Means Plus Function Terms Indefinite for Lack of Corresponding Structure

Reading Markman orders is often like watching soccer while being an American.  Only rarely does someone actually score a goal. This Markman is a good example.  Dozens of pages of solid analysis, but it’s only at the top of p. 32 and again a few pages later  that goals sneak up on you – when the Court noted that these were means plus function terms, and the lack of corresponding structure rendered the three terms indefinite. 

Improper Venue Motion Denied, But Points for Creativity (Deducted, But Still)

This case has an interesting procedural history with respect to venue.  Five months after TC Heartland the defendant filed a Section 1404 motion, but didn’t challenge venue as improper.  That motion was denied, as was the mandamus petition challenging it.  Ten months after the mandamus denial, after a change in lead counsel, the defendant filed a motion asserting improper venue.  The order on that motion addresses several issues, including venue over foreign defendants, the geographic jurisdiction of the court, creative uses of the marking statute, and even more creative arguments regarding venue waiver.

New Longest-Tenured EDTX Local Rules Chair

I’d like to congratulate Wes Hill for becoming the longest-tenured local rules chair in EDTX history, breaking my record this month of 9 years by beginning his tenth at the conclusion of the bench/bar. I served as chair from 2000-2009 when Wes replaced me, with 2009-2010 as my chair emeritus year, colloquially referred to as either the “victory lap” or “free at last” year, depending on who you ask.

Wes, here’s to nine more.

Hotline calls

One of the unique characteristics of the Eastern District’s 1991 CJRA Plan was the creation of a discovery hotline which allows litigants to get a ruling from a judge in real time on a discovery dispute.  This latest ruling arises, as most do, from a dispute over whether a specific set of questions during a deposition was admissible.

EDTX claim constructions in SEVEN v. Google out; comparison to NDTX constructions

I posted the other day that Judge Lynn’s constructions from the recent joint claim construction hearing in SEVEN v. ZTE were out.  Now the constructions for the EDTX cases by SEVEN against Google & Samsung by Judge Gilstrap are out as well.  This feels just like checking your lottery numbers, doesn’t it – will the constructions match?

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.

EDTX on False Claims Act Discovery

It’s FCA Monday again, and this week’s case deals with the discoverability of certain information relating to damages in a False Claims Act case.  As with many FCA cases, this one arises out of health care related payments which resulted in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements by the government.  The specific requests here were to the government, and asked for information regarding the payment of similar claims after the government learned of the claimed violation in this case.

Save the Dates – 2019 EDTX Bench/Bar

The dates for the 2019 EDTX Bench Bar Conference have now been set and are: September 23-25, 2019 in Plano, Texas. Yes, these dates cover a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Please mark your calendars accordingly. Rumors that the dates were selected to permit a launch window for the second annual Texas dinner to be held on the International Space Station are completely unfounded. (It doesn’t have adequate seating anyway). But I can’t wait to see what the planning committee does to follow dinner at AT&T Stadium.  No pressure or anything.