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Posts Tagged: "Judge Gilstrap"

A New Trial is Ordered with Respect to Damages in Optis Wireless v. Apple, Despite No FRAND Claims at Issue

On April 14, 2021, in a somewhat surprising about face, Judge Rodney Gilstrap ordered a new trial with respect to damages in Optis Wireless Technology, LLC et al. v. Apple Inc., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-00066-JRG (E.D. Texas), despite previously ruling that no FRAND based claims remained in the case. This ruling adds even more silt to the already murky waters of damages for patents related to standardized technology. In a previous article, we discussed the confusing and problematic convergence of FRAND licensing rates and reasonable royalty damages for patent infringement, despite these two concepts having different origins and seeking to achieve different objectives: i.e., patent damages being a creature of statute and case law and seeking to compensate a patent owner for infringement, whereas FRAND commitments are rooted in contract and seek, amongst other things, to ensure that licenses can be obtained for standardized technology and that royalty stacking does not become an issue (e.g. as reflected in “top-down” approaches used to determine FRAND rates for standards essential patents). As noted in that article, one problem with this convergence is that it facilitates hold out. Why put money in the parking meter if the fine is no more that the fee?

Judge Rader Champions Chinese Courts, Samsung Responds to Ericsson in ED of TX/China FRAND Suit

In contrast to his one time colleague, former Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader earlier this month filed a Declaration supporting Samsung Electronics in its Opposition to Ericsson, Inc.’s Application for Anti-Interference Injunction relating to Samsung’s lawsuit in the Wuhan Intermediate People’s Court of China. Retired Federal Circuit Judge Paul Michel recently filed an amicus brief supporting Ericsson in the case and calling into question the procedures of the Wuhan court.

Ericsson Wins Temporary Restraining Order Over Samsung in ED TX FRAND Litigation

Earlier today, Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a temporary restraining order against Samsung in a FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing rates) lawsuit filed by Ericsson on December 11, 2020. The Order gives Samsung until January 1, 2021 to file any opposition to the continuation of the temporary restraining order, and gives Ericsson until January 5, 2021 to respond if, or more likely when, Samsung, files an objection. At first glance to the trained eye this seems shocking, but as is so often the case in the world of standard essential patents (SEPs) and FRAND, there is much more than meets the eye.

Patent Filings Roundup: Gilstrap Cancels Trials Until March, Board Denies Under Fintiv Anyway; IP Edge Sues Another 35; Xerox Goes on the Attack

New petitions stayed steady again this week at 29, while district court patent filings were one shy of 100, on the strength of at least 35 new complaints by various IP Edge subsidiaries. A number of known-financed entities launched suits or added defendants; Xerox launched a rather serious suit against three social media giants; and the Board denied some petitions based on trial dates and also on there being a significant relationship between suppliers and customers (in the Mitek cases).

Rule 36 Affirmances at the Federal Circuit – Week of October 8, 2018

During the week of October 8, 2018,  there were five cases involving patents that were decided without an opinion as a result of Rule 36 affirmances at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Three of those cases were issued by panels including Chief Judge Sharon Prost. In two cases, the Federal Circuit upheld district court invalidations of asserted patents whereas another two affirmed rejections of applicants claims by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The last case was a summary affirmance of a victory by German drugmaker Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep over Eli Lilly in the Eastern District of Texas.

Patent Litigation Shows Shift Towards Delaware, Decrease in High-Volume Plaintiff Filings

Legal data analytics provider Lex Machina recently published a post featuring data points regarding the filing of patent infringement cases in the year following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands. In that decision, the Court held that the patent venue statute (28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)) meant that domestic companies could only file patent infringement suits in the judicial district where they were incorporated. Lex Machina’s one-year data update shows that TC Heartland has toppled the Eastern District of Texas as the top forum for patent infringement filings among U.S. district courts. The decision has also affected the filing behaviors of high-volume plaintiffs (HVPs), or those entities filing 10 or more patent infringement cases in U.S. district courts within one calendar year.

Lex Machina Q3 litigation update shows effects of TC Heartland, Oil States on patent case filings

Although patent litigation levels through the first nine months of 2017 have largely remained consistent with patterns from recent years, it does appear that the number of patent suits filed in U.S. district courts has been on a slow decline in recent years. There were a total of 995 patent lawsuits filed in district court during 2017’s third quarter, an 8.4 percent decline when compared to totals from 2016’s third quarter. Year-over-year declines in patent suit filing were also seen in the first and second quarters of 2016 as well. As Lex Machina data scientist Brian Howard notes, 2017 continued a trend in which patent suit filings tend to drop in the first quarter of the year, rise during the second quarter and then fall again during the third quarter. “Historically, that’s a pattern that we’ve seen pretty consistently in the past few years,” Howard said.

