Rulings on motions in limine in patent cases

I finished reading these rulings on the parties’ motions in limine in a recent patent case this afternoon and decided that there was nothing unusual enough in them to justify a post analyzing them, but am posting the order anyway simply to show examples of common rulings in response to common issues in patent cases.  These are always worth reviewing so that when a similar issue comes up, you have an idea what the ruling is likely to be if the issue is disputed, including the specific language that might be appropriate for an agreed limine.

Order on Claim Construction Briefing Term & Page Limits

Many courts have default rules that restrict claim construction briefing.  They might be page limits applicable either to claim construction or to motions in general, or a presumptive limit on the number of terms to be construed, either in toto or at a time.  This order deals with a case where limits on both were in place and a party sought leave to expand both the number of terms and the page limits, as well as asking the Court to apply constructions from a prior.  It indicates which of these arguments work, and which might be best left on the hard drive.

Motion to Reconsider Order Granting Motion to Transfer

Let’s start the week off with a little palate cleanser in the form of an order dealing with a motion to transfer a patent case to the Northern District of California, but with the added frisson of a different procedural context – this one’s an order on a motion to reconsider the Court’s order granting the motion to transfer.

VirnetX – JMOL, MNT, enhanced damages & attorneys fees rulings

A trip to the West Coast for a mediation kept me from posting this earlier, but Judge Schroeder’s unredacted opinion in the VirnetX case resolving the postverdict motions is now out, and provides the latest analysis on many issues of interest to practitioners, including most notably enhanced damages, as none were awarded.

VirnetX Litigation Slouches Towards Another Appeal

Apologies to Yeats, but it is referred to as the “most thoroughly pillaged piece of literature in English literature”, so piling on is permitted. Judge Schroeder entered another final judgment in the VirnetX case last week after denying defendant Apple’s most recent JMOL and motion for new trial. The order itself is filed under seal for the moment, but will be unsealed, less any needed redactions from the parties, on September 10. VirnetX – final judgment VirnetX – sealing order

Verdict in Maxell v. ZTE; Jury Findings On Eligibility Under Section 101

A Texarkana jury in Judge Schroeder’s court returned a verdict in favor of Maxell against defendant ZTE (USA), Inc. last Friday following a two-week trial.  The jury found all 16 claims from the 11 asserted patents infringed.  Eleven of the claim from seven patents were found to be infringed willfully. The jury found that four claims across two patents had not been shown to be invalid as anticipated or obvious (one question for all invalidity theories), and assessed damages at $43.3 million. But the jury also made an additional finding in the defendant’s favor with respect to five of the claims that bear some closer scrutiny, as it begins to tell us how 101 claims can be addressed in front of a jury.  This reminded me of how Judge Schroeder addressed a similar issue dealing with contract formation in my April jury trial in Texarkana, so I wanted to address that issue in some additional detail (as well as a few others) by analyzing the court’s instructions to the jury.