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Judge Joseph J. Farnan: Bifurcation denied

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In Arendi Holding Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., C.A. No. 09-119-JJF (D. Del. Oct. 27, 2009) (mem.), Judge Farnan denied a motion to bifurcate a patent infringement action. In denying defendants’ (Microsoft and Dell) motion, the court stated that bifurcation

w[ould] not promote the efficient adjudication of the parties’ dispute. In the Court’s view, the history of these parties, the number of infringement allegations, the disposition of the prior case between the parties in the Rhode Island court (where bifurcation was ordered), the expedited schedule, and the lack of a wilfulness allegation, all counsel toward a unitary procedure for this case. The Court is unable to ascertain any undue prejudice that would or could result from such an approach to resolving the present claims.

Id. at 3.

This implicitly reaffirms that bifurcation in a patent case is not a given, although Judge Farnan has, in some other cases, allowed bifurcation on the basis of litigation inefficiencies. Judge Robinson, on the other hand, recently stated that “I have determined that bifurcation is appropriate, if not necessary, in all but exceptional patent cases,” and has appeared to adhere to that rule so far. The Dutch Branch of Streamserve Development AB v. Exstream Software, LLC, C.A. No. 08-343-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 26, 2009) (mem.).

Arendi Holding Ltd. v. Microsoft Corp., C.A. No. 09-119-JJF (D. Del. Oct. 27, 2009) (mem.)

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