Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC v. Trading Techs. Int’l, Inc., No. 05 C 4088, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 17, 2008) (Moran, Sen. J.).

Judge Moran denied declaratory judgment defendant Trading Technologies’ ("TT") contempt motion and, instead, provided declaratory judgment plaintiff Rosenthal Collins Group’s ("RCG") two weeks to produce the previously compelled documents and to schedule the ordered deposition of third party declarant Walter Buist, the creator of the alleged prior art trading software Wit DSM. RCG previously filed a motion for summary judgment of invalidity of TT’s patents based upon a declaration by Buist regarding his Wit DSM software that he developed, at least partially, more than a year before TT filed its patent applications. In a previous opinion, the Court held that RCG’s motion was "somewhat misleading" and possibly "disingenuous," but refused to dismiss the case (you can read the Blog’s discussion of that opinion here, as well as more on this case generally in the Blog’s archives). 

During a deposition after RCG filed its summary judgment motion, Buist stated, among other things, that various drafts of his declaration were created, that he created a "differences" list and provided it to RCG’s counsel and that he had used various computers during his work related to the case.  TT sought all drafts of the declaration, a list of any destroyed drafts, the differences list, any drives or computers used by Buist and all documents reflecting communications between Buist or his associates and RCG and its counsel or associates.  And the Court ordered RCG to:

  1. reproduce all such documents;
  2. produce any remaining responsive documents (including the computers requested);
  3. produce documents reflecting relationships between Buist and RCG or its counsel, so long as such documents are not privileged; and
  4. produce Buist for an additional deposition to answer questions related to the compelled documents, as well as Buist’s relationship with RCG and its counsel.

(Click here to read the Blog’s post about that opinion). RCG, however, never produced the compelled documents or Buist for another deposition. RCG explained that it thought the Court stayed the compelled discovery when it stayed all other discovery pending the Federal Circuit’s resolution of the cross-appeals of the TT v. eSpeed case. Additionally, RCG noted that during a hearing four days before the start of the TT v. eSpeed trial the Court told the parties to put the Buist deposition on the “back burner.” The Court explained that its “back burner” comment was not intended to stay its order, just to delay resolution of the issue until after the looming trial. And as for the stay pending the Federal Circuit appeals, the Court held that the Wit DSM-related discovery was not relevant to the appealed issues and would not be affected by them. Furthermore, the Court had already ordered their production, a production that would be required regardless of the outcome of the Federal Circuit appeal. But the Court gave RCG the benefit of the doubt that it had misinterpreted the Court’s orders and instructions, and gave RCG two weeks to complete the compelled production.