Chief Magistrate Judge Thynge rules on motion to compel.

Chief Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge recently found that a plaintiff’s motion to compel sought discovery that was disproportional under Rule 26.  AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corp., C.A. No. 15-33-RGA/MPT (D. Del. May 3, 2016).  Specifically, the plaintiff sought discovery of “products that are not accused and pre-date the accused products because documents created when features were introduced would more likely address their purpose and the problems to be resolved.”  Such information, the plaintiff argued, “would refuse Intel’s defense of lack of utility, noninfringing technology and also Intel’s arguments of accidental occurrence.”  Intel argued in response that it had produced a substantial number of documents relating to, among others, the immediate predecessor generations of products not accused.”  Intel added that the plaintiff’s motion, if granted, would require Intel to search and produce “a range of documents covering over 20 years” relating to “nearly every microprocessor made by Intel.”  Judge Thynge focused on the proportionality requirement of Rule 26, and explained that the Court is required to “evaluate[] the parties’ arguments and reasoning for or against the requested production on the bases of the production sought, the other production to date, the degree of the requested production’s relevance, and the burdens imposed on the party from whom the production is requested.”  In post-hearing submissions, the plaintiff accepted Intel’s compromise offer to search a high level database, and to then search across hits from that database using the search terms requested by the plaintiff.  As a result, Judge Thynge denied the plaintiff’s motion but ordered Intel to perform the agreed upon searches.

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