United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER DENYING REMAINDER OF PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RELIEF FROM NONDISPOSITIVE PRETRIAL ORDER OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
[RE: ECF 292]
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Relief from
Nondispositive Pretrial Order of Magistrate Judge (ECF 274).
Motion, ECF 292. Plaintiff's motion requests relief from
three aspects of Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen's
order at ECF 274:
(1) Denial of Plaintiff's motion for leave to supplement
its infringement contentions with (a) internal code names of
software components and (b) a new infringement contention
(2) Striking Plaintiff's supplemental interrogatory
response to Cisco's Interrogatory No. 10; and
(3) Compelling Plaintiff to produce further documents
relating to its subsidiary's relationship with IBM.
See generally Motion. The Court previously denied
Plaintiff's motion with respect to issues (2) and (3) and
requested an opposition brief from Defendant regarding issue
(1). See ECF 293. Defendant has submitted its
opposition brief, see Opp'n, ECF 300, and this
matter is suitable for submission without oral argument,
see ECF 293.
district court may refer nondispositive pretrial matters to a
magistrate judge under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The
district court “may reconsider any pretrial matter
under this subparagraph (A) where it has been shown that the
magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous or contrary
to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). On review of a
nondispositive order, “the magistrate's factual
determinations are reviewed for clear error, and the
magistrate's legal conclusions are reviewed to determine
whether they are contrary to law.” Perry v.
Schwarzenegger, 268 F.R.D. 344, 348 (N.D. Cal. 2010).
This standard is highly deferential- the district judge may
not simply substitute his or her judgment for that of the
magistrate judge. Grimes v. City & Cnty. of
S.F., 951 F.2d 236, 241 (9th Cir. 1991).
remaining issue consists of two subparts: (a) Judge van
Keulen's denial of Plaintiff's motion for leave to
supplement its infringement contentions with internal code
names of software components; and (b) Judge van Keulen's
denial of Plaintiff's motion for leave to supplement its
infringement contentions with a new contention concerning
Talos. See Motion at 1-3. The Court addresses each
subpart in turn.
Request to Supplement with Internal Code Names of Software
discovery, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to supplement
its infringement contentions with internal code names of
software components. See ECF 231 at 2. Judge van
Keulen denied this request based on her finding that
“Finjan's showing of diligence [was]
insufficient.” See van Keulen Order at 7, ECF
argues that Judge van Keulen's order on this point should
be reversed “because Finjan promptly notified Cisco of
the internal code names accused of infringement and
diligently sought to supplement its infringement contentions
with this new information, as this Court indicated was
appropriate in [Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Sys., LLC,
No. 15-cv-03295-BLF, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220192, at *23 n.1
(N.D. Cal. July 28, 2017) (“Blue Coat
II”)]. See Motion at 2. Defendant
counters that Judge van Keulen properly considered the
relevant law, that Blue Coat II does not support
Plaintiff's position, and that “[none] of the
‘internal names' [were] new to Finjan.”
See Opp'n at 1, ECF 300.
reviewed the parties' arguments with respect to the
internal code names issue, the Court now better understands
the controversy between the parties and concurs with Judge
van Keulen's determination that the issue is more complex
than initially presented by Finjan. The Court would have
expected Finjan to present a list of newly identified
internal code names to be swapped out for less precise
designations in the infringement contentions. Having been
advised of this deficiency by Judge van Keulen, Finjan has
done nothing to persuade this Court that the true effect of
its request is as benign as suggested in the moving papers.
Thus, the Court finds no “clear error” in Judge
van Keulen's factual determinations and does not find
that Judge van Keulen's legal conclusions are
“contrary to law.” See Perry, 268 F.R.D.
at 348. The Court will not substitute its judgment for the
considered judgment of Judge van Keulen. See Grimes,