GeoTag Inc. v. Yellowpages.com LLC

Filing 168

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER - Signed by Judge Rodney Gilstrap on 6/11/2013. (ch, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS MARSHALL DIVISION GEOTAG, INC., Plaintiff, v. FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS CORP., ET AL. YELLOWPAGES.COM, LLC, ET AL. GEORGIO ARMANI S.P.A., ET AL. AROMATIQUE, INC., ET AL. GUCCI AMERICA, INC., ET AL. RENT-A-CENTER, INC., ET AL. ROYAL PURPLE INC, ET AL. YAKIRA, LLC, ET AL. WHERE 2 GET IT INC., ET AL. EYE CARE CENTERS OF AMERICA, INC. AMERCO, ET AL. 7-ELEVEN, INC., ET AL. SUNBELT RENTALS, INC. CANON, INC., ET AL. AMERICAN APPAREL INC. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO. AMERICAN EAGLE OUTFITTERS INC.. ANN INC. BURLEIGH POINT LTD. CATALOGUE VENTURES, INC. BURBERRY LIMITED BURLINGTON FACTORY WAREHOUSE CORPORATION CACHE INC. THE WILLIAM CARTER COMPANY CHARMING SHOPPES INC. CHICO’S FAS INC. CITI TRENDS INC. CLAIRE’S BOUTIQUES, INC. COLDWATER CREEK INC. DAVID’S BRIDAL INC. 1 § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § CASE NO. 2:10-CV-265 (LEAD CASE) CASE NO. 2:10-CV-272 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-569 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-570 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-571 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-573 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-575 CASE NO. 2:10-CV-587 CASE NO. 2:11-CV-175 CASE NO. 2:11-CV-404 CASE NO. 2:11-CV-421 CASE NO. 2:11-CV-424 CASE NO. 2:11-CV-425 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-043 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-436 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-437 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-438 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-439 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-441 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-442 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-443 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-444 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-445 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-446 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-447 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-448 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-449 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-450 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-451 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-452 DELIAS INC. DIESEL U.S.A. INC. DONNA KARAN INTERNATIONAL, INC. LVMH MOET HENNESSY LOUIS VUITTON, INC. DOTS, LLC DRAPER’S & DAMON’S INC. EDDIE BAUER LLC ESPRIT US RETAIL LIMITED THE FINISH LINE INC. FOREVER 21 RETAIL INC. FORMAL SPECIALISTS LTD. FREDRICK’S OF HOLLYWOOD STORES, INC. GROUPE DYNAMITE, INC. D/B/A GARAGE GUESS? RETAIL INC. H&M HENNES & MAURITZ LP HANESBRANDS INC. HOT TOPIC INC. HUGO BOSS FASHION INC. J. CREW GROUP INC. JIMMY JAZZ INC. JOS. A. BANK CLOTHIERS INC. ALCO STORES INC. BROWN SHOE COMPANY INC. COLLECTIVE BRANDS INC. CROCS INC. DSW INC. D/B/A DSW SHOE INC. GENESCO INC. HEELY’S INC. AMERICAN GREETING CORPORATION HALLMARK CARDS, INC. HICKORY FARMS INC. SPENCER GIFTS LLC INTERNATIONAL COFFEE & TEA, LLC THINGS REMEMBERED, INC. THE YANKEE CANDLE COMPANY, INC. BOSE CORPORATION GUITAR CENTER INC. 24 HOUR FITNESS WORLDWIDE INC. BALLY TOTAL FITNESS CORPORATION BARE ESCENTIALS INC. BIOSCRIP INC. 2 § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § CASE NO. 2:12-CV-454 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-456 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-457 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-458 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-459 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-460 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-461 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-462 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-464 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-465 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-466 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-467 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-468 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-469 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-470 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-471 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-472 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-473 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-474 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-475 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-476 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-477 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-480 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-481 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-482 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-483 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-486 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-487 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-520 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-521 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-522 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-523 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-524 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-525 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-526 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-527 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-528 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-530 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-531 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-532 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-533 CRABTREE & EVELYN CURVES INTERNATIONAL INC. GOLD’S GYM INTERNATIONAL INC. GREAT CLIPS INC. L.A. FITNESS INTERNATIONAL INC. LIFE TIME FITNESS INC. M.A.C. COSMETICS INC. MERLE NORMAN COSMETICS VITAMIN COTTAGE NATURAL FOOD MARKETS, INC. REGIS CORPORATION SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY LLC SEPHORA USA INC. ULTA SALON, COSMETICS & FRAGRANCE, INC. VITAMIN SHOPPE INDUSTRIES, INC. EYEMART EXPRESS, LTD. LUXOTTICA RETAIL NORTH AMERICA INC. NATIONAL VISION INC. U.S. VISION INC. BUTH-NA-BODHAIGE INC. PSP GROUP, LLC WHERE 2 GET IT INC. V. GEOTAG, INC. § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § CASE NO. 2:12-CV-534 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-535 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-536 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-537 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-538 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-539 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-540 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-541 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-542 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-543 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-544 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-545 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-547 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-548 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-549 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-550 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-551 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-552 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-555 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-556 CASE NO. 2:12-CV-149 MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Before the Court is Defendants’ Opposed Motion for Leave to Supplement Invalidity Contentions, filed November 27, 2012.1 The Court having considered the same finds that the                                                              1 Defendants’ have filed the motion in multiple cases as follows: Case No. 2:10-cv-265, Dkt. No. 353; Case No. 2:10-cv-272, Dkt. No. 141; Case No. 2:10-cv-569, Dkt. No. 186; Case No. 2:10-cv-570, Dkt. No. 554; Case No. 2:10-cv-571, Dkt. No. 466; Case No. 