Articles Posted in E.D. Texas

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The defendant, Echoworx, brought a motion to strike ZixCorp’s infringement contentions. ZixCorp had served its original infringement contentions on Echoworx, contending that the elements of the patent-in-suit are software limitations, and stated that it intended to supplement its infringement contentions after Echoworx produced source code for each of Echoworx’s accused instrumentalities.

After Echoworx produced its source code for review, ZixCorp served P.R. 3-1(g) Amendments to Its Infringement Contentions (“amended contentions”). Echoworx then complained to ZixCorp that ZixCorp’s amended infringement contentions were deficient under 3-1(c) and ZixCorp had violated the Discovery Order by refusing to provide the identifications of source code for software limitations required by P.R. 3-1(g).
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After the plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint against Fieldpiece Instruments, Inc. (“Defendant”) for patent infringement, the Defendant filed its an answer raising a series of affirmative defenses to Plaintiff’s claims. The Plaintiff then moved to strike several of the Defendant’s affirmative defenses as insufficient or improper under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f).

The Plaintiff argued that Defendant’s fourth affirmative defense, which includes “laches, waiver, estoppel, and acquiescence,” is “improper, confusing and fails to give Plaintiff fair notice. As explained by the district court, in support of these four discrete defenses, Defendant’s Answer only provided a single, conclusory sentence: “[Plaintiff] is barred in whole or in part from asserting the [patent-in-suit] against Fieldpiece under the equitable doctrines of laches, waiver, estoppel, and/or acquiescence.”
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After the plaintiff filed suit against the defendants for patent infringement, the defendants contended that they uncovered during discovery a series of e-mails demonstrating that in 2011, plaintiff engaged plaintiff’s attorney, Mr. Alan Fisch, to negotiate the sale of its patent portfolio to third parties. Defendants subsequently moved to compel the deposition of Mr. Fisch after they took the deposition of plaintiff’s Rule 30(b)(6) witness.
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Metaswitch moved to exclude evidence of copying from a patent infringement action filed against it by Genband. Genband asserted during the pretrial process that it was seeking to introduce evidence of copying as an indication of nonobviousness.
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Defendants Metaswitch Networks Ltd and Metaswitch Networks Corp. (“Metaswitch”) filed a motion to strike plaintiff’s expert opinions of Mr. Lanning, including his opinions that the patents in suit claim patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

In analyzing the motion to strike, the district court noted that “[t]he ultimate question of patent eligibility under § 101 is an issue of law.” BRCA1- & BRCA2-Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litig. v. Ambry Genetics Corp., 774 F.3d 755, 759 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Therefore, the district court stated that “the issue of subject matter eligibility under § 101 will not be tried to the jury in this case. No expert will be permitted to testify to the jury about whether the asserted patents claim eligible subject matter under § 101.”
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Plaintiff Better Mouse Company’s (“Better Mouse”) filed a motion to strike portions of the rebuttal expert report and exclude testimony of Richard Eichmann. Better Mouse asserted that the district court should exclude Mr. Eichmann’s testimony stating that he determined the value of U.S. Patent No. 7,532,200 (the Asserted Patent or ‘200 patent) using forward citation analysis. Better Mouse argued that Mr. Eichmann’s forward citation analysis is flawed because (1) “he failed to count citations to counterpart patents and applications, which share an identical or very similar disclosure”; and (2) “he failed to account for patent families, which are linked either directly or indirectly by a priority document and thus may also disclose the same idea as the related ‘Comparable Patent.'”

Better Mouse asserted that “[t]he Court should strike Mr. Eichmann’s forward citation count because it ignores citations to related patents that disclose the same technology, thereby grossly undercounting the number of relevant forward citations.” Plaintiff argued that the district court should follow Oracle, where the Northern District of California held “that failing to include citation counts to patents (in that case, predecessors to a reissue patent) that have ‘the same specification and drawings’ was a fatal flaw in [an] expert’s forward citation count.” (Dkt. No. 226 at 4 (citing Oracle Am., Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. C 10-03561 WHA, 2012 WL 877125 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2012).)”
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The plaintiffs, Chrimar Systems, Inc. and Chrimar Holding Company, LLC (“Chrimar”), filed a motion to reconsider the district court’s order granting Ruckus Wireless, Inc.’s (“Ruckus”) motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of California. In the motion to reconsider, Chrimar requested that the district court modify its transfer order to order transfer effective upon the entry of the district court’s claim construction order.
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Plaintiff eDekka LLC (“eDekka”) sued a large number of defendants in Eastern District of Texas alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,266,674 (“the ‘674 Patent”) titled “Random Access Information Retrieval Utilizing User Defined Labels.” As explained by the district court, the ‘674 Patent relates to storing and labeling information and discloses a preferred embodiment that includes a cassette tape recorder with multiple buttons, a microphone, and a speaker. The majority of eDekka’s suits stemming from the ‘674 Patent target online retailers that offer a shopping cart feature on their e-commerce websites. It is this shopping cart functionality that eDekka alleges infringes the ‘674 Patent.

Numerous defendants filed motions to dismiss under 35 U.S.C. § 101, contending that the ‘674 Patent was directed to unpatentable subject matter under Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014). The district court granted defendants’ motions and held that the claims of the ‘674 Patent were patent-ineligible under § 101. Defendants then filed a motion asking the district court to find the cases “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
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On November 17, 2015, during a deposition of a fact witness, counsel for the plaintiff, Ericsson Inc. (“Ericsson”), attempted to question the witness regarding a litigation hold memorandum (the “memo”). Counsel for the plaintiff stated that she inquired as to the existence of such a memo, the date received, if any, and the recipients of the memo, if any.

Plaintiff’s counsel explained to the court that the witness was directed by counsel not to answer the questions on the basis of attorney-client privilege. The court was further advised that the information was relevant because there are allegations of potential spoliation in this case.
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Plaintiffs Ericsson Inc. and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson’s (“Ericsson”) filed a motion to compel discovery of source code and technical documents, pursuant to Local Patent Rule 3-4 in the Eastern District of Texas. As explained by the district court, Patent Local Rule 3-4 requires the party opposing a claim of infringement to produce or make available “[s]ource code, specifications, schematics, flow charts, artwork, formulas, or other documentation sufficient to show the operation of any aspects or elements of an Accused Instrumentality identified by the patent claimant in its P. R. 3-1(c) chart.”
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