United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY RE: DKT.
ILLSTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a motion by defendants Lenovo (United States)
Inc. (“Lenovo”) and Motorola Mobility LLC
(“Motorola”) to stay pending conclusion of a
concurrent ITC investigation. Dkt. No. 26 (“Motion to
Stay”). Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court
determines the matter is appropriate for resolution without
oral argument and VACATES the January 10, 2020 hearing. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES the motion.
case, plaintiff Neodron, Ltd. (“Neodron”) alleges
defendants infringe seven patents: United States Patent Nos.
8, 102, 286; 8, 451, 237; 8, 502, 547; 8, 946, 574; 9, 086,
770; 10, 088, 960; and 7, 821, 502 (collectively, “the
asserted patents”). Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 1
(“Complaint”). In concurrent proceedings before
the International Trade Commission (“ITC”),
Neodron asserts four patents, two of which relate to two of
the asserted patents. Motion to Stay at 3-4; Dkt. No. 29 at 3
(“Opp'n”). All relate to touchscreen
technology. Motion to Stay at 3.
complaint, Neodron identifies two allegedly infringing
products: the Lenovo Yoga 730 and Motorola Moto G6. Complaint
¶¶ 17, 33. Neodron also identifies these same two
products, and others, as alleging infringing the four patents
in the ITC action. Motion to Stay at 5.
of the overlap of accused products and the relatedness of two
of the asserted patents, defendants argue staying this case
will promote judicial economy. Motion at 8-11. Defendants
also assert that Neodron, a non-practicing entity, will not
be prejudiced by a stay. Id. at 6-7. Defendants
claim to face substantial hardship if a stay is not granted,
primarily due to the expenses and potentially duplicative
efforts involved in litigating two cases in two different
forums in parallel. Id. at 7-8; Dkt. No. 34 at 10-11
counters that, because no patents in this case overlap with
patents asserted in the ITC action, a stay will not conserve
judicial resources. Dkt. No. 29 at 5-8
(“Opp'n”). Moreover, Neodron argues any
potential hardship facing defendants in conducting
duplicative litigation efforts can be ameliorated by an
agreement allowing the cross-use of discovery in the two
matters. Id. at 7. Neodron notes that, in the ITC
matter, (i) fact discovery ended, (ii) a claim construction
order issued on November 25, 2019, (iii) an evidentiary
hearing is set for March 23, 2020, (iv) the deadline for the
Initial Determination is June 26, 2020, and (v) the target
date for completion of the investigation is October 26, 2020.
Opp'n at 3; see also Reply at Ex. B (ITC
schedule). Neodron also argues that it will be unduly
prejudiced, because a stay risks the loss of evidence and
jeopardizes the availability of witnesses. Opp'n at 8-9.
Defendants argue that the early timing of their stay request
avoids prejudicing Neodron. Reply at 11-12.
Court's power to stay proceedings is “incidental to
the power inherent in every court to control the disposition
of the causes on its docket with economy of time and effort
for itself, for counsel, and for litigants.” Landis
v. North Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936). In
evaluating the propriety of a stay, the Court should consider
“the possible damage which may result from the granting
of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer
in being required to go forward, and the orderly course of
justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating
of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be
expected to result from a stay.” CMAX, Inc. v.
Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir.1962) (citing
Landis, 299 U.S. at 254-55).
the parties' arguments and the posture of this case, the
Court finds a stay is not warranted at this juncture. The ITC
investigation is nearly complete, with many issues already
decided. Indeed, discovery in the ITC matter ended, and the
parties' proposed schedule provides time after claim
construction for additional discovery. As such, a stay will
not greatly simplify the issues. Although defendants may face
hardship in conducting duplicative discovery, a cross-use
agreement could serve as a remedy.
Court is not unsympathetic to defendants' desire to avoid
litigating on multiple fronts simultaneously. As such, the
Court ENTERS the parties' jointly proposed case schedule
(Dkt. Nos. 31-1, 37) and encourages the parties to negotiate
an agreement to share discovery across all cases.
these circumstances, the Court finds a stay will not promote
judicial economy, and therefore DENIES ...