Articles Posted in E.D. Texas

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During the pretrial conference, the Plaintiff Arthrex(“Arthrex”) told the district court that it may be able to narrow its case once the district court resolved certain pending motions for summary judgment. Shortly after the pretrial conference, the district court informed the parties it would deny the parties’ motions for summary judgment and that Arthrex had “raised triable issues of infringement that are sufficient overcome summary judgment.”

The district court also stated that it would deny both motions and that a detailed reason for the denials would follow in a separate order.
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A jury returned a verdict finding that LG infringed the claims of the patent-in-suit and that the claims were not invalid. The jury also found that the infringement was willful. As a result, the district court determined whether enhanced damages were appropriate under 35 U.S.C. § 284.

As explained by the district court, “Section 284 allows district courts to punish the full range of culpable behavior. Accordingly, the degree of enhancement should be proportional to the degree of the willful infringer’s culpability. An enhancement of treble damages may be appropriate to penalize the most egregious conduct. A less significant enhancement may be appropriate for less egregious (though still culpable) conduct. The Court also has the latitude not to enhance even if willfulness is found, where the degree of culpability is de minimis. The particular circumstances of each case must dictate the degree of enhancement.”
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As this patent infringement proceeded closer to trial, the parties filed various motions in limine. The plaintiff, PerDiemco, filed a motion in limine to preclude evidence or argument referring to PerDiem’s prior settlements as “nuisance value settlements.” The defendant, Geotab, contended that it should be permitted to refer to low-value settlements as “nuisance” settlements to rebut PerDiem’s accusations of willful infringement.
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As the patent infringement case between Mark Barry, M.D. (“Barry”) and Medtronic approached trial, the district court informed the parties that it intended to provide the parties with a list of potential jurors to assist counsel in preparing for voir dire. As a result, the district court issued guidelines on permissible jury investigation on social media.

First, the district court ordered that the parties and their agents, including jury consultants, were prohibited from communicating with any juror or potential juror or family members of any such potential jurors.
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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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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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In a multi-district litigation, the district court had previously granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on the issue of willful infringement. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., the plaintiff moved to reconsider the ruling on the ground that the substantive legal standard required for a finding of enhanced damages due to willful infringement had changed.

In response, the defendants argued that the plaintiff’s motion was futile because the plaintiff had failed to identify any facts that would suggest egregious conduct subject to enhanced damages. The defendants also argued that if the motion was granted, then they should be permitted time to take discovery on the issue of willfulness and file appropriate motions after the discovery was completed.
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In this patent infringement action, the parties filed a joint motion to request that the district court sever Defendant Contour, LLC (“Contour”) from the case. VStream, the plaintiff, had not effected service on Contour until after the scheduling conference, so Contour had no ability to participate in the dates selected by the court.

The court explained that “[t]ypically, cases of this nature are consolidated after being filed and then set for a scheduling conference, at which time the parties receive Markman hearing and trial dates. Because those dates are set at the time of the scheduling conference and commemorated in the Docket Control Order issued by the Court, the Court is not inclined to revise them other than in exceptional circumstances.”
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J. Crew filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims for patent infringement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), asserting that the patents-in-suit are drawn to patent-ineligible subject matter and therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. J. Crew also filed a separate motion to stay all disclosures and discovery in the case until the district court ruled on the motion to dismiss.
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In this patent infringement action between Chrimar Systems, Inc. (“Chrimar”) and Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (“Lucent”). Lucent sought production of the damages expert report of Plaintiffs’ damages expert, Robert Mills, that was created for a litigation currently pending in the Northern District of California.

Chrimar opposed the request on the ground that the expert report was covered by a protective order issued by another Federal court. The district court in Texas agreed.
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