GeoTag Inc. v. Circle K Stores, Inc., 2-11-cv-00405 (TXED August 14, 2012, Order) (Schneider, J.).
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Appointment of Lead Defendant to “Brief and Argue” Claim Construction on Behalf of All Consolidated Defendants does not Violate Due Process
The court overruled defendant's objections to the court's scheduling order, which required appointment of a "lead defendant for briefing and argument" of claim construction, and rejected defendant's claim that the order violated due process. "[Defendant] claims it is improper to require an unrelated defendant to argue claim construction on [its] behalf. . . . The Court’s procedure mimics the accepted procedure of assigning lead parties in complex cases, such as in multidistrict litigation and class action suits. . . . The lead defendant in effect acts as the liaison for all the defendants during the Markman procedure. Although the lead defendant is the responsible party, it serves in a representative capacity on behalf of all defendants for common issues. Accordingly, the Court is unpersuaded that its procedure deprives [defendant] of any constitutional right."