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Judge Stark denies motion to stay pending post-grant review

Judge Leonard P. Stark recently denied a defendant’s motion to stay pending post-grant review under the AIA’s Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents (“CBM Review”). Benefit Funding Systems LLC, et al. v. Advance America, et al., C.A. No. 12-801-LPS (D. Del. June 28, 2013). The Court explained that its denial was discretionary, and made without prejudice to the defendant’s right to seek a stay in the event the PTAB should ultimately grant the petition for CBM Review. Weighing the factors in Section 18(b) of the AIA, the Court found that (i) a stay would probably simplify issues for trial but likely would not eliminate the need for a trial altogether; (ii) although in its early stages, the Court and parties had invested significant resources in the litigation already whereas CBM Review had not yet been granted; (iii) a stay would prejudice the plaintiff, including by making the plaintiff’s licensing efforts more difficult; and (iv) a stay would not substantially reduce the burden of litigation on the parties and the Court. Id. at 3-4. Judge Stark also ordered that the defendant provide substantive responses to discovery requests, explaining that “Defendant’s effort to essentially grant itself a stay by resisting discovery due only to its pending motion for a stay is improper.” Id. at 1. Finally, the Court granted the plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to assert claims against one of the defendant’s vendors, through which the defendant offered its allegedly infringing services. The Court explained that the defendant did “not have possession, custody, or control of core technical documents for [the vendor], and has been unable to persuade [the vendor] to produce such documents voluntarily.” Id. at 2.

Benefit Funding Systems LLC, et al. v. Advance America, et al., C.A. No. 12-801-LPS (D. Del. June 28, 2013)…

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