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Magistrate Judge Thynge Denies Motion for Reconsideration on Bifurcation

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Crown Packaging Tech., Inc. v. Rexam Beverage Can Co., C.A. No. 05-608-MPT (D. Del. Aug. 28, 2007).

Crown moved the Court to reconsider its previous decision not to bifurcate plaintiff’s infringement claims from defendant’s infringement claims. In support of its motion, Crown cited two not-previously-cited cases from this district where the Court had bifurcated plaintiff’s and defendant’s claims of infringement. The Court reminded Crown that it “should have brought those cases to the Court’s attention during the briefing of its motion to bifurcate” because “it is not proper on a motion for reargument for a party to digest the court’s analysis of the cases cited during briefing and then seek to find other cases (which could have been previously cited) to present to the court…” Op. at 4. The Court also noted that Crown was attempting to shift its arguments – Crown had originally argued for complete bifurcation of the plaintiff’s and defendant’s cases, while in its motion for reconsideration Crown argued for a two-phase trial with one jury (addressing the Court’s concerns about impaneling two juries and the extra time needed for two separate trials). Op. at 5.

Takeaway: In arguing for bifurcation, it may help to make a showing that the Court can accomplish the bifurcated proceedings in the time originally allocated for the combined proceedings.

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