Again, I’m Only Looking For Train Wrecks

Markman orders are only interesting if something bad happens. It didn’t here. Nothing indefinite. Only a bunch of boring standards and application of the law to specific terms that would only matter to those in the case and the odd lawyer who enjoys educating themself on Judge Albright’s claim construction analysis. And maybe a tiny bit of prosecution estoppel that might be catastrophic but even if so, that’s happening off the page. Sad.

You’re Not In The Eastern District of Texas – Claim Construction Expert Disclosure Held Sufficient

Four or five years ago, at one of Judge Albright’s patent rules committee meetings Steve Ravel and I raised the question of what quantum of disclosure Judge Albright wanted to require in his OGP for experts at the claim construction stage. That got us appointed to draft some language for the court to review, and the eventual answer was – not as much disclosure as the EDTX rule, and even that quantum shrank noticeably in later versions of the OGP. Judge Gilliland explicitly noted that here, finding the disclosure sufficient, and noting that the EDTX local rules “include requirements beyond what this Court’s Order Governing Proceedings require.” The court also rejected the argument that the declaration was also improper legal argument.

Statutory Damages & Attorney Fees for Austin Trademark & Copyright Lawyers

The court granted the plaintiff’s request for default judgment in this photo copyright case. The part that is of interest is the amount of the award. The court declined to award the requested statutory maximum of $30,000, finding that prior cases from the Austin courthouse counseled a number closer to the $750 minimum, and awarded $3,500. The court similarly trimmed the award of fees, accepting the number opf hours and costs, but rejecting the plaintiff’s proposed $700 hourly rate based on DC rates, finding that $475 made sense for the Austin area.

Timing of Contention Interrogatories

Nothing like a good contention interrogatory order – but then again this is coming from someone that likes JMOL rulings. Judge Gilliland rejected the defendant’s claims which, among other things, argued that it should not have to respond to contention rogs until expert reports were due. Defendant’s objection to providing expert opinions was sustained, but its objection to providing answers containing general factual information was overruled. Defendant was ordered to respond by providing the general factual basis for its contentions—which may be supplemented as discovery progresses.