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MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. v. Infineon Technologies AG

United States District Court, C.D. California

March 17, 2017

MACOM TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS HOLDINGS, INC. ET AL.
v.
INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG ET AL.

          Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings:

         (IN CHAMBERS) [REDACTED]

         PLAINTIFFS MACOM TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS HOLDINGS, INC. AND NITRONEX, LLC'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO TAKE EXPEDITED DISCOVERY (Dkt. 224, filed January 30, 2017)

         The Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; CD. Cal. Local Rule 7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of March 20, 2017 is vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.

         I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

         On April 26, 2016, plaintiffs MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. ("MACOM"), and Nitronex, LLC filed the instant action against defendants Infineon Technologies AG ("AG") and Infineon Technologies Americas Corp. ("Americas"). Dkt. 1. The gravamen of plaintiffs' complaint is that defendants breached the intellectual property purchase agreement and the license agreement entered into in 2010 by Nitronex Corporation (the predecessor-in-interest to MACOM) and International Rectifier Corporation (the predecessor-in-interest to Americas).[1]

         In their first amended complaint ("FAC"), plaintiffs asserted eight claims for relief: (1) breach of contract for wrongful termination of a 2010 license agreement; (2) breach of contract for marketing and preparing for sale of products within plaintiffs' "exclusive field" under the terms of to the 2010 license agreement; (3) a declaration that the 2010 license agreement has not been terminated; (4) breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied in the 2010 license and intellectual property ("IP") purchase agreements; (5) a declaration of non-infringement; (6) breach of the 2010 intellectual IP purchase agreement; (7) a declaration that defendants may not transfer to a third party the patents covered by the 2010 agreements without MACOM's consent; and (8) if AG is not subject to plaintiffs' breach of contract claims, intentional interference with contractual relations against AG. Dkt. 65 ("FAC").

         On October 31, 2016, the Court issued an order in which the Court: (a) denied AG's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' FAC to the extent AG argued that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction; (b) granted without prejudice AG's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and seventh claims for relief; (c) granted without prejudice Americas' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' fifth claim for relief to the extent the claim relied on unidentified products; (d) otherwise denied Americas' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' fifth claim for relief; (e) denied AG's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' eighth claim for relief; and (f) denied Americas' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' second claim for relief. Dkt. 140. In addition, the Court granted plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction against Americas and directed plaintiffs to submit a proposed order detailing the injunctive relief plaintiffs sought. Id. On November 16, 2016, the Court issued a proposed injunction and requested that the parties serve any objections. Dkt. 158. After receiving briefing on the Court's proposed order, the Court issued a preliminary injunction against Americas on December 7, 2016. Dkt. 177 ("Original Preliminary Injunction"). On January 3, 2017, Americas appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals this Court's order granting plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 193.

         On November 28, 2016, plaintiffs filed the operative second amended complaint. Dkt. 170 ("SAC"). On December 30, 2016, Americas and AG filed motions to dismiss certain claims in the SAC. Dkts. 186, 187. On February 28, 2017, the Court issued an order (a) denying Americas' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' second and fifth claims for relief, along with plaintiffs' contingent claims for the relief based on rescission; and (b) denying AG's motion to dismiss plaintiffs' eighth claim for relief. Dkt. 271. The Court ordered defendants to file an answer within fourteen days of the date of its order. Id. On March 9, 2017, defendants filed an ex parte application to continue the deadline to answer by ten days. Dkt. 280. On March 10, 2017, the Court granted defendants' ex parte request for a continuance. Dkt. 281.

         On January 5, 2017, Americas filed a motion to stay pending appeal or to modify a portion of the Court's Original Preliminary Injunction. Dkt. 200. On March 6, 2017, the Court denied Americas' request to stay the injunction. Dkt. 277. However, the Court granted Americas' motion to modify the injunction and issued a Modified Preliminary Injunction. Id. On January 30, 2017, plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to take expedited discovery regarding defendants' potential violations of the preliminary injunction. Dkt. 224 ("Motion"). Defendants filed their opposition on March 2, 2017, dkt. 268 ("Opp'n"), and plaintiffs filed their reply on March 6, 2017, dkt. 274 ("Reply").

         Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows."[2]

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         "Rule 26(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure generally provides that formal discovery will not commence until after the parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f)." Qwest Commc'ns Int'l. Inc. v. WorldOuest Networks. Inc.. 213 F.R.D. 418, 419 (D. Colo. 2003); In re Countrywide Fin. Corp. Derivative Litiq.. 542 F.Supp.2d 1160, 1179 (CD. Cal. 2008); Awash v. Bank Al-Madina. 233 F.R.D. 325, 326 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). "However, courts may permit expedited discovery before the Rule 26(f) conference upon a showing of good cause." In re Countrywide, 542 F.Supp.2d at 1179; Semitool. Inc. v. Tokyo Electron Am.. Inc.. 208 F.R.D. 273, 276 (N.D. Cal. 2002); see also Qwest Commc'ns Int'l. Inc.. 213 F.R.D. at 419 ("[A] party seeking expedited discovery in advance of [the] Rule 26(f) conference has the burden of showing good cause for the requested departure from usual discovery procedures."); Merrill Lynch. ...


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