“The standard for excusable neglect is an equitable one. And the equities do not lie with Plaintiff.”

Judge Pitman declined to set aside his dismissal of the plaintiff’s patent infringement case with prejudice following the plaintiff’s failure to amend in response to a dismissal for failure to adequately plead claims of direct infringement.  But this description of this order is like calling County Line barbecue “something to eat”. So let’s dig in.

Plaintiff’s Request to Strike New Invalidity Contentions Denied

Judge Albright denied the plaintiff’s request to prevent the defendant from adding new prior art references and testimony.  Although the opinion does not contain the reasoning for the holding, the parties’ dispute contentions indicated that the issuance of a new claim construction after the close of discovery in connection with the court’s ruling on a summary judgment motion, and the resulting revised infringement contentions may have played a role.

When A Bond Isn’t Required

In this first amended final judgment, Senior Judge Ezra entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff for $174 million, resolved the parties’ disputes over prejudgment interest ($5 million, not $6 million), added $26 million in supplemental damages, assessed an ongoing royalty, and waived the bond requirement because the defendant showed that its annual revenues are 580 times the damages award, and it had 144 times the damages award in cash on hand.  The defendant was still required to notify the court if its cash and cash equivalents drop below $5 billion or its total assets drop below $72 billion.

How Not To Submit A Proposed Discovery Order

I really hate it when the parties submit an order which states on its face “the parties jointly submit this proposed order.”  An order is a statement by the court, not the parties.  But to get to the point, the discovery order by Judge Albright in this Austin Division case hacks its way through a jungle of redactions to deny the request for “all versions” of certain source code, as well as to produce documents from a third party.

Motions to Dismiss Infringement Claims Granted in Part – Primer on Pleadings Included at No Charge

Senior Judge Ezra granted in part the defendants’ motions, which were almost identical.  He found the direct infringement allegations sufficient, and the induced infringement allegations sufficient as well, although only as to certain of the patents – and provided an analysis of Eastern and Western District of Texas caselaw on the subject of what is required to sufficiently allege induced infringement. The court also granted the motion as to pre-suit contributory and willful infringement, but denied it as to post –suit claims, again setting forth in detail what is required to plead these claims.  Everything it granted it also gave leave to amend on.

More Austin Docket Reallocation to Judge Albright

Personally, I think my graduate recognition ceremony at the National WW II Museum and a week on campus at Baylor Law School for the Litigation Management LLM were the most newsworthy events of the past week. But some might think that the news that Judge Pitman has referred 99 cases from the Austin Division of the WDTX – including 18 patent cases – to Judge Albright is.