Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stay Pending Reexam Granted Even Though Parties Were Direct Competitors

In granting defendant's motion to stay pending inter partes reexamination, the court (i) found that the stage of litigation and simplification of issues factors favored granting the stay and (ii) rejected plaintiff's argument that a stay would cause prejudice because the parties were direct competitors. "[Plaintiff] asserts that it will suffer undue prejudice as a result of a stay because [defendant] is its direct competitor in the emerging oxygen concentrator market, and a lengthy stay of three to six years would allow [defendant] to gain market share at the expense of [plaintiff's] permanent loss of market share. . . . [T]here are several factors here that undermine [plaintiff's] assertion of undue prejudice. First, [plaintiff] waited a month after filing its Complaint before serving the Complaint on [defendant], and has yet to request a preliminary injunction, suggesting that monetary damages will adequately compensate [plaintiff] should [defendant] be found liable for patent infringement. Additionally, [defendant] has provided evidence that the [relevant] includes at least ten participants, diluting the direct effect of [defendant's] sales on [plaintiff's] market share. Furthermore, given the recent change to the inter partes reexamination standard, it is unclear whether the inter partes reexamination process will take as long as current statistics suggest."

Inogen Inc. v. Inova Labs Inc., 8-11-cv-01692 (CACD March 20, 2012, Order) (Staton Tucker, J.)

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