Orders Requiring Disclosure of Focus Group Information: A Brief History

Dennis Crouch just posted on Patently-O about an order from Magistrate Judge Love requiring parties to notify each other (with other information in camera) if they conduct a focus group.  He correctly notes that it’s an unusual order, but the language is familiar, and I think there’s a reason why we haven’t seen such an order in a case before, which goes back to where these type of orders originated. Several years ago 

Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment Granted in Part in Contract/Fraud Case

This is a fight between the Zhangs and the Monroes over East Texas salt mining centering on the world-famous Grand Saline Salt Dome. It appears that things went south with respect to Ms. Zhang’s investment in the activity in the Monroe Salt Mine, resulting in a breach of contract and fraud suit. As set forth in the opinion, Judge Love denied the motion at to the contract claims, noting that Defendants failed to cite to summary judgment evidence in their response, but Plaintiffs did not file a reply brief rebutting Defendants’ affirmative defenses, either.  As for the fraud, negligent misrepresentations, and statutory fraud in stock transactions claims, Judge Love found that the Plaintiff had met her burden of proof, and the Defendants hadn’t established a genuine issue of material fact, and thus granted the motion as to these claims.  The Court also found that it was appropriate to pierce the corporate veil, thus submitting the individual defendants to individual liability for acts committed on behalf of CMA. Zhang v Monroe

Default judgment in patent case set at $20,000 based on analysis of 20 prior settlements

A few days ago I saw a post that someone was claiming that the average settlement in a “patent troll” case was $300,000, and tweeted in response “I would have said $30,000, and lately most less than that. Just my experience.” Karma being the friend that it is, that five days later Magistrate Judge Love issued this order setting the amount of a default judgment in a case at $20,000.  While the order is redacted to remove references to the amounts of the prior settlements, what it does reveal is that the prior licenses led the Court to the $20,000 number, as discussed below.

Motion to Strike Damages Expert Testimony (Such As It Was) Denied

I’m always surprised that more parties don’t take advantage of holding an opponent’s expert to what their report says, as opposed to complaining about its insufficiency.  This case presented the interesting situation of a plaintiff’s damages expert who didn’t come up with a per item royalty or even an overall reasonable royalty opinion, and the defendant sought to exclude all testimony.  “While Chrimar’s approach may not be the most prudent choice for presentation of damages to the jury,” the Court wrote,