2:10-cv-573, Dkt. No. 362; Case No. 2:10-cv-575, Dkt. No. 572; Case No. 2:10-cv-587, Dkt. No. 379; Case No. 2:11-cv-175, Dkt. No. 358; Case No. 2:11-cv-404, Dkt. No. 435; Case No. 2:11-cv-421, Dkt. No. 82; Case No. 2:11-cv-424, Dkt. No. 85; Case No. 2:11-cv-425, Dkt. No. 75; Case No. 2:12cv-43, Dkt. No. 95; Case No. 2:12-cv-149, Dkt. No. 83; Case No. 2:12-cv-436, Dkt. No. 52; Case No. 2:12-cv-437, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-438, Dkt. No. 46; Case No. 2:12-cv-439, Dkt. No. 50; Case No. 2:12-cv-441, Dkt. No. 51; Case No. 2:12-cv-442, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-443, Dkt. No. 52; Case No. 2:12-cv-444, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-445, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-446, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-447, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-448, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-449, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-450, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-451, Dkt. No. 52; Case No. 2:12-cv-452, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-454, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12cv-456, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-457, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-458, Dkt. No. 50; Case No. 2:12-cv-459, 3 motion should be DENIED. I. Applicable Law A party’s invalidity contentions are deemed to be the party’s final invalidity contentions unless amendment or supplementation is permitted by the Local Patent Rules. P.R. 3-6. In limited circumstances, amendment of invalidity contentions is permitted as of right. P.R. 3-6(a). Otherwise, amendment “may be made only by order of the Court, which shall be entered only upon a showing of good cause.” P.R. 3-6(b). When determining whether a party has demonstrated good cause, the Court considers: (1) the explanation for the party’s failure to meet the deadline; (2) the importance of the amendment; (3) potential prejudice from allowing the amendment; and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure such prejudice. S & W Enters., L.L.C. v. SouthTrust Bank of Alabama, NA, 315 F.3d 533, 536 (5th Cir. 2003). II. Discussion Defendants served their invalidity contentions on August 17, 2012. By the present motion, Defendants seek leave pursuant to Patent Rule 3-6(b) to supplement their invalidity contentions to include 36 additional prior art references describing the following five prior art                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dkt. No. 55; Case No. 2:12-cv-460, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-461, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-462, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-464, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-465, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-466, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-467, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-468, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-469, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-470, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-471, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-472, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-473, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-474, Dkt. No. 62; Case No. 2:12-cv-475, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12cv-476, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-477, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-480, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-481, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-482, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-483, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-486, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-487, Dkt. No. 47; Case No. 2:12-cv-520, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-521, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-522, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-523, Dkt. No. 51; Case No. 2:12-cv-524, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-525, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-526, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-527, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-528, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-530, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-531, Dkt. No. 42; Case No. 2:12cv-532, Dkt. No. 43; Case No. 2:12-cv-533, Dkt. No. 43; Case No. 2:12-cv-534, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-535, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-536, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-537, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-538, Dkt. No. 46; Case No. 2:12-cv-539, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-540, Dkt. No. 49; Case No. 2:12-cv-541, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-542, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-543, Dkt. No. 50; Case No. 2:12-cv-544, Dkt. No. 48; Case No. 2:12-cv-545, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-547, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-548, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-549, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-550, Dkt. No. 45; Case No. 2:12-cv-551, Dkt. No. 50; Case No. 2:12cv-552, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-555, Dkt. No. 44; Case No. 2:12-cv-556, Dkt. No. 44. For brevity, the Court cites only to the briefing filed in Case No. 2:10-cv-265. 4 systems: (1) EAAsy Sabre; (2) Prodigy; (3) America On Line (“AOL”); (4) CompuServe; and (5) Delphi (collectively “the Supplemental References”). According to Defendants, their “first inkling” of the relevance of the Supplemental References came on September 5, 2012, when Defendants’ counsel received an email from co-counsel stating that “he had gone through some old boxes of books while cleaning out his garage and came across [an early AOL User Guide].” (Dkt. No. 353 at 5, Ex. 1 ¶ 4.) Defendants thereafter searched for earlier versions of the AOL User Guide, as well as additional similar references relating to online Internet service providers. On November 12, 2012, Defendants disclosed the Supplemental References to Plaintiff GeoTag, Inc. (“GeoTag”). The Court is not persuaded that Defendants have acted diligently in discovering such Supplemental References. The Defendants should have, at the least, timely uncovered the AOL User Guide that triggered Defendants’ search into the Supplemental References because it had been in the possession of Defendants’ counsel. While Defendants argue that “it is often more difficult to identify web-based prior art” (Dkt. No. 353 at 8), the Supplemental References here are not obscure internet references but include what might well be described as the largest and most popular internet systems of the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, Defendants did not appear to encounter any difficulty in finding and attaining the references once the discovery of the AOL User Guide prompted the search. (See Dkt. No. 353 Ex. 1 ¶¶ 4-7.) Moreover, the patent-in-suit itself discloses both AOL and Compuserve, and Defendants’ original invalidity contentions cited a system that explicitly ran on Prodigy. Ultimately, Defendants’ only explanation for its untimely invalidity contentions is that counsel happened upon a reference while cleaning out his garage. Such happenstance discovery in these circumstances does not demonstrate the diligence necessary to support the late supplementation now requested. In the Court’s view, to hold 5 . otherwise would render “the explanation for the party’s failure to meet the deadline” a nonfactor. III. Conclusion Based on the foregoing reasons, the Court finds that Defendants’ Opposed Motion for Leave to Supplement Invalidity Contentions should be and is hereby DENIED. SIGNED this 19th day of December, 2011. So ORDERED and SIGNED this 11th day of June, 2013. ____________________________________ RODNEY GILSTRAP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 6