Judge Sleet grants motion to stay pending inter partes review of four of the nine patents-in-suit

Judge Gregory M. Sleet recently granted defendants’ motion to stay pending inter partes review of four patents-in-suit (U.S Patent Nos. 6,487,200, 6,993,353, 7,907,714, and 8,855,147).   AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P., et al. v. Cox Communications, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 14-1106-GMS (D. Del. Sept. 24, 2015).  Plaintiffs objected to the proposed stay because defendants would not be prejudiced absent a stay, whereas plaintiffs would suffer prejudice since the parties are direct competitors.  Id. at 2.  Moreover, the fact that the parties were in the middle of discovery and that the IPR petitions covered only four of the nine patents-in-suit weighed against stay.  Id.  Judge Sleet disagreed.  Defendants “requested review of more than half the claims asserted in this case” and “[t]he results of the IPR may affect not only validity of the asserted claims, but also their scope.”  Id.at 3 n.4.  Therefore, the IPRs will simplify issues in this litigation.  Moreover, Judge Sleet found that the stage of the case did not weigh against a stay because trial was not scheduled until October 2016.  Id.

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