to vacate the sanctions order, even though plaintiff's counsel had apparently complied with the order, because the order was entered by a prior judge in a detailed ruling.

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District Court Denies Motion to Present Live Video Testimony at Trial

March 28, 2016

In this patent infringement action, defendant Dynamic Drinkware, Inc. ("Drinkware" or "Defendant") filed a motion to permit it to present live video testimony at trial, or, in the alternative, to take the deposition of a non-party named Dan Blondal for use at trial. The plaintiff, National Graphics, opposed the motion and filed a motion for a protective order seeking to bar the proposed deposition.

The Plaintiff opposed the motion on the ground that discovery has been closed for a full year and that trial was scheduled to start in six weeks. Although the Defendants viewed Mr. Blondal as an important witness, they never deposed him during the discovery period.

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Samsung v. Nvidia: District Court Bifurcates Trial in Two Phases with the First Phase to Determine Infringement and Damages and the Second Phase to Determine Validity of the Patents

March 23, 2016

The plaintiff, Samsung, filed a motion for an order regarding the presentation of evidence. Samsung's proposal included a "six-stage" process for presenting the evidence. In support of the proposal, Samsung argued that the "six-stage" process would help the jury understand the complex issues it would need to decide. The defendant opposed the motion, asserting that Samsung's proposal would not contribute to a better understanding of the complex issues for the jury.

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District Court Precludes Plaintiff from Presenting Damage Theories That Were Not Disclosed in Rule 26(a) Disclosures

March 21, 2016

The plaintiff, Radware, planned to present damages theories in its closing argument seeking more than twice the damages that its retained expert on damages computed. The district court noted that "[w]hile expert testimony is not always required to prove damages, any damages theory must have evidentiary support. Radware had a duty to disclose its damages theories and evidence under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(iii) and in response to F5's discovery requests and this court's orders. Radware attempted to do that by pointing to the calculations of its expert Mr. Malackowski. The permissible scope of Radware's damages contentions at trial is thus limited by Radware's pretrial disclosures--including Mr. Malackowski's expert report--and, to the extent that the court allowed it, Mr. Malackowski's revised report served on February 27, 2016."

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District Court Requires Plaintiffs to State Whether "Plain Meaning" Encompasses Defendants' Proposed Claim Constructions

March 16, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants asked the district court to compel the plaintiffs to provide constructions for disputed claim terms identified by the parties under the Local Patent Rules. Defendants identified 8 claim terms that they contended require construction. For each term that the defendants identified, the plaintiffs offered "plain meaning" as their proposed construction and would not acknowledge whether defendants' proposed construction of these terms is within the "plain meaning" asserted by plaintiffs.

As a result, defendants contended that plaintiffs' assertion of "plain meaning" as their proposed construction of all disputed terms prejudices defendants and "prevents the Court from engaging in meaningful claim construction." The plaintiffs responded by arguing that "plain and ordinary meaning" is a valid construction.

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Partial Summary Judgment Granted on Failure to Mark Where Defendant Stipulated That Plaintiff Practiced the Patent-In-Suit

March 14, 2016

Metaswitch Networks Ltd. ("Metaswitch") filed a motion for partial summary judgment to limit Genband US LLC's ("Genband") damages based on a failure to mark. In support of its motion, Metaswitch argued that partial summary judgment should be granted because: (1) Genband makes and sells products that practice the patents-in-suit, (2) Genband has not marked those products with the patent numbers, (3) these unmarked products have been sold throughout the damages period; and (4) Genband has no evidence that Metaswitch had pre-suit notice of the patents-in-suit.

Genband's opposition did not contest any of these facts. Instead, Genband argued that Metaswitch cannot meet its summary judgment burden because Metaswitch contended that Genband does not practice the patents-in-suit. In support of this position, Genband cited to the report of Metaswitch's expert that Metaswitch hotly contests Genband's assertion that it practices the patents-in-suit. As a result, Genband argued there is a genuine fact dispute because a reasonable jury could credit Metaswitch's evidence and conclude that Genband does not practice the patents-in-suit.

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Oracle v. Google: District Court Rejects Jury Questionnaire and Orders Parties to Show Cause Why the Court Should Not Ban Internet Research of Prospective Jurors

March 9, 2016

As the re-trial in the Oracle v. Google case approaches, both parties requested an opportunity to use a jury questionnaire followed by a limited, one hour oral voir dire. The district court reviewed the proposed questionnaire and found that it would not save time and was likely suggested to permit the parties to learn the jurors names and addresses in order to perform Internet research on the backgrounds of the prospective jurors.

The district court explained that "[t]he joint questionnaire and procedure proposed by counsel, however, will not save time. At a minimum, it will add an extra day to the jury-selection procedure while the parties' neutral vendor collects, copies, and distributes the responses. The proposed questionnaire, moreover, includes vague questions that seem more likely to generate vague answers than accurate answers, which will lead to the need for verbal follow-up and consume even more time."

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District Court Declines to Exclude Damage Expert Even Though Expert Relied Upon Information Not Disclosed During Discovery

March 7, 2016

Plaintiffs Equistar Chemicals, LP and MSI Technology, LLC accused Westlake Chemical Corporation ("Westlake") of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,064,163. The asserted patent relates to a method of making polyolefin-based adhesive resins used for bonding to or bonding together polyolefins and polar materials. Westlake retained Christopher Bakewell as a damages expert, and Plaintiffs asserted that Bakewell relies on information that was not produced during discovery in his expert report, particularly on pound estimates for PE processing. Plaintiffs contended that Bakewell's report improperly relie upon private conversations concerning non-infringing alternative costs.

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District Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment on Laches Defense Where Defendant Could Not Establish Prejudice from Plaintiff's Delay in Filing Suit

March 4, 2016

The court explained the facts as follows: The defendant, CrestaTech, was founded by Mihai Murgulescu and George Haber in 2005. Its initial products included a receiver for satellite radio and a television platform. CrestaTech entered the television tuner market in September 2011, when it acquired the assets of Xceive Inc., a company developing and selling television tuners. Among the assets that CrestaTech acquired was the XC5000 series of television tuner products--now the accused products in this suit--which Xceive had developed prior to its acquisition in September 2011. Xceive had been selling the XC5000 since at least January 2007.

The plaintiff, Silicon Labs, began in Austin, Texas, in 1996. In the twenty years since, the company has developed and sold a variety of silicon-based TV tuners, with many name-brand TV sets now Xceive representing that it intended to acquire or merge with Xceive. Silicon Labs performed due diligence in evaluating Xceive and the now-accused products. As part of this process, Silicon Labs and its CEO, Tyson Tuttle, executed a Non-Disclosure Agreement and were provided with a set of Xceive confidential and proprietary documents and items. Among those items was an Evaluation Kit for the XC5000, including a number of XC5000 evaluation boards, on which Silicon Labs performed "extensive tests."

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Cisco v. Sprint: Declaratory Judgment Action Dismissed Where Cisco Could Not Show Case or Controversy Based on Suits Against Customers and Aggressive Litigation and Licensing Tactics

March 2, 2016

Plaintiff Cisco Systems, Inc. ("Cisco") filed two declaratory judgment actions against Sprint seeking to invalidate six Sprint patents and seeking a declaration of non-infringement of seven Sprint patents. Cisco is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of California, with its principal place of business in San Jose, California. Sprint is a limited partnership organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with its principal place of business in Overland Park, Kansas.

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