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PersonalWeb Technologies, LLC v. Apple Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 24, 2014

PERSONALWEB TECHNOLOGIES, LLC; LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
APPLE INC., Defendant

Page 1023

For PersonalWeb Technologies LLC, Plaintiff: Adam Tyler Hockensmith, Susman Godfrey - Houston, Houston, TX; Ashley Lauren McMillian, PRO HAC VICE, Susman Godfrey - Houston, Houston, TX; Ashley Lauren Denton McMillian, PRO HAC VICE, Joseph S. Grinstein, Max Lalon Tribble, Jr., Susman Godfrey LLP, Houston, TX; Davida P Brook, Marc M. Seltzer, Susman Godfrey LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Daymon Jeffrey Rambin, Elizabeth DeRieux, Sidney Calvin Capshaw, III, Capshaw DeRieux, LLP, Gladewater, TX; Kalpana Srinivasan , Susman Godfrey, Los Angeles, CA.

For Level 3 Communications LLC, Plaintiff: David Dewey Wier, IV, LEAD ATTORNEY, Level 3 Communications, LLC, Broomfield, CO.

For Apple Inc, Defendant, Counter-claimant: Donald William Ward, PRO HAC VICE, Michael Darron Jay, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Santa Monica, CA; Joseph E Lasher, Boies, Schiller & Flexner - Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA; Kieran Paul Ringgenberg, Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, Oakland, CA; Melissa Richards Smith, Gillam & Smith, LLP, Marshall, TX; Nandan R Padmanabhan, Boies, Schiller & Flexner - Santa Monica, Santa Monica, CA.

For PersonalWeb Technologies LLC, Counter-defendant: Ashley Lauren McMillian, PRO HAC VICE, Susman Godfrey - Houston, Houston, TX; Davida P Brook, Marc M. Seltzer, Susman Godfrey LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Daymon Jeffrey Rambin, Elizabeth DeRieux, Sidney Calvin Capshaw, III, Capshaw DeRieux, LLP, Gladewater, TX; Joseph S. Grinstein, Max Lalon Tribble, Jr., Susman Godfrey LLP, Houston, TX.

Page 1024

Order Granting Motion of Defendant to Stay Pending Inter Partes Review

YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. Introduction

As set forth herein, the Court Grants the motion of defendant Apple Inc. to stay this case in favor of inter partes review proceedings currently underway before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (" PTO" ). (Dkt. No. 125.)[1] Roughly half of the claims at issue in this case are currently subject to inter partes review proceedings instituted by either the defendant or a third party. Thus, the likelihood of substantial narrowing of the issues before the Court justifies entry of a stay.

II. Background

A. Inter Partes Review

The Leahy--Smith America Invents Act (" AIA" ), introduced in 2012, replaced the former inter partes reexamination proceeding with an inter partes review process. Semiconductor Energy Lab. Co., Ltd. v. Chimei Innolux Corp., Case No. 12-cv-21 JST, 2012 WL 7170593, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2012). Once a petition for inter partes review is filed, the PTO must decide within three months whether to grant inter partes review. 35 U.S.C. § 314(b). The PTO may institute inter partes review only when it determines that " there is a reasonable likelihood that the petitioner would prevail with respect to at least one of the claims challenged in the petition." 35 U.S.C. § 314(a). If the PTO grants a petition for inter partes review, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (" PTAB" ) must complete the inter partes review within one year. 35 U.S.C. § § 6(a)-(c), 316(a)(11).

B. The Instant Litigation

The suit at bar comprised part of the second of two waves of litigation that plaintiff PersonalWeb Technologies LLC (" PersonalWeb" ) filed in the Eastern District of Texas encompassing the same seven patents, all of which involve data storage systems that use " substantially unique identifiers" to identify and access data. PersonalWeb filed the first wave of suits in December 2011 against EMC, VMWare, Google, Facebook, and others. The suits against EMC, VMWare, Google, Facebook and NetApp have been transferred to this District, where Judge Davila stayed them pending the resolution of inter partes review proceedings.[2]

In September 2012, PersonalWeb instituted a second wave of suits in the Eastern District of Texas against companies such as ...


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