Fractus v. Samsung, 6:09cv203 (8/17/12)
Judge: John Love
Holding: Motion to Stay Pending Reexamination DENIED
Fractus filed suit against Samsung in May 2009. Over a year later, Samsung petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) for inter partes reexamination for all the claims Fractus asserted in the litigation. Fractus and Samsung proceeded to trial on May 16, 2011, and after a five day trial, a jury found that Samsung’s accused phones infringed Fractus’s asserted patents and assessed damages through trial. After the jury’s verdict, the Court denied Samsung’s post-trial motions and entered final judgment. See Fractus verdict affirmed in JMOL rulings; damages enhanced but no injunction. The Court also severed Fractus’s claim for an ongoing royalty into a separate action and ordered the parties to attempt to negotiate, via mediation, a license for a post-verdict royalty without the Court’s intervention.
But just recently, the PTO issued a ruling closing the reexam proceedings and rejecting all the assrted claims of the four patents that the jury determined were infringed. Samsung now requested a stay of the proceedings in order to allow any potential appeal from the BPAI to proceed concurrently at the Federal Circuit with Samsung’s appeal from the jury’s verdict. Fractus, on the other hand, asserted that it was entitled to a stay of the reexam proceedings, and was seeking that from the PTO.
Judge Love noted that Samsung failed to address any of the factors that district courts consider when determining the efficacy of staying a litigation pending completion of a reexamination. "Given that the factors cut heavily against the granting of a stay," he noted, "Samsung argues that the factors are not applicable, and that the Court should instead apply the appellate standard for staying an appeal." Judge Love rejected this argument and addressed the traditional factors typically considered by district courts regarding such a motion, and denied the requested stay.