Intellectual Property > IP Newsflash > Eastern District of Texas Magistrate Judge Prohibits Disparaging Remarks about USPTO
22 Jul '16

On July 12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Payne in the Eastern District of Texas issued an order prohibiting a plaintiff from making disparaging remarks about the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and its examiners. Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. brought two cases against LG Electronics, Inc. on September 26, 2014 for infringement of patents relating to tablet and smartphone wireless networking. The patents are part of a portfolio of patents that Core Wireless’ parent company, Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc., acquired from Nokia Corp. The cases were consolidated for pretrial purposes with the individual cases remaining active for venue determinations and trial. In the trial for the first case, the jury found that LG had infringed two of the patents-in-suit and that LG had failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that any of the patents-in-suit were invalid. The jury awarded Core Wireless $3.5 million. Jury selection for the second case is a new trial was set for September 12, 2016.

In its order on motions in limine, the court granted Core Wireless’ request to preclude LG from making “inappropriate attacks on the USPTO and its examiners.” Although the court’s order prohibits LG from disparaging the PTO and its examiners by arguing that examiners are overworked or that the PTO is prone to error, it does allow LG to proffer evidence and argument of specific mistakes made in connection with the prosecution of the patents-in-suit. The court denied LG’s related request that the court preclude Core Wireless from making “irrelevant laudatory remarks” about the PTO. The court cited the presumption that a patent is valid and the presumption that the PTO has done its job correctly in refusing to preclude praise of the PTO that is consistent with the presumption of validity. The court also granted Core Wireless’ motions in limine precluding references to other litigations involving Core Wireless and precluding derogatory comments regarding Core Wireless such as “patent troll” or “lawsuit factory.” 

Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L v. LG Electronics, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-00911 (E.D. Tex. July 12, 2016), D.I. 519 (Payne, R.).