Employees working from home do not establish place of business for venue under TC Heartland

In re Cray, Inc., the Federal Circuit applied the recent Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision to grant a writ of mandamus, directing the Eastern District of Texas to transfer Raytheon’s patent case to a proper venue. The district court refused the transfer based on notions of targeting the district for a benefit, according to a four-part test it adapted from In re Cordis Corp. The Federal Circuit disagreed, holding that the listed criteria were not sufficiently tethered to the relevant statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)… In determining venue in a patent infringement case, the location of defendant’s employees who work from home is not a regular and established place of defendant’s business when the defendant corporation has no material connection to that place, as by rent, inventory, conditioning employment based on the location, or other relevant facts.

Federal Circuit strikes down Gilstrap’s four-factor test for patent venue

After briefly parsing the statutory language of §1400(b) critical to the decision the Federal Circuit concluded that Judge Gilstrap’s four-factor test was not compliant with the statutory language. Judge Lourie simply concluded: “The district court’s four-factor test is not sufficiently tethered to this statutory language and thus it fails to inform each of the necessary requirements of the statute.”… “The fact that Cray allowed its employees to work from the Eastern District of Texas is insufficient,” wrote Judge Lourie as he shifted to the specifics of the case before the Court.

What Changes Result from the Supreme Court Decision in TC Heartland?

Unfortunately, the answer may be not as much as many expected. Right after the decision there were 350 motions to transfer or dismiss in the EDTX. But the limitations imposed by TC Heartland have been called into question by a ruling from EDTX Judge Rodney Gilstrap in Raytheon Co. v. Cray Inc. In his decision, Gilstrap denied a motion by Cray seeking to transfer the case to another district in light of TC Heartland. Gilstrap found that the existence of a single employee in the district constituted “regular and established place of business,” and he established a four-factor test to decide whether newer cases belong in the district… As hopeful as some folks were about TC Heartland, it certainly hasn’t stopped NPEs. The IP community must acknowledge this and adjust accordingly – it’s still the wild west out there, for now.

ABOTA defends Judge Gilstrap in response to political pressure from Darrell Issa

Issa decried Judge Gilstrap’s “overreach” in denying a motion to transfer venue in a case coming after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, a decision which restricted the venue statute for patent infringement cases. “It is, in fact, an act that I find reprehensible by that judge,” Issa said… American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) noted that Issa’s further assertion that Judge Gilstrap was motivated by personal bias to promote community interests “extended beyond a challenge of the legal precedent to a personal attack on Judge Gilstrap and his integrity as a jurist.”

Patent litigation report shows Samsung overtaking Apple as top defendant in 2015

2015 is the second straight year in which the list of top plaintiffs has been led by eDekka LLC, a patent holding company, which at times has been accused of exhibiting trolling behaviors… Atop this list was the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (N.D. Cal.), which between 2005 and 2015 has awarded more than $2.1 billion in compensatory damages over the course of 2,169 cases filed. Following behind them was the U.S. District for the Southern District of California (S.D. Cal.), U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.), and followed in fourth place by E.D. Tex. Median damages for cases terminating between 2000 and 2015 showed a different story, however, as that list was topped by the District of Delaware, which had a median award of $10.46 million in 40 cases with damages. The Eastern District of Texas follows in second with a $7.68 million median damages award and in third is the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (E.D. Va.), with a median award of $2.98 million. After that, there’s a steep drop and every other district is showing a median damages award of less than $1 million.

2015 litigation trends highlight increased patent litigation, decreases in file sharing cases

2015 saw the second-most patent infringement cases brought to court, according to Lex Machina’s data. A total of 5,830 patent cases were filed, a 15 percent increase over the 5,070 patent cases which were filed during 2014. 2015 still trailed behind 2013 in terms of patent infringement cases; that year set the high-water mark for patent infringement cases with 6,114 cases filed in that year.

Decrease in patent litigation questions need for patent reform

In 2014 there were 1,070 fewer patent lawsuits filed than during 2013. Furthermore, the number of patent cases filed in 2014 was lower than the number of cases filed in 2012 by some 433 cases. Therefore, the stories of continued run away litigation seem to be greatly exaggerated. Given the dramatic decrease in patent litigation it seems entirely premature for Congress to be considering additional patent reform at this early stage.