Welcome to the latest edition of the Richards, Layton & Finger Intellectual Property Law Update. As always, if you have any questions about any of the decisions listed below or the District of Delaware in general, please let us know.
Judge Sleet to Take Senior Status
The United States District Court for the District of Delaware has announced that Judge Gregory M. Sleet will take senior status starting May 1. A link to the announcement can be found here.
Judge Sleet was appointed as a district judge in 1998. He served as chief judge from July 2007 to July 2014. A graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, Judge Sleet served as a U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware before taking the bench.
With this announcement and Judge Sue L. Robinson’s recent transition to senior status, the District of Delaware will have two judicial vacancies.
Judge Sleet Denies Requests for Leave to File Motions for Summary Judgment
In Green Mountain Glass, LLC et al. v. Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., C.A. No. 14-392-GMS (D. Del. February 24, 2017), Judge Sleet denied the plaintiffs’ request for leave to file four partial motions for summary judgment and the defendant’s request for leave to file a motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs sought leave to file: (1) a motion for partial summary judgment of infringement of one of the patents in suit (“Patent 1”); (2) a motion for partial summary judgment that Patent 1 was not invalid under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102, 103, or 112; (3) a motion for partial summary judgment that the other patent in suit (“Patent 2”) was not invalid under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102, 103, or 112; and (4) a motion for partial summary judgment that the defendant’s affirmative defenses failed as a matter of law. The defendant sought leave to file one motion for summary judgment of laches.
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Judge Robinson Denies Motion for Sanctions Despite Confirmed Wiped Computers and Shredded Documents
In Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. v. Eric P. Wisemann et al., C.A. No. 14-1425-SLR (Feb. 27, 2017), Judge Robinson denied the defendants’ motion to sanction plaintiff Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (“Air Products”) based on alleged spoliation of evidence. Although the defendants originally filed the motion for sanctions before trial, the Court held the motion in abeyance so that factual issues first could be decided. Despite the defendants’ arguments regarding deleted ESI, the Court denied the motion, holding that Air Products would not be sanctioned for the loss of any ESI.
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Chief Judge Stark Grants in Part Defendants’ Motion to Strike Plaintiff’s Infringement Contentions and Portions of Its Expert’s Report
In Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC et al., C.A. No. 13-1668-LPS (Feb. 14, 2017), Chief Judge Stark decided the defendants’ motions to strike portions of the plaintiff’s infringement contentions, granting the motion as applied to the plaintiff’s final infringement contentions and doctrine of equivalents (“DOE”) contentions for the ‘248 patent, but denying the motion with respect to the plaintiff’s DOE contentions and infringement theory for the ‘831 patent. Chief Judge Stark additionally granted the defendants’ motion to strike portions of the expert report of Dr. Moon (the plaintiff’s expert).
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