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Judge Stark denies motion to stay pending CBM review, citing prejudice to plaintiff, a non-practicing entity (“NPE”)

Judge Leonard P. Stark recently considered Google’s motion to stay proceedings brought by NPE Walker Digital pending the conclusion of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”) Covered Business Method (“CBM”) review of the patents-in-suit.  Walker Digital, LLC v. Google, Inc., C.A. No. 11-318-LPS (D. Del. June 24, 2014).  Judge Stark ultimately determined that no factor favored a stay.  Regarding simplification of issues, Judge Stark noted that the estoppel effects of the CBM process could simplify issues in this case (even if the PTAB does not cancel all of the asserted claims), but not by much because the PTAB rejected several of Google’s grounds for CBM review.  Id. at ¶ 3.  In addition, the fact that discovery was complete and all case dispositive motions had been fully briefed, “strongly disfavor[ed] a stay.”  Id. at ¶ 4.  Prejudice to Plaintiff, Walker Digital, also disfavored a stay because, while it is true that Walker Digital is an NPE, “it is also true that the longer Google is allowed to engage in allegedly infringing activity, the lower the value of the patents becomes as licensing assets.”  Id. at ¶ 5.  Last, a stay would not alleviate any burden to the Court or the parties due to the late stage of the case.  Id. at ¶ 6.

 

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