U.S. Ethernet Innovations v. Ricoh, et al., 6:12cv235 (10/15/13)
Judge: John Love
Holding: Motion to Compel Depositions and Discovery DENIED IN PART
Plaintiff sought an order compelling defendant STMicroelectronics to provide discovery regarding non-accused products. Judge Love began his opinion by noting that the plaintiff was relying on the outcome of a discovery dispute involving "reasonably similar" products with another defendant – a dispute that he found was not comparable to that with ST.
In that case, the court wrote, the dispute was narrowly limited to the identity of third-party components incorporated in that defendant's products, and the plaintiff did not know which components were used in which specific products, nor was such information publicly available. Therefore, the court held the discovery of the specific components incorporated in the products was appropriate.
However with respect to ST, ST actually sells the components, and its publicly available website disclosed "comprehensive technical information" regarding these components. Plaintiff argued that the website may omit products not currently available, but the court found it had provided no evidence that any such products actually were omitted from the publicly available website despite a year of discovery during which ST had produced detailed information regarding numerous products that the plaintiff had failed to identify.
In addition, Judge Love found that the plaintiff provided no explanation for the three-month delay between the hearing at which it first asserted the "reasonably similar" argument against the other defendant, and the present motion to compel raising the same position. "Discovery needs to close, and USEI has failed to demonstrate diligence despite impending deadlines." Accordingly, Judge Love denied the motion except insofar as it sought to require the defendant to produce data sheets and technical sheets on only the products the plaintiff had identified in its infringement contentions already served (emphasis is the Court's), and to produce certain code in its possession and request code not in its possession but in the possession of related entities.