A Marshall jury in Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s court rendered a verdict Friday afternoon in a patent trial involving side scan sonar technology. (Whether it involved this image of the German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin at the bottom of the Baltic Sea I can’t say, but as the plaintiff is a Norwegian company, I like to hope that it did, because as side scan sonar images go, it’s pretty cool). The verdict is interesting because the damages award includes components for a running royalty (as opposed to a lump sum) and lost profits as discussed below.
I wanted to provide a brief update for those interesting in recent activity in the Ezekiel Elliott case pending before Judge Mazzant in Sherman.
While the case is interesting to many due to its subject matter, the Court’s most recent order provides a helpful and potential useful analysis not just of injunctive relief, but of review of an arbitrator’s decision for “fundamental fairness.”
Occasionally, judges make changes to the language in their form orders (discovery, docket control, protective) or otherwise modify practice via new or revised standing orders. If you handle patent cases in the EDTX you might be interested in these recent changes to some of the above.
I wanted to flag a couple of outstanding recent analyses on the new standard of discovery “proportionality” that contain helpful arguments, analysis, and research including cites to recent district court cases apply the new standard. Whether you’re discover-ing or being discover-ed, they’re good stuff.
One of the EDTX cases being handled by Judge William C. Bryson of the Federal Circuit has an upcoming hearing on whether the defendant should be held in contempt for not making ordered royalty payments as to certain products following a jury verdict of trade secret misappropriation (later affirmed on appeal and cert denied). Judge Bryson recently issued a couple of orders in connection with that hearing that readers might find of interest.
Yesterday’s hearing on whether the NFL’s six-game suspension against Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott would be enjoined or stayed has concluded, and Judge Mazzant promised the parties a ruling Friday. But because of the timing, the NFL agreed during the hearing that the pending suspension would not start until after Sunday’s season opener, regardless of the Court’s ruling. The proceedings before Judge Mazzant in the the two and a half hour hearing focused on whether the proceedings were fundamentally unfair. The Court will decide if 1) there is a substantial chance of success on the merits for the NFLPA and Elliott; 2) there is a substantial threat of immediate and irreparable harm for which there is no remedy of law; 3) if there is a substantial threat of greater injury from not granting the injunctive relief than from granting it; and 4) whether the injunctive relief will disserve the public interest.
The NFL Players Asssociation’s request for emergency injunctive relief preventing the NFL from suspending Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has been set for a hearing in the EDTX courthouse in Sherman at 5pm Tuesday afternoon, September 5. Although ESPN is reporting that the request has been granted, I think they are misreading Judge Mazzant’s order, which simply set a hearing. But perhaps the TRO was granted separately.
Interesting case this week in which Judge Gilstrap granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment of a “fair use” defense in a copyright infringement case in which the defendant alleged various causes of action arising out of an employment termination, and attempted to use a purloined video clip as evidence. The facts look like something off Dr. Phil. In fact, they actually were.