Articles Posted in District Courts

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The district court had previously granted a stay pending an inter partes reexamination by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) of U.S. Patent No. 6,797,454 (the “‘454 patent”). After the PTO affirmed the validity of claims 2-6, 15, and 16 of the ‘454 patent, the Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed the PTO’s decision.

Although a reexamination certificate had not yet been issued, the plaintiff argued that the stay should be lifted and further argued that the certificate had not yet been issued only because the defendant had filed a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. The plaintiff argued that given the extreme unlikelihood that the United States Supreme Court would grant certiorari in this matter, particularly in light of the Federal Circuit’s summary affirmance of the PTO’s decision, the stay be lifted now.
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The defendants produced documents in response to plaintiffs’ first set of requests for production and included in the production were five documents that the defendants were later claim were subject to attorney-client privilege. Before the defendants made that claim, however, the plaintiffs deposed a corporate designee of Defendants Musion Events Ltd. and Musion 3D Ltd. During that deposition the five documents in questions were marked as exhibits. For some of the documents, the deponent testified regarding the contents of the documents and even read portions of the documents into the record–all without objection as to privilege or work product.

Shortly after that deposition, the defendants’ counsel to plaintiffs’ counsel and requested a claw-back of the five documents pursuant to the parties’ protective order.
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In this patent infringement action, the defendant, Ericsson moved to compel the plaintiff, TCL, to produce bills and invoices for worked performed by TCL’s expert witnesses. TCL sought to redact the bills and invoices to eliminate statements and narratives from the bills that do not reflect compensation.

Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(4)(C) provides that “Rule 26(b)(3)(A) and (B) protect communications between the party’s attorney and any witness required to provide a report under Rule 26(a)(2)(B), regardless of the form of the communications, except to the extent that the communications . . . relate to compensation for the expert’s study or testimony.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(4)(C).
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The plaintiff, Odyssey Wireless (“Odyssey”) filed four separate actions for patent infringement against Defendants Apple, Samsung, LG, and Motorola, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,881,393; 8,199,837; 8,576,940; 8,660,169; 8,855,230; and 8,879,606. Each of the patents-in-suit lists on its face Peter D. Karabinis as the inventor and EICES Research, Inc. as the assignee of the patent. Dr. Karabinis is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of EICES, and EICES is the predecessor of Odyssey Wireless.

In April 2001, Mobile Satellite Ventures (“MSV”) hired Dr. Karabinis to be its Vice President and Chief Technical Officer and he entered into an intellectual property and confidential information agreement with MSV, which granted MSV ownership rights in Dr. Karabinis’ work for MSV. Based on the agreement with MSV, the Defendants moved to dismiss the patent infringement action based on lack of standing.
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After a jury trial finding American Technical Ceramics Corp. (“ATC) willfully infringed Presidio Component’s (“Presidio”) patent, ATC filed a motion for a finding of no willful infringement based on the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo. At the time the jury reached its verdict, the Federal Circuit’s decision in In re Seagate Tech required that “an award of enhanced damages [under section 284] requires a showing of willful infringement.” In re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360, 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (en banc).

ATC argued that in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo, the jury’s verdict as to willfulness is void and should be disregard. The district court explained that on June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., No. 14-1513, 579 U.S. __ (June 13, 2016). In Halo, the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s two-part test from Seagate for determining when a district court may award enhanced damages as inconsistent with § 284. Id., slip op. at 1-2. The Supreme Court explained that § 284 commits the award of enhanced damages to the discretion of the district court. See id. at 8, 12-13, 15. The Supreme Court further explained that the Seagate test is “‘unduly rigid'” and “‘impermissibly encumbers'” a district court’s discretion, particularly its requirement that there must be a finding of objective recklessness in every case before a district court may award enhanced damages.
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Chris Tavantzis and ChrisTrikes Custom Motorcycles, Inc. (“ChrisTrikes”) filed a complaint against a number of individuals and entities that allegedly infringed on a patent for a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle (the “Wheelchair Motorcycle Patent”). After the complaint was filed, the district court received notice of Mr. Tavantzis’ death. When no party moved to substitute the proper party to continue Mr. Tavantzis’ claims within the time required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a), the district court dismissed Mr. Tavantzis from the lawsuit, leaving ChrisTrikes as the only remaining plaintiff.

As a result, the district court examined whether ChrisTrikes’ had standing to maintain the patent infringement claims, which included claims based on theories of direct infringement, contributory infringement, and induced infringement. The district court noted that “[b]ecause standing is a fundamental component of a federal court’s subject matter jurisdiction, the Court is entitled to examine ChrisTrikes’ standing on its own initiative. See Bischoff v. Osceola Cty., 222 F.3d 874, 877-78 (11th Cir. 2000).”
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After the parties settled the lawsuit, the district court dismissed the case without prejudice, subject to the right of any party to re-open the action within sixty days, upon good cause shown, or to submit a stipulated form of final order or judgment (the “60-Day Order”). Sixty-five days after the district court entered the 60-Day Order, the parties filed a joint motion to extend the 60 day deadline and enter a proposed consent judgment and permanent injunction pursuant the parties’ settlement agreement.

In the joint motion, the parties told the district court that a “disagreement arose concerning the terms of the settlement that required the settlement hearing to be transcribed.” The district court noted that “whatever disagreement arose between the parties, it arose and was resolved prior to the expiration of the 60-day period. Yet, the parties did not move to extend the deadline within that period.”
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In this patent infringement action, Mobile Telecommunications Tech., LLC (“MTel”) filed against Blackberry Corp., MTel moved to exclude certain exhibits that were archived press releases published by RCR Wireless and SkyTel webpage screenshots of advertisements. MTel objected that these exhibits are inadmissible because they have not been authenticated by a representative from the Internet Archive service, or “Wayback Machine.” MTel also objected that all of the exhibits constitute hearsay and that none of the exhibits were produced during discovery.

BlackBerry conceded that none of the exhibits were previously produced. It contended that the failure to produce the documents was harmless because they were publicly available. The district court disagreed.
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Summary: In the decision referenced below, the court declined to modify a judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure even though the PTAB had found several claims of the patent-in-suit invalid.

After a trial and an appeal to the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the royalty damages verdict in favor of the plaintiff, the defendant moved the district court to grant it relief from the judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6). The defendant argued that it would be unjust for the court to enforce a judgment in which ongoing collateral proceedings before the PTAB may render certain patents invalid and may have impacted the fairness of the trial.
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After the district court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of patent infringement, the district court addressed whether a permanent injunction was appropriate. The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,065,794 (‘794 Patent), which is titled “Security Enclosure for Open Deck Vehicles,” relates to storage management devices, or “trunk enclosures,” that partition and establish a lockable trunk in the rear of convertible cars.

The district court then proceeded to address the four factor for determining whether an injunction should issue. Addressing irreparable harm, the plaintiff argued that it had suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm as a result of the defendant’s infringement because the defendant is a direct competitor and the plaintiff has lost sales and market share due to Defendant’s infringement. In response, the defendant argued that the plaintiff could not show irreparable harm because it had not demonstrated that customers purchase the infringing devices because of the patented features and therefore, the plaintiff had failed to satisfy the “causal nexus” requirement.
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