On June 19, 2017, Northern District of California Judge William Alsup granted-in-part and denied-in-part plaintiff Comcast Cable Communications, LLC’s (“Comcast”) motion to strike defendants OpenTV, Inc. and Nagravision SA’s (collectively “OpenTV”) infringement contentions. The court, however, did not strike with prejudice but instead treated Comcast’s motion as a motion to compel amendment of OpenTV’s infringement contentions so that OpenTV could cure deficiencies.
On February 14, 2017, Judge Chhabria of the Northern District of California granted, in part, Apple’s motion to exclude the expert report of Unwired Planet’s survey expert, Dr. Allenby. Dr. Allenby was hired to conduct a consumer survey to assess the value of the claimed method for “provisioning” a mobile communication device. This process involves the mobile communication device connecting with a server and being authenticated to allow the user access to certain services. According to the decision, Dr. Allenby’s report, however, relied on Unwired Planet’s proposed definition of “provisioning,” and not the court’s construction. The expert had defined the term “provisioning” to mean something akin to “providing;” however, the court’s construction was far narrower.
On January 19, 2017, Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California granted-in-part and denied-in-part a group of plaintiffs’ (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) motion to strike portions of defendant Ariosa Diagnostic, Inc.’s (and its parent company) (collectively, “Defendants”) invalidity contentions. Specifically, Plaintiffs argued that Defendants’ invalidity contentions were barred by (1) statutory estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e) and (2) judicial estoppel.
On December 29, Judge William Alsup declined to impose sanctions in a case he characterized as “an everyday exchange between attorneys over extending a civil action deadline that escalated to a finger-pointing sanctions controversy, then to an evidentiary hearing to determine which lawyer was telling the truth.”
A judge in the Northern District of California has enjoined a group of defendants from selling a laboratory DNA sequencing machine. The plaintiff first asserted the patent against one defendant in litigation in the District of Delaware. In response, the defendant petitioned for inter partes review of the patent. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted review on some, but not all, of the obviousness grounds, finding one ground redundant over the others. The PTAB ultimately found the challenged claims patentable, and the Federal Circuit affirmed on appeal. The plaintiff subsequently filed a second suit against the group of defendants in California and concurrently moved for a preliminary injunction.
On August 22, 2016, a court in the Northern District of California ruled on numerous Daubert motions and motions in limine in Finjan, Inc. v. Sophos, Inc. In doing so, the court granted Sophos’s motion to preclude evidence and argument about post-grant proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).
On Wednesday, the District Court for the Northern District of California granted defendant F5’s renewed motion for JMOL that it did not willfully infringe plaintiff Radware’s patent. The court determined that plaintiff failed to submit sufficient evidence to support the jury’s willfulness finding, even under the new preponderance of the evidence standard set forth in the Supreme Court’s Halo decision.
On August 15, 2016, Judge Orrick of the Northern District of California granted-in-part defendant Sophos’s motion to exclude the testimony of plaintiff Finjan’s damages expert. Sophos urged, among other things, that the expert’s apportionment methodology improperly inflated her royalty base. Specifically, Sophos argued that Finjan’s expert improperly inflated the royalty base by double or triple counting revenue attributable to the “threat engine” and “live protection” features of the accused software products. That is, Finjan’s expert apportioned the royalty base by 28.6 percent (or 2/7) as to both patents-in-suit, even though each patent covered those same two features. “In this way, [the expert] counts the revenue attributable to certain features multiple times in calculating her royalty base such that her total apportionment calculation uses a royalty base that is over 100 percent of the total value of several of the accused products.”