By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Nokia Corporation v. Apple Inc., Civil Action No. 09-791-GMS (D.Del., June 1, 2011), the Court denied plaintiff/counterclaim-defendant Nokia’s motion to stay defendant/counterclaim-plaintiff Apple’s patent infringement claims pending reexamination of Apple’s patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”). In doing so, the Court noted that the decision to stay a case is firmly within the discretion of the court and that authority is the same in patent cases where a reexamination by the USPTO has been requested. Id. at 2.
The Court also noted that, in determining whether a stay is appropriate, its discretion should be guided by the following factors: “(1) whether a stay would unduly prejudice or present a clear tactical disadvantage to the non-moving party; (2) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question and trial of the case; and (3) whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set.” Id. After analyzing these factors, the Court concluded that a stay pending reexamination would not serve the interests of judicial efficiency in this matter given the stage of the litigation and granting the stay would not simplify the case because the majority of the case would proceed regardless of whether Apple’s claims were stayed. Id. at 3.
A complete copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached hereto.