Porto Technology, Co., Ltd. et. al. v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless et. al., 3-13-cv-00265 (VAED November 5, 2013, Order) (Hudson, J.)
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Ownership Dispute Undermines Common Interest Privilege
The court granted in part defendant's motion to compel the production of documents withheld as privileged. "Plaintiffs maintain that communications between [an individual plaintiff and his brother] pertaining to litigation strategy or advice of counsel fall squarely within the Common Interest Doctrine and are privileged. Plaintiffs predicate this assertion on their argument that [the individual plaintiff and his brother] have a common interest in the prosecution of the infringement of the patent at issue. . . . [I]t appears that [the individual plaintiff and his brother] are adverse to each other. They are currently engaged in litigation in [another action] over ownership of [a] closely allied . . . patent which embraces claims similar to those in the immediate case. Direct communications between [the individual plaintiff and his brother] pertaining to rights and title to the [patents in both actions] or litigation strategy in the case presently before this Court would also be subject to disclosure. [Plaintiffs] are obviously not engaged in a joint strategy for the prosecution of this case. They are clearly at loggerheads and simply do not share a common interest."