August 2016 Archives

Sprint v. Comcast: District Court Denies Request for Attorney's Fees Pending Appeal to the Federal Circuit

August 30, 2016

Plaintiff Sprint Communications Company brought suit against Defendants Comcast Cable Communications, LLC and Comcast IP Phone, LLC alleging infringement of six of its patents related to telecommunications and data networking. After the district court denied summary judgment, Sprint prevailed in a jury trial on some of the patents and Sprint was award $27.6 million in damages. Subsequently, the district court granted Comcast's motion for judgment as a matter of law and Sprint appealed.

Comcast requested attorney's fees under 35 U.S.C. ยง 285. Sprint argued that the district court should defer ruling on the motion until the appeal was determined and asserted that the Federal Circuit's decision may moot the motion, or may clarify some issues relating to it. Comcast opposed Sprint's request and encouraged a "swift resolution" with the idea that the Federal Circuit may be able to decide both issues at once.

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Murata v. Daifuku: District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Motion for a Second Time After Remand from Federal Circuit Based on Pending IPR and Previously Issued Stay

August 25, 2016

In September 2013, Murata filed a patent infringement action alleging that Daifuku infringed three of its patents (the "Original Patents"). A year later, in September 2014, Murata moved to amend its Complaint to add two patents that Murata alleged were also infringed by Daifuku (the "Additional Patents"). Daifuku filed an inter partes review ("IPR") of the Original Patents and then moved to stay the case pending the outcome of the IPRs.

The district court then stayed the case and simultaneously granted permission for leave to amend the complaint to add the Additional Patents. After the PTAB instituted review of the Original Patents, Murata moved to lift the stay with respect to the Additional Patents and moved for a preliminary injunction on the Additional Patents. Daifuku also filed IPRs with respect to the Additional Patents. The district court denied the motion for preliminary injunction as untimely because it declined to lift the stay.

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EON v. Apple: District Court Permits Plaintiff to Present Technology Tutorial Through Expert Consultant Not Previously Designated

August 23, 2016

Apple filed an objection to EON's plan to present a technology tutorial through its expert consultant. Apple asserted that the consultant was not disclosed as an expert on whom EON intended to rely upon during claim constructions, as required by the Local Patent Rules. Apple also asserted that the disclosure, which came only two days before the tutorial, was prejudicial because Apple did not have sufficient time to learn about and/or test the consultant's opinions and credentials.

EON opposed the objection on the ground that Apple already knew of the consultant because he was disclosed under the protective order as someone who would have access to technical information. EON also argued that the consultant did not need to be disclosed because he was not testifying in support of EON's claim construction positions. EON also argued that it would be prejudiced if the consultant was disclosed since it would be too late for EON to use another expert or present the tutorial through its counsel.

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Boston University v. Everlight: District Court Grants Immediate Appeal Over Whether Lump-Sum Royalty Award Can Be Converted to Ongoing Royalty Payments Post Verdict

August 18, 2016

After a jury awarded the Trustees of Boston University ("BU") a $9.3 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Epistar and a $4 million dollar one-time lump-sum payment from Everlight, the district court denied the defendants' motions for judgment as a matter of law and/or a new trial, other than with respect to the issue of damages. On the damage issue, the district court granted a remittitur because the lump-sum damages awards were not supported by the evidence.

After the district court denied a motion for reconsideration, BU notified the district court that it elected to have a new trial on damages or, in the alternative, to permit an interlocutory appeal.

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District Court Denies Apple's Request to Add Acacia into Patent Infringement Lawsuit as Alter Ego of Plaintiff

August 16, 2016

In this patent infringement action, Apple filed a motion to add additional Acacia entities as plaintiffs in the action. Apple's primary argue was that the Acacia entities were the alter egos of the plaintiff and that the plaintiff is undercapitalized, which would mean that Apple might be unable to collect attorney's fees and costs it might be awarded against the plaintiff at the end of the litigation.

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District Court Denies Request for Production of Documents Provided to Prospective Litigation Funding Organizations

August 10, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendant sought the production of documents that the plaintif, IOENGINGE, had provided to potential companies that could fund litigation. IOENGINGED claimed that the documents were protected by the work product doctrine. The defendant sought production of the withheld documents.

IOENGINE explained that the approximately 70 documents listed on the privilege log were prepared by its counsel and by the inventor of the patent-in-suit, Mr. McNulty, for litigation funders in anticipation of and during litigation.

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District Court Excludes Evidence of Lost Profits Where Inventor Did Not Make Products That Practiced the Patent Even Though a Related Corporation Did

August 8, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of any claimed lost profits damages alleged by the plaintiff, the inventor of the patent-in-suit.
The defendants asserted that the plaintiff could not recover lost profits damages because he did not make or sell products covered by the patent-in-suit.

In support of their position, the defendants cited cases stating that only a plaintiff who sells the patented device may claim lost profits damages. See Poly-America, L.P. v. GSE Lining Tech., Inc., 383 F.3d 1303, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2004). The defendants also cited cases showing that a plaintiff cannot claim as patent infringement damages the lost profits of a related corporation, arguing that the plaintiff could not recover the lost profits of Death Door Marine, Inc. ("DDM") because DDM's profits "flow inexorably" to the plaintiff.

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District Court Grants Motion to Strike Errata Changing Deposition Answers from a "Yes" to a "No"

August 4, 2016

In this patent infringement action, the defendants filed a motion to strike an errata change to the deposition testimony of a witness, Joseph Tindall. The district court noted that if the errata were allowed, it would change an answer from "yes" to "no." As a justification for the change, the witness contended he "did not understand the question and gave an incorrect response when [he] answered it 'yes.'" In response, the defendants argued that the requested change was improper.

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District Court Precludes Defendant from Making Disparaging Remarks Directed at Patent and Trademark Office in Front of Jury But Permits Plaintiff to Make Remarks Consistent with Presumption of Validity

August 2, 2016

Core Wireless Licensing ("Core Wireless") filed a patent infringement action against LG Electronics, Inc. ("LG"). As the matter approached trial, both parties filed motions in limine. Core Wireless filed a motion to prevent LG from making disparaging remarks regarding the Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") to the jury during trial.

The district court agreed that such remarks would not be appropriate and stated that "LG may not disparage the PTO and its examiners, such as by arguing that examiners are overworked or that the PTO is prone to error."

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