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Magistrate Judge Thynge: Bifurcation of Anti-Trust Issues Granted

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Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge issued a memorandum order yesterday in Masimo Corp. v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., C.A. No. 09-80-JJF-MPT (D. Del. Mar. 11, 2010), granting a motion by plaintiff Masimo to bifurcate and stay discovery of Philips’ antitrust counterclaims. Id. at 10. Magistrate Judge Thynge noted that “Bifurcation of patent and antitrust claims is not mandatory, but is common,” id. at 3-4, and that, absent bifurcation, the jury might have comprehension difficulties (from the volume of information, including 24 asserted patents) and might be subject to bias against the plaintiff (from the defendant’s allegations of monopolization). Id. at 3. Discovery and related issues were also stayed, because “there is a possibility that a trial on [the] patent claims will potentially eliminate or simplify [the] antitrust counterclaims alleging anticompetitive licensing restrictions.” Id. at 8. This opinion mirrors a decision by Judge Robinson that we reported last year.

Masimo Corp. v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., C.A. No. 09-80-JJF-MPT (D. Del. Mar. 11, 2010)

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