Judge Burke stays cases pending resolutions of motions to dismiss for lack of patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101

Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke recently considered defendants’ motions to stay patent litigation proceedings pending the Court’s resolution of defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  Kaavo Inc. v. Cognizant Tech. Solutions Corp., et al., C.A. No. 14-1192-LPS-CJB, C.A. No. 14-1193-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Apr. 9, 2015).  In granting the motion to stay, Judge Burke noted that if the motion to dismiss is resolved in defendants’ favor, the motion would be “entirely case-dispositive as to all asserted claims of the one patent-in-suit[.]”  Id. at 2.  Judge Burke also noted that the cases were in their early stages and no scheduling order had been entered by the Court.  Id. at 6.  Finally, Judge Burke considered undue prejudice to plaintiff should the Court grant the stay–a subfactor which is “very important” to deciding whether to grant a stay.  Id. at 6-7.  Important to this determination is whether the parties are direct competitors.  Id. at 7.  Judge Burke noted that the record was “very sparse on the competition issue.”  Id. at 8.

Ultimately, Judge Burke determined that a stay was appropriate:

[T]he possibility of simplification of the issues weighs slightly in favor of a stay, and the status of the litigation weights strongly in favor of a stay. The undue prejudice factor weighs slightly against a stay. Had Plaintiff made a stronger showing that the parties are direct competitors, the Court’s overall conclusion here may have differed.  But in the end, the possibility of dramatically simplifying the case, and of realizing such simplification at a very early stage, is compelling enough to warrant grant of Defendants’ motions.

Id. at 10.

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