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Leonard P. Stark: Stay Pending Reexam Denied

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With the option of concurrent proceedings before the Patent and Trademark Office, infringement defendants enjoy multiple routes to challenging the patent-in-suit — unless the case is stayed. A pause in the litigation, however, is not automatic. By recently denying a motion to stay pending reexamination, Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark has added to the stay lexicon in this district.

The Court addressed the importance of earlier, and comprehensive, litigation between the parties involving some of the same claims:

“[The stay] factors do not neatly apply to the circumstances presented here, largely because of the lengthy and extensive history of litigation between [the parties] . . . . [Earlier] jury findings to the contrary make it unclear whether a stay will ultimately simplify the trial of the instant case.”

This uncertainty, along with an indefinite timetable for further PTO action, appear to have swayed the Court to keep the litigation moving forward. By denying a stay in the face of the administrative overlap, this decision may signal an increasing judicial preference in this district for getting cases to trial notwithstanding a pending reexamination.

Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int’l Inc., C.A. No. 08-309-JJF-LPS (D. Del. Dec. 19, 2008) (Stark, M.J.).

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