Judge Robinson: Marginal Relevance of Evidence Outweighed by Risks of Unfair Prejudice, Confusing and Misleading the Jury, and Wasting the Parties’ Time

Judge Robinson recently resolved several pretrial issues in Solvay, S.A. v. Honeywell Specialty Materials LLC, C.A. No. 06-557-SLR (D. Del. Sept. 13, 2011), including:

(1) granting the parties’ motions in limine to exclude “certain characterizations of Honeywell’s [prior art] patent made in satellite patent prosecutions” because “the marginal relevance of the evidence is far outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury and wasting the limited time of the parties explaining the satellite patent prosecutions” (id. at 1-2);
(2) declining to reopen the issue of the priority date of the asserted patent (id. at 2);
(3) stating that a dependent claim should not be submitted to the jury when it was not discussed in the plaintiff’s expert report (id. at 2);
(4) granting “Honeywell’s motion for leave to serve an expert witness statement on the disclosure of . . . one of the late disclosed documents that has become a critical issue in the case since the Federal Circuit’s decision” (id. at 2-3);
(5) denying Honeywell’s motions for reargument “regarding the issue of abandonment, suppression or concealment” (id. at 3-4);
(6) holding that Honeywell failed “to establish a cause of action for inequitable conduct” because Honeywell did not “establish the requisite level of intent” required under the Federal Circuit’s recent holding in Therasense (id. at 4-5); and
(7) stating that the issue of equitable estoppel would be tried at a bench trial following the jury trial (id. at 5).

Solvay, S.A. v. Honeywell Specialty Materials LLC, C.A. No. 06-557-SLR (D. Del. Sept. 13, 2011)

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