In a recently unsealed memorandum opinion, Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark issued rulings on several pre-trial motions. Andover Healthcare, Inc. v. 3M Co., C.A. No. 13-843-LPS (D. Del. Oct. 18, 2016). Most notably, Chief Judge Stark denied a motion to preclude the plaintiff’s CEO from testifying as an expert based on his purported “blatant and direct financial interest in the outcome of this case.” Id. at 14. The Court explained that 3M’s argument that the CEO should be precluded because of his financial interest in the litigation “only holds if the Court disregards Andover’s corporate existence. Any recovery in this case will initially go to Andover, not Murphy. . . . [T]he Court concludes that Dr. Murphy’s indirect financial interest in the outcome of the litigation [redacted] can be handled appropriately on cross-examination.” Id. at 15-16 (emphasis in original).
Chief Judge Stark also denied cross-motions for summary judgment relating to a laches defense, on the basis that there existed factual disputes regarding the factual underpinnings of the defense, and also in view of the U.S. Supreme Court’s pending consideration in the SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products case of whether and to what extent laches is an available defense to patent infringement. Id. at 10 n.2.