By Memorandum Opinion entered by the Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Cignex Datamatics, Inc. v. Lam Research Corp., Civil Action No. 17-320-MN (D.Del. March 11, 2019), the Court denied the motion of defendant Lam Research Corporation seeking a finding of spoliation and entry of sanctions against plaintiff Cignex Datamatics, Inc. for failure to preserve the emails of certain employees of plaintiff that worked on the software development project that was the subject of the breach of contract litigation between plaintiff and defendant.

Upon evaluation of the motion, the Court found that, since the issue of spoliation turned on plaintiff’s loss of ESI, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) governed the analysis. Id. at*7. The Court did find that plaintiff should have preserved at least some of the email accounts identified by defendant but failed to take reasonable steps to do so after litigation was reasonably anticipated. Id. As to the third threshold issue of Rule 37(e), the Court found that defendant did not make a showing that the lost emails could not be restored or replaced through additional discovery. Id. at *8. The Court also found that defendant did not make a sufficient showing to invoke the intentional and willful spoliation analysis of Rule 37(e)(2); rather, it was appropriate to proceed under the negligence spoliation analysis of Rule 37(e)(1). Id. at *9. The Court thereafter found that there was not a sufficient showing on the record for the Court to find that defendant was prejudiced by the loss of the ESI and, thus, imposing a curative measure under Rule 37(e)(1) would be inappropriate. Id. at *10-11.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.

By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Prescient Medicine Holdings, LLC v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, et al., Civil Action No. 18-600-MN (D.Del. February 14, 2019), the Court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss all claims of the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) after finding that Plaintiff failed to allege sufficient facts to assert its antitrust claims.

In its Complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants conspired to exclude Plaintiff from providing laboratory testing services to the Delaware market in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 16 of the Clayton Act. Id. at *1. In response, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss all claims of the Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6). Id. Specifically, Defendants argued that Plaintiff’s alleged antitrust claims failed because they did not plead sufficient facts to show antitrust standing and a relevant market. Id. at *3.

Upon review, the Court agreed that Plaintiff’s Complaint did not plead sufficient facts to show the threshold requirement of antitrust standing and relevant market. Id. at *3-12. Accordingly, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss the federal antitrust claims and also dismissed Plaintiff’s accompanying state law claims after refusing to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over those claims because it had dismissed the federal antitrust claims over which it had original jurisdiction. Id.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.

By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Maryellen Noreika in ANI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Method Pharmaceuticals, LLC et al., Civil Action No. 17-1097-MN (D.Del. January 11, 2019), the Court granted-in-part Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) or, in the Alternative, Transfer Venue to the extent that it sought to transfer the action from the District of Delaware to the Northern District of Texas. The Court denied the portion of Defendants’ Motion that sought dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) finding that the question of personal jurisdiction over defendant Method presented a close call but the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over defendant Tucker. Id. at *12. The Court explained that it would exercise its discretion in transferring the case regardless of the existence of personal jurisdiction over defendant Method because “judicial economy favors the prosecution of a case in its entirety, and that weighs in favor of transferring the case to the Northern District of Texas where there is no question of jurisdiction.” Id.

Ultimately, in analyzing the twelve Jumara factors, the Court found that eight factors weighed in favor of transfer while the remaining four factors were neutral. Id. at *12-19. The Court noted that, although “a plaintiff’s choice of venue is generally provided paramount consideration under Jumara, the Court’s inability to assert personal jurisdiction over one of the defendants undermine[d] that deference here. Id. at *19.

A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.

By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered by The Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Agrofresh Inc. v. Mirtech, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 16-662-MN-SRF (D.Del. January 2, 2019), the Court overruled-in-part and sustained-in-part Plaintiff’s objections to Magistrate Judge Sherry Fallon’s Claim Construction Report and Recommendation (D.I. 247). The Court ultimately entered its Markman ruling construing seven (7) disputed claims in the patents-in-suit, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,017,849, 6,313,068 and 9,394,216.

Copies of the Memorandum Opinion and Order are attached.

By Memorandum Opinion and Order entered by The Honorable Maryellen Noreika in Invensas Corporation v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al., Civil Action No. 17-1363-MN (D.Del. November 16, 2018), the Court entered its Markman ruling construing three (3) terms in dispute in U.S. Patent Numbers 6,232,231 (“the ‘231 Patent”) and 6,849,946 (“the ‘946 Patent”).

Ultimately, the Court agreed with Plaintiff Invensas’s proposed construction for all three (3) terms in dispute finding (1) the terms “substantially planar” and “substantially co-planar” are not indefinite and that, based on the specification, a person of ordinary skill in the art (“POSA”) would understand the term “substantially planar” means “substantially flat” and the term “substantially co-planar” means “substantially at the same elevation”; (2) the specification, when read in its entirety, discloses that “dummy connectors” may be connected to a power supply or ground, but does not require that they be connected to a source that can supply a power or ground voltage as Samsung’s proposed construction would require; and (3) the term “plurality of laterally spaced dummy trenches” means “two or more dummy trenches arranged with spaces between their sides.” Id. at *5-9.

Copies of the Memorandum Opinion and Order are attached.

This is the first opinion that I have reviewed that was issued by Judge Noreika. The opinion is clear, concise, well-reasoned and easy to follow. Not an easy task to accomplish in the patent area. It appears that Judge Noreika is off to an excellent start on the bench.

The Honorable Colm F. Connolly and The Honorable Maryellen Noreika both were sworn in as District Judges on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware this week.  They became the 26th and 27th individuals in the history of the Court to be appointed as District Judges.

The Court announced that Judges Connolly and Noreika will begin to be assigned new cases on August 15, 2018.  The Court will be eliminating the Vacant Judgeship (“VAC”) docket.  VAC cases that are currently assigned to a Magistrate Judge without consent of the parties to the jurisdiction of the Magistrate Judge will be reassigned to a District Judge – primarily Judges Connolly and Noreika.  The Court also will be phasing out the regular assignment of cases to Visiting Judges.  Cases that are currently assigned to a Visiting Judge will remain with the assigned Visiting Judge or may be reassigned to a Delaware District Judge – primarily Judges Connolly and Noreika.

The Court also announced that Senior Judge Sleet will be retiring from the bench at the end of September.  All cases assigned to Judgle Sleet (“GMS”) will be reassigned primarily to Judges Connolly and Noreika by a date on or around Judge Sleet’s retirement.  With the addition of Judges Connolly and Noreika, the Court is back to full strength.

A full copy of the Court’s Announcement is attached hereto.