Every Penny Counts, Inc. v. Bank of America Corp., 2-07-cv-00042
(FLMD May 27, 2009, Order) (Magnuson, J.)
Plaintiff's motion in limine was granted in part. "The parties are precluded from making any reference to 'patent trolls;' however, the defendants may show the type of business in which the plaintiff is engaged."
LaserDynamics, Inc. v. Asus Computer International, 2-06-cv-00348
(TXED May 21, 2009, Order) (Everingham, M.J.)
The court reduced plaintiff's claimed costs for copying and bates stamping from $46,427 to $1,327 because of insufficient documentation. "[Defendant] need not individually identify each copy made, but it provided absolutely no explanation to the court of why these copies were necessary. The court cannot even identify the purpose of some of these charges, much less determine necessity, from the papers submitted."
Hearing Components, Inc v. Shure, Inc., 9-07-00104
(TXED May 19, 2009, Order)
District Judge Ron Clark
Plaintiffs' motion for a finding of exceptional case and an award of attorneys' fees for $13.3 million was denied. "Reviewing the entire record, including discovery spanning five years, [defendant] did employ some marginally vexatious litigation tactics. However, as Magistrate Judge Peebles noted, discovery was 'contentious and hard fought' by both sides. At the close of discovery, he concluded that 'the playing field has been leveled' when he denied [plaintiff's] request for sanctions. . . . Litigation by its nature is adversarial. Clients seek, and, in fact, deserve zealous advocacy. [T]his court finds that actions of [defendant's] counsel did not stretch beyond the bounds of civility. This court holds all counsel involved in this litigation in high regard with respect to their advocacy and timely assistance to the court. Moreover, the parties did not violate the court’s orders during trial."
Cornell University v. Hewlett Packard Co., 5-01-cv-01974
(NYND May 15, 2009, Memorandum, Decision & Order)
Alleged "assurances [by plaintiff] made to [defendant] during negotiation of [a license agreement] that [defendant] would have a competitive advantage over those who chose to litigate with [plaintiff], by fulfilling its obligations under the [license agreement]" did not equitably estop plaintiff from seeking infringement damages beyond the royalties payable under the license. "In California . . . under the parol evidence rule, evidence of prior or contemporaneous agreements or understandings between the contract negotiators cannot be used to 'add to, detract from, or vary the terms' of the parties' written agreement. . . . To the extent [defendant] purports to have relied upon its own interpretation of [a section of the license agreement] based on extra-contractual statements made by [plaintiff's] negotiators that were not incorporated into the terms of the [license agreement], such reliance was inherently unreasonable."
District Judge Ronald M. Whyte
Rambus Inc., v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., 5-05-cv-02298
(CAND May 14, 2009, findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law)
The magistrate judge recommended finding an exceptional case and granting attorneys's fees where "[plaintiff] brought this lawsuit for infringement based on a patent received without full disclosure to the PTO and engaged in a strategy of vexatious litigation, aimed at thwarting discovery of its inequitable conduct, finally choosing to dismiss the case before any adverse rulings." The district judge adopted the recommendation, observing: "The inference is inescapable that the misguided efforts by [plaintiff's] counsel to resist discovery on inequitable conduct arose in significant part because it was members of that firm that had engaged in such conduct. Under the circumstances, this case played out quite predictably."
District Judge Andre M Davis
Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc. v. Universal Security Instruments, Inc., 1-05-cv-00889
(MDD May 12, 2009, Memorandum & Order)
In granting in part defendants' motion to compel fee agreements between plaintiff and its counsel, the court noted that "[t]here may be circumstances in which a contingency fee agreement would be a single fact out of many used to prove deceptive intent for the purposes of inequitable conduct. While Defendants have failed to outline or assert any basis for such a showing, evidence need not be admissible at trial to be discoverable. Moreover, relevance does not require sufficiency as to the claim at issue. As a result, the Court is unable to conclude that the non-privileged information is not discoverable."
Magistrate John D. Love
Real Time Data, LLC v. Packeteer, Inc., 6-08-cv-00144
(TXED May 8, 2009, Order)
"What sum of money, if paid now in cash, would fairly and reasonably compensate Plaintiffs for their loss, if any, resulting from the negligence for which you have answered "Yes" in Question No. 7? . . . This question inquires only into the amount of money in gross, exclusive of interest, that Plaintiffs would have been awarded against the SCBA manufacturers had Plaintiffs prevailed in the infringement litigation. Answer in Dollars and cents, for damages, if any.
Air Measurement Tech v. Akin Gump Strauss, et al., 5-03-cv-00541
(TXWD May 7, 2009, Jury Verdict)
In granting defendants' motion to stay pending reexamination, the court noted that "[plaintiff] has not pointed to any separate business interests that might be jeopardized by a delay pending reexamination. . . . [Defendant] asserts that [plaintiff] is nothing more than a patent holding company. While it is true that the complaint alleges that [defendant] is still marketing the alleged infringing product, [plaintiff] can always move to recover damages for such sales at the end of the litigation if [plaintiff] is successful on its claims."
District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan
SP Technologies, LLC v. Samsung Group, 1-08-cv-03760
(ILND May 6, 2009, Memorandum Opinion & Order)
In granting plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to defendant's prosecution laches defense, the court rejected defendant's argument that "other courts have held that 'intervening adverse rights' is merely one of many factors to consider in the totality of circumstances determination." "[T]his Court concludes that [plaintiff] is correct and that the Supreme Court has addressed the issue of intervening rights. In both Crown Cork [& Seal Co. v. Ferdinand Gutmann Co., 304 U.S. 159, 167-68 (1938)] and General Talking Pictures [Corp. v. Western Electric Co., 304 U.S. 175, 183 (1938)], the Supreme Court held that prosecution laches would not apply absent intervening adverse rights. . . . Although the precedent is old, it is controlling. Therefore, this Court likewise finds that to prevail on a defense of prosecution laches, the defendant must prove both: 1) unreasonable and unexplained delay, and 2) intervening adverse rights."
District Judge R. Gary Klausner
Ronald A Katz Technology Licensing LP v. Cox Communications, Inc., 2-07-cv-02299
(CACD May 1, 2009, Order)
Defendants' motion to stay pending reexamination was denied. "The Court is not fully convinced that reexamination will simplify the issues for trial in this case. Based on the PTO’s most recent report, ex parte reexaminations result in all claims being cancelled only 11% of the time, and they result in some claims being changed 64% of the time. While either of these outcomes could simplify some issues in this case, it is difficult to gauge, at this early stage in the reexamination process, how likely it is that any of the patent claims at issue will ultimately be cancelled or modified through amendment. . . . One final reason why reexamination is unlikely to simplify the issues in this case is that the Defendants may still challenge the validity of the patents at issue because ex parte reexamination proceedings have no estoppel effect."
Magistrate John D. Love
EON Corp. IP Holdings, LLC v. Skytel Corp., 6-08-cv-00385
(TXED April 29, 2009, Memorandum Opinion & Order)