Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Unclean Hands Based on Discovery Misconduct Warrants New Trial on Anticipation

Following a jury trial, the court found that plaintiffs acted with unclean hands by failing to disclose its open controller. "[T]he indirect evidence provides strong support for inferring bad faith: [plaintiff's] initial failure to list [the] Controller [in discovery] despite its representation that the list contained all [of its] controllers sold between 1980 and 2002 . . . and, most telling, the removal of software related to [that] Controller from the list of controllers without adequate (or indeed any) explanation. . . . And then there is [plaintiff's] own aggressive litigation style here. While not crossing over into sharp practice (indeed, it appears [plaintiff] and its counsel were careful to walk up to, but not cross, ethical lines), [plaintiff's] discovery practices here left little to chance, leaving a reasonable inference that its counsel was quietly-calculating in carving out so-called 'soft controllers' from other industrial controllers."

Rockwell Automation, Inc., et. al. v. WAGO Corporation, et. al., 3-10-cv-00718 (WIWD March 15, 2013, Order) (Conley, J.).

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