Edge Capture L.L.C. v. Lehman Bros. Holdings, Inc., No. 08 C 24112, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 28, 2008) (Darrah, J.).
Judge Darrah denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ patent complaint and defendants’ motion to bifurcate invalidity and enforceability from liability and damages issues. Plaintiffs’ complaint was sufficient for the Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a) notice pleading standards. It pled ownership of a patent to a trading system and infringement by defendants “by making, selling, and using [the device] embodying the patent.” (brackets in the opinion). Plaintiffs were not required to plead infringement by specific devices.
While the Court had broad discretion to bifurcate issues and to stay discovery on the bifurcated issues, it was not warranted in this case because defendants did not meet their burden of proof. While bifurcating would significantly speed resolution if defendants’ invalidity or inequitable conduct arguments succeeded, bifurcation could significantly delay the case should defendants lose their invalidity and inequitable conduct arguments. Because defendants had not proven that they were likely to succeed, the Court denied the motion to bifurcate.