Friday, August 2, 2013

IV Patent Valuation Process Subject to Privilege

The court granted plaintiffs' motion for a protective order barring discovery of its patent valuation process because the information was privileged. "[Defendant] opposes Plaintiffs' use of privilege to prevent testimony about Plaintiffs' pre- and post-acquisition evaluation process including the process for identifying patents and patent portfolios, determining the value of such portfolios, compiling patent history reports, and evaluating those reports. . . . When [plaintiffs' patent acquisition consultant] declined to answer questions related to the valuation process -- for example, whether patents within a portfolio are rated by the valuation group -- it was because this analysis constituted legal communications protected by privilege. Indeed, patent valuation, while in this instance tied to business decisions of patent acquisition, may be intertwined with legal analysis, including considerations of claim scope, validity, and licensing power."

Intellectual Ventures I LLC et al v. Altera Corporation et al, 1-10-cv-01065 (DED July 25, 2013, Order) (Stark, J.).

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