Leonard P. Stark: Agree to Claim Terms or Lose Two of Them

In multi-patent litigation, parties and the Court are often confronted with how to properly manage the sometimes unwieldy claim-construction process. To that end, Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark recently issued a noteworthy ruling that addressed how, at least in the case before him, Markman should be controlled. Specifically, the Court held that, in the underlying six-patent litigation, the parties would be limited to presenting twelve claim terms for construction.

While a claim limit is itself not unusual, the order also contains an incentive to agree: should the parties fail to settle on the twelve terms for construction, “the Court will limit the number of terms it will construe in conjunction with the Markman hearing to a maximum of ten (10).” Now that is incentive, indeed.

Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor Int’l Inc., C.A. No. 08-309-JJF-LPS (D. Del. July 16, 2009) (Stark, M.J.).

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