Thursday, August 22, 2019

Judge Koh schedules Continental v. Avanci et al. FRAND trial for October 2021, denies defendants' motion to stay discovery

Yesterday Judge Lucy H. Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held an initial case management conference in Continental v. Avanci et al.--for details on the issues in the case, please click on the links to earlier posts that you find in this article--and subsequently issued the following case management order (this post continues below the document):

19-08-21 Case Management Or... by Florian Mueller on Scribd

The 10-day bench trial (reminiscent of FTC v. Qualcomm) will kick off on October 15, 2021.

The next case management conference will take place on December 18, 2019, and I'll probably be in the area and may stop by out of curiosity (which wasn't possible yesterday).

Also, the defendants' (i.e., Avanci, Nokia, and privateers that Nokia once fed with patents; and meanwhile, Sharp has also been properly served) motion to stay discovery was denied. While their forthcoming motion to dismiss and already-pending venue transfer motion have yet to be adjudicated, it's possible that Avanci's related arguments at least haven't overwhelmed Judge Koh, which may be the reason she doesn't see a point in staying discovery.

The just-mentioned motion to transfer the case from San Jose to Dallas is already the second attempt to avoid Judge Koh's jurisdiction over the case. In June,'s Scott Graham reported on the denial of a venue-internal transfer motion: the Northern District of California has several divisions; Judge Koh is based in San Jose; and Avanci wanted to at least get the case moved out of that place (with San Francisco being their preferred alternative), even before it was formally assigned to Judge Koh (at the time it was still pending with Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Cousins, which already made it likely that it would be assigned to Judge Koh). As Scott Graham mentioned, Nokia's testimony in FTC v. Qualcomm didn't appear credible to Judge Koh (for undestandable reasons as Nokia itself once complained over Qualcomm's practices, at a time when Nokia was still in the mobile handset business).

The order doesn't say anything about the further process regarding Continental's fully-briefed motion for an antisuit injunction. In my opinion, that motion is neither totally meritless nor a slam dunk.

Juve Patent thankfully credited my blog for publishing the case numbers and patent-in-suits of five German Sharp v. Daimler patent infringement cases (Sharp is another Avanci member). That article also says a first hearing in one of the Nokia v. Daimler patent infringement cases will be held in Munich in October, and the first Nokia v. Daimler trial is scheduled for December in Mannheim. When Continental and Avanci briefed Judge Koh ahead of yesterday's case management hearing, Continental listed those German patent infringement actions against Daimler as related cases, while Avanci and its co-defendants deny that there is a link.

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