Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

3,700-Page Expert Report In Patent Suit Not Too Long

June 4th, 2015 Alexander No comments

In August 2012, Blue Spike accused Audible Magic of infringing four patents covering digital fingerprinting techniques. Audible Magic and others allegedly infringed the patents by making and selling products that incorporate Blue Spike’s patented technology of “signal fingerprinting,” which encompasses techniques to help copyright owners more easily identify pirated songs, movies, TV shows and other forms of digital media.

Recently, a Texas federal judge said she would allow a nearly 3,700-page expert report filed by an anti-piracy technology company, saying the report’s length merely reflects the complex nature of the issues in the case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven denied an April motion by Blue Spike to strike the 3,676-page report for being too long to read and digest.

“Here, although [the] report is lengthy, the size of the report alone does not make it improper warranting the court to strike it,” Judge Craven said. “There are many complex issues involved, and the facts of this case require a detailed invalidity analysis.”

The expert report at issue supported Audible Magic’s contention that 32 claims across the four patents at issue in the case are invalid under a number of legal theories.

In its filings to strike the report, Blue Spike said it “careens into the realm of the absurd,” arguing that it is too long to provide Blue Spike with reasonable notice of the criticisms against its case, increases rather than reduces costs, and obfuscates rather than narrows the issues in the case.

To highlight the report’s purportedly excessive length, Blue Spike said it would take an average person reading two pages per minute three weeks to make it to the final page and that a printed copy on lightweight paper would weigh nearly 145 pounds.

“Reading [the] 3,676-page report is equivalent to reading ‘War and Peace’ two and a half times over — but with little of the literary majesty of Tolstoy’s masterpiece,” Blue Spike said.

But in a subsequent opposition, Audible Magic called Blue Spike’s anecdotes about the report’s size “irrelevant, misleading and inaccurate,” while saying the report’s length was necessary in order to lay out the facts necessary to prove invalidity by clear and convincing evidence.

Judge Caroline Craven also pointed out that Blue Spike didn’t state in its motion that it couldn’t understand the report, that the report was convoluted or lacking in substance, or that it was premised on technical or legal inaccuracies.

“Rather, plaintiff’s only complaint is the report is objectively too long,” the judge said. “As explained by Audible Magic, it is required to present evidence of the invalidity of all 32 claims asserted against its customers as that issue will be included in the trials against the supplier defendants.”

For more information, see Law360.



Attorneys In ‘Frivolous’ Filing To Pay Sanctions

May 11th, 2015 Alexander No comments

A Texas federal judge has ordered three attorneys involved in a patent infringement case deemed to be frivolous to pay a total of $451,382 to Complus Data Innovations Co., Casio America Inc. for what the attorneys collected from a settlement, plus an additional 50 percent.

The company that filed the frivolous claims, Raylon LLC, was declared insolvent, so U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis ruled the remaining issue was the sanctions to be imposed on three lawyers who represented the company in the suits against Complus, Casio, EZ Tag Corp. and other related companies. The patent in question related to hand-held computers with a display screen “pivotally mounted” on its housing that read magnetic tape on an identification card, display and transmit information, and print tickets.

Judge Davis ordered D. Scott Hemingway to pay $352,486, Corby Bell to pay $70,066 and Carl Roth to pay $28,830.

The lawyers had argued that the “devastating negative impact on the professional careers” of everyone involved in representing Raylon should be sufficient punishment.

“A nonmonetary sanction would only show others similarly situated that they can file frivolous cases, from which they may ultimately profit by exacting cost-of-defense settlements, with the only consequence being harsh words from a court,” Judge Davis wrote.

Initially, in 2011 Judge Davis denied imposing sanctions because “while Raylon’s claim construction arguments and infringement theory do stretch the bounds of reasonableness … they do not cross that line.” However, the federal circuit remanded the case back to Judge Davis, which led to a reversal.

“If the worst result that one could expect when filing a frivolous lawsuit is that one might not profit from the venture, then one is not deterred from attempting the pursuit,” Judge Davis wrote. “A disgorgement sanction alone has no greater deterrent effect than the risk that any plaintiff’s attorney takes when embarking on a nonfrivolous case under a pure contingency fee arrangement.”

For more information, see Law360.