Judge: Amos Mazzant
Holding: Motions for Severance GRANTED IN PART
Okay, so it doesn't have quite the thrill of this week's "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel (which had me up watching Jaws in HD with my three shark-obsessed boys Tuesday night). But there's still that common theme present in the past week's opinions from now four Eastern District judges getting out rulings on pending motions to sever.
The Oasis case is the proceeding that became In re EMC at the Federal Circuit recently, resulting in a remand for the district court to consider the motions for severance under FRCP 20 (this is an exclusively pre-AIA case) under the new standard. Judge Mazzant set a schedule for the rebriefing under the new standard and this opinion resulted.
Plaintiff did not contest that the standard for severance was made as to three of the defendants, but did allege that it was as to three others, so that the case should be severed into four actions, not six. Judge Mazzant disagreed that there was an aggregate of operative facts as to those defendants, and accordingly severed the case into six separate causes of action.
He then, citing Judge Davis' opinion in last week's Norman IP case, consolidated the cases for pretrial only, except for venue, and directed the parties to file briefs discussing the effects of consolidation for trial, specifically addressing whether Defendants should be consolidated for trial on issues of invalidity and severed for issues of infringement and damages.