ImageCube LLC v. The Boeing Co., No. 04 C 7587, Slip Op. ( N.D. Ill. Jan. 22, 2010) (Dow, J.).
Judge Dow entered a final judgment as to defendant Boeing in this patent case and stayed the remaining claims pending a Federal Circuit appeal of the claim construction and summary judgment of Boeing’s final judgment. The parties all agreed that the Court’s claim construction and partial summary judgment ended the case as to Boeing. What was left of the case was the remaining defendants’ affirmative defenses and noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability counterclaims. "Mere defenses" are not sufficient to avoid a Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) final judgment. Once one defense is decided for defendant, additional defenses need not necessarily be considered. And the remaining counterclaims would all benefit, should they be tried upon remand, from the Federal Circuit’s claim construction decision. An immediate appeal might also hasten resolution of the entire case. Plaintiff acknowledged that it was unlikely to pursue its claims if the Federal Circuit upheld the Court’s claim construction.
Finally, the Court noted that defendants, over plaintiff’s objections, sought and got the schedule they wanted addressing limited issues before full discovery. Defendants cannot, therefore, "complain too loudly" about seeking more definitive resolution of limited issues before turning to the remainder of the case.