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Chicago IP Litigation Tracking Northern District of Illinois IP Cases

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7th Cir. Judicial Conference: Northern District Judges Offer Practice Tips

Posted in Legal Seminars, Uncategorized

With a hat tip to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s coverage of the 7th Circuit Judicial Conference, Northern District Judges Durkin, St. Eve, and Tharp offered several valuable practice tips for litigating before federal courts, that apply as well for IP litigators as for any litigator.

Judge Durkin:

  • Reduce litigation costs.  For example, there is no need to appear for brief status conferences, when you can appear by phone and cut out significant travel costs.
  • Think carefully before filing summary judgment motions.  They are a “huge expense” and counsel have no reason not to file them. 
  • Consider consenting to trial before a magistrate judge.  Magistrate judges can offer faster times to trial because they do not have to focus on the constitutional right to a speed trial in criminal matters.  He explains “[y]ou get great judges.  Same law.  Same juries.”

Judge St. Eve:

  • It is important to cooperate with opposing counsel.  “Be nice.  It’s not that hard.”

Judge Tharp

  • Look at the judge’s website.  Ignorance of the judge’s procedures and requirements does not start counsel off well with the judge.
  • Instead of starting a brief with a recitation of each pleading and ruling, offer a “pithy, short, concise” statement of the issue to be decided.

Court Sua Sponte Orders Production of Evidence and a Hearing on a Copyright Issue

Posted in Local Rules, Uncategorized

Flava Works, Inc. v. Momient, No. 11 C 6306, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 1, 2013) (Shadur, Sen. J.).

Judge Shadur, after reading plaintiff FlavaWorks’ answer to defendant’s copyright counterclaims, sua sponte ordered FlavaWorks to produce a copy of the Commission Work Agreement that FlavaWorks alleged assigned all rights in the videos and photographs at issue to FlavaWorks.  The Court reasoned that deciding the issue of whether the Agreement transferred defendant’s rights in his works to FlavaWorks would move a case forward that had otherwise been largely a series of “procedural skirmishes.”  To the extent that there was not sufficient documentary evidence to establish the necessary facts, the Court asked the parties to submit a brief statement regarding how the issue could be effectively brought before the Court.

 

 

CLE: Loyola University Program on Patents, Innovation & Freedom to Use Ideas

Posted in Legal Seminars, Uncategorized

On Thursday, April 11 at Loyola University Law School, the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal is putting on a program called:  Patents, Innovation & Freedom to Use Ideas.  Click here for the program brochure.  The program has an interesting mix of theoretical and practical discussions.  Among the more interesting topics are:

  • Chief Judge Holderman discussing Innovations to Improve Juror Understanding in Patent Trials
  • Emory University’s Professor Timothy Holbrook (a former Chicagoan), Boston University’s Professor Michael Mueur (who has written interesting articles regarding the costs of NPE suits); and University of San Diego Professor Ted Sichelman discussing Shortcomings in the Patent System.

This looks like an excellent program.

Is There a Fox in the Henhouse: Inhouse Counsel and Protective Orders

Posted in Uncategorized

Autotech Techs. Ltd. Partnership v. Automationdirect.com, Inc. 237 F.RD. 405 (N.D. Ill. 2006). (Cole, Mag. J.).

In this impressively detailed opinion, Magistrate Judge Cole grants defendant’s motion for a protective order limiting plaintiff’s in-house counsel’s access to sensitive customer information and communications.  The parties faced a common problem, they had agreed that customer information, including customer identities and communications, would be limited to attorneys’ eyes only, but could not agree as to whether plaintiff’s in-house counsel could access the information.  Plaintiff argued that its in-house counsel played a lead role in the case and, therefore, required access to the information.  Defendant argued that in-house counsel were corporate decision makers, in addition to counselors, and would not be able to separate the knowledge of defendant’s customers they would be exposed to when performing business-related functions.

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Reconstruing Claims

Posted in Uncategorized

Cummins-Allison Corp. v. Glory Ltd., __ F.Supp.2d __, 2006 WL 2931999 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 13, 2006) (Kendall, J.).

Judge Kendall performed a very thorough claim construction in this opinion, but what is most interesting about it is the procedural history.  The Court (with another judge presiding) initially construed the claims at issue in March 2005, without holding a Markman hearing.  Plaintiff then sought reconsideration regarding one of the patents at issue and defendant sought reconsideration regarding the other.  The Court ultimately granted both motions and held a Markman hearing, which is the basis of this opinion.   

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The Lanham Act is Going to the Dogs

Posted in Uncategorized

Gail Green Licensing & Design Ltd. v. Accord, Inc., No. 05 C 5303, 2006 WL 2873202 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2006) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve dismissed plaintiffs’s Lanham Act false advertising claim, but refused to dismiss plaintiffs’s breach of contract claim, among others.  Both claims are based upon defendants’s receipt of plaintiffs’s copyrighted designs for pet clothing and accessories pursuant to a Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement (the "NDA") and defendants’s subsequent alleged sale of  goods based upon plaintiffs’s copyrighted designs.

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Northern District of Illinois Jury Instructions

Posted in Uncategorized

Crafting proposed jury instructions is one of the first steps when preparing for trial.  And one of the first steps in drafting those instructions is looking for pattern or sample instructions that the court has previously used or endorsed.  In order to help speed that process, I am adding a new Blog feature.  I have gathered the jury instructions that each of the Northern District judges identify on their respective  web pages as either form or model instructions.  Most have general civil instructions and a few have specific sample instructions for various types of IP suits.

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