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Judge Robinson Grants Stay Pending PTO Review of Patent-in-Suit

Judge Robinson recently considered a motion to stay litigation in a case where “the parties are competitors that have aggressively pursued their respective legal options to further their respective business interests . . . [including] expedited review of the [patent-in-suit], and fil[ing] suit against defendant shortly after its issuance.” Husqvarna AB, et al. v. The Toro Co., C.A. No. 15-856-SLR, Memo. Or. at 3 (D. Del. Sept. 20, 2016). Because the defendant “promptly filed its request for reexamination” and the motion to stay pending the reexamination, Judge Robinson concluded that “the parties are disadvantaged to an equal degree in the market place and in terms of their legal dispute.” Id. Moreover, the “second factor, simplifying the issues for trial, is also a draw . . . [because] the issues in the litigation are broader than those presented in the reexamination and it is possible that at least some claims of the [patent-in-suit] will survive the PTO’s scrutiny.” Id. Judge Robinson ultimately granted the motion to stay, however, because it would promote judicial economy, given that the “court has not yet directed its scarce resources to the merits of this dispute, while the PTO has . . . [thus] it should be the PTO, not the court, that conducts this essentially first substantive review of the validity of the [patent-in-suit].” Id. at 4.

Husqvarna AB, et al. v. The Toro Co., C.A. No. 15-856-SLR (D. Del. Sept. 20, 2016).

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