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Judge Joseph J. Farnan, Jr.: Court Will Not Force Defendants to Identify Specific Sections of Source Code Corresponding to Claims

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The discovery of source code has become a frequent area of dispute in patent cases. The hottest topics usually relate to protecting the highly confidential nature of source code. In CIF Licensing, LLC v. Agere Systems, Inc., however, the defendants produced their complete source code in escrow and plaintiff had complete access to it. C.A. No. 07-170-JJF, Memo. Op. (D. Del. Jan. 23, 2009). What the plaintiff sought by its motion to compel was, in part, detailed answers to interrogatories that asked the defendants to identify specific lines of the source code that perform the specific functions set forth in the claims of the patents-in-suit. Id. at 3. The Court refused to require the defendants to provide such detailed responses because plaintiff has full access to the source code and each side’s experts would undertake “essentially the same process to glean the requested information from the source code”. Id. at 3-4.

CIF Licensing, LLC v. Agere Systems, Inc., C.A. No. 07-170-JJF, Memo. Op. (D. Del. Jan. 23, 2009).

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