Putco, Inc. v. Carjams Com, Inc., Slip Op., No. 20 C 50109 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 10, 2021) (Jensen, Mag. J.).

Magistrate Judge Jensen granted in part defendant Carjams’ motion for a protective order concerning plaintiff Putco’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6) notice in this patent dispute.

Of particular note:

  • Carjams’ claim that Putco should be limited to ten topics, without some agreement by the parties, was not supported by the Federal Rules or the law.
  • The Court limited the temporal scope of the deposition to 2014 (before the patent’s filing date and Carjams’ first accused sales). Putco’s 2008 date limitation was overly burdensome.
  • Putco’s request for “all information” were not overly burdensome because Carjams had only fourteen employees, and only two likely had relevant information.
  • The Court would not prevent damages topics because Carjams intended to use a damages expert. Damages was still an appropriate topic for a corporate deposition.
  • The Court narrowed a broad topic on LED lights, limiting it to LED headlights as they relate to the accused products.
  • The Court limited a topic regarding Carjams’ use of its GEN4 trademark to use in relation to the accused products.
  • The Court limited a topic regarding a non-accused technology to the extent it was potential prior art or accused products.
  • The Court struck a broad topic seeking all information about Carjams’ suppliers. The Court allowed Putco to amend limiting the request to a more narrowly tailored topic, if that was possible.
  • The Court allowed a topic seeking information about all license agreements for the asserted patents or similar patents. Those agreements may have been relevant to a damages analysis.
  • A topic regarding Carjams’ knowledge of the industry was allowed.
  • A topic regarding Carjams’ bases for its discovery responses was allowed. The Court refused to require that the request be done by interrogatory.
  • The Court denied a request to limit a topic regarding Carjams’ alleged prior to sue to the date of the patent application forward because the relevant issue was whether the device had been used before the patent application was filed.