Last week, in Magnetar Tech. Corp v. Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc., C.A. No. 07-127-LPS (D. Del. Feb. 18, 2011), Judge Stark denied a motion by some of the defendants to amend their complaint to add an antitrust counterclaim under the Section 2 of the Sherman Act. The opinion is brief and interesting. It explains the high bar for factual allegations when asserting an antitrust claim, and distinguishes such claims from the easier-to-prove inequitable conduct claims. Here, Judge Stark found that defendants had failed to meet that high bar, and denied the motion to amend.
On February 11, 2011, a jury returned a defense verdict on all counts in CMH America LLC and Blue Leaf I.P., Inc. v. Kinze Manufacturing, Inc., C.A. No. 08-945-GMS. The jury found that defendant did not infringe plaintiffs’ patents and that the patents were not indefinite. However, the jury also found that the patents were invalid because all claims were anticipated and certain other claims were obvious.
Judge Stark entered final judgment in Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc., C.A. No. 04-1371-LPS (D. Del. Feb. 3, 2011) earlier this month. Power Integrations won a $12.8 million dollar verdict for willful infringement by Fairchild Semiconductor of a number of patents and claims. The judgment issued as a “Corrected Final Judgment” after the original final judgment listed an incorrect post-judgment interest rate.
Following the recent trend in this district, Judge Robinson denied a defendant’s motion to transfer litigation related to a licensing dispute, even where the current litigation is the “mirror image” of litigation pending in the Northern District California. Myriad Group A.G. v. Oracle America, Inc., C.A. No. 10-187-SLR, Memo. Order (D. Del. Feb. 4, 2011). The court found that the Jumara factors do not warrant transfer, particularly where the defendant is a Delaware corporation and “especially in this age of electronic discovery and the ever decreasing number of cases actually resolved by trial.” Id. at 5.
Save the Date: March 11, 2011
The United States District Court for the District of Delaware, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Delaware Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will present a “Bankruptcy Litigation Advocacy Program” on March 11, 2011. The program will be held in the Auditorium of the State Office Building and will be free to all members of the Delaware Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
More information, including registration information, will follow.
In a case involving e-readers, Judge Robreno construed the following claim terms
– book, electronic book
– encrypting the selected electronic book
– decrypting the encrypted selected electronic book
– information that allows encryption and decryption of the electronic book and encryption and
decryption of the encryption and decryption keys
– key generator
– list of titles of available books
– associate registration system
– associate enrollment system
– compensation system
– online registration system
– referral processing system
– report generation system
Discovery Patent Holdings, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., C.A. 10-600-ER (D. Del. Feb. 4, 2011)
On February 1, 2011, the District of Delaware revised its CM/ECF filing guidelines to require that in all newly filed ANDA cases, plaintiff file a supplemental information sheet along with the complaint. This new form (below) provides the following information to the court: (1) date patentee received notice, (2) date of expiration of the patent, and (3) 30 month stay deadline. This form should aid the court in remaining cognizant of the statutory deadlines in ANDA litigation as well as potentially provide a way to track the number of ANDA cases filed in the district.
On Monday, the District of Delaware came one step closer to filling the vacant magistrate judge position. By order, the D. Del. Judges constituted the newest iteration of the district’s Merit Selection Panel, which is charged with recommending no more than five candidates for the vacancy. The Panel will submit its guidance to the Court in early May.
The members of the Panel are:
Gregory B. Williams, Esquire
Dace J. Blaskovitz
Scott E. Chambers, Esquire
Moira K. Donoghue, Esquire
Tara D. Elliott, Esquire
Anne Shea Gaza, Esquire
Kathleen M. Jennings, Esquire
Dr. David P. Roselle
Robert S. Saunders, Esquire
William J. Wade, Esquire
D. Del. Merit Selection Panel
Earlier this month, in Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., C.A. No. 08-464 (D. Del. Jan. 7, 2011), Chief Judge Bartle, sitting by designation from the District of New Jersey, issued a memorandum opinion addressing several invalidity issues raised during a three-day bench trial, including inequitable conduct, anticipation, and obviousness-type double patenting. The Court rejected all of Defendants’ invalidity grounds, and held that the patent claims at issue were not invalid.
The opinion addresses an interesting obviousness-type double patenting claim. Because the patents at issue straddled the June 8, 1995 patent term change, Plaintiff’s later-filed and later-granted patent will expire before its two earlier-filed patents that covered a broader subject matter. Id. at 24. Defendants argued that the earlier-filed, broader patents should be invalidated under obviousness-type double patenting because they unjustly extend protection over the narrower subject matter of the later-filed, but earlier-expiring patent. Despite some precedent for this theory (a Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences opinion), the Court rejected it, holding that “the later-filed, later-issued . . . patent could not and did not create an ‘unjustified timewise extension’ of the earlier-filed, earlier-issued . . . patents.” Id. at 27 (quoting In re Schneller, 397 F.2d 350, 354 (C.C.P.A. 1968)).
In Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int’l, Inc., C.A. 04-1371-LPS (D. Del. Jan. 18, 2011), after a long and contentious litigation involving several patents, Judge Stark recently decided plaintiff’s motion to enhance damages and motion for attorneys’ fees. Judge Stark noted that the factors favoring enhancement include “Fairchild’s deliberate copying, the extent to which Fairchild investigated the scope of the patent, Fairchild’s financial condition, Fairchild’s motivation for harm, and the non-closeness of the case.” Id. at 22. No factor weighed against enhancing damages and factors such as Fairchild’s litigation conduct, lack of attempts to conceal, duration of misconduct and Fairchild’s remedial measures had a neutral effect on the issue of enhancement. Id. Ultimately, Judge Stark doubled the $6 million damages award. Id. Regarding attorneys’ fees, Judge Stark disagreed with plaintiff that this case was one of those “limited” cases justifying a shifting of attorneys’ fees. Id. at 23. Judge Stark noted that “the Court focuses in particular on the actual conduct of the parties during the course of litigating or prosecuting the patent.” Id. Judge Stark determined that Fairchild’s actions did not amount to “bad faith conduct or frivolous pursuit of claims.” Id. at 24.