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Chief Judge Stark Grants Motion to Stay Pending Inter Partes Review

Chief Judge Stark recently granted a motion to stay litigation until the issuance of decisions by the PTAB in related inter partes review proceedings. The PTAB instituted IPR in July 2016 on every claim that is asserted in the District Court litigation and must issue a final written decision by July 2017. 454 Life Sciences Corp. v. Ion Torrent Systems, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 15-595-LPS, Memo. Or. at 4 (D. Del. Nov. 7, 2016). Because of that institution, Judge Stark found a “very strong likelihood that the IPR proceedings will simplify the issues for trial,” particularly given the potential for estoppel and the creation of additional prosecution history. Id. at 5-6. Additionally, the case was “still in its very early stages and much work remains to be done that could be averted by a stay” and the IPR proceedings were “relatively, mature . . . set for oral argument (if requested) . . . [and the] requested stay, therefore, is almost certainly likely to last no longer than eight months.” Id. at 8. Finally, Judge Stark concluded that, despite some degree of direct competition between the parties, the Plaintiff was not likely to be prejudiced by a stay given that the IPR petitions had been filed less than six months into the litigation and the motion to stay had been filed shortly after the PTAB’s decision to institute the IPRs, “which is generally the ideal time at which to file such a request.” Id. at 8-10.

454 Life Sciences Corp. v. Ion Torrent Systems, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 15-595-LPS (D. Del. Nov. 7, 2016).

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