By Memorandum Order entered by The Honorable Leonard P. Stark in Cooper Notification, Inc. v. Twitter, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 09-865-LPS (D.Del., December 13, 2010), the Court denied the motion of defendants, Twitter, Inc., Everbridge, Inc., Rave Wireless, Inc. and Federal Signal Corp., to stay the patent infringement action pending resolution of the inter partes reexamination proceeding that defendants initiated in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) concerning the patent at issue based on four prior art references.
In denying the motion, the Court recognized that the decision of whether or not to stay litigation pending a USPTO reexamination proceeding is a matter left to the Court’s discretion. Id. at 2. Typically, in deciding how to exercise its discretion of whether to grant a stay of litigation, the Court noted that it considers three factors: (1) whether a stay will simplify the issues and trial of the case; (2) whether discovery is complete and a trial date has been set; and (3) whether a stay would unduly prejudice or present a clear tactical disadvantage to the non-moving party. Id. at 2-3. Moreover, the Court noted that “a showing of hardship or inequity is ‘generally’ needed to show that the balance of equities favors a stay,” although it is not an absolute requirement. Id. at 4 (citing Court’s prior decision in St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants, Inc. v. Fujifilm Holding Corp., 2009 WL 192457 (D.Del., January 27, 2009)).
Ultimately, after evaluating the factors, the Court concluded that a stay of the litigation in this action was not appropriate because, among other reasons, granting a stay would unduly prejudice plaintiff and provide defendants a clear, and unwarranted, tactical advantage. Id. at 5-9. Accordingly, the Court denied defendants’ motion to stay. Id. at 9.
A complete copy of the Memorandum Order is attached.