Positive Technologies Inc. v. Sony Electronics Inc et al

Filing 282

ORDER OF REFERRAL (Illston, Susan) (Filed on 4/26/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 13 14 15 ORDER OF REFERRAL Plaintiff, 11 12 No. C 11-2226 SI POSITIVE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., v. SONY ELECTRONICS, INC., DELL, INC., ASUS COMPUTER INTERNATIONAL, AMAZON.COM, INC., BARNES & NOBLE, INC., AND KOBO, INC., Defendants. / 16 17 This matter concerns a discovery dispute in a patent infringement suit brought by plaintiff 18 Positive Technologies, Inc. (“Positive”) against several defendants, including Kobo, Inc. (“Kobo”). 19 Positive accuses Kobo of infringing three of its patents through the manufacture of two devices, the 20 Kobo eReader and the Kobo Wireless eReader. According to Patent Local Rule 3-4(a), in any patent 21 infringement suit, the party accused of such infringement must produce “[s]ource code, specifications, 22 schematics, flow charts, artwork, formulas, or other documentation sufficient to show the operation of 23 any aspects or elements of an Accused Instrumentality.” Patent L.R. 3-4(a). 24 In response to its Rule 3-4(a) requirements, Kobo has produced only two publically available 25 user manuals related to the two devices at issue. Kobo maintains that it does not possess any additional 26 documents that would be covered by Patent L.R. 3-4(a). Positive claims that it is inconceivable that 27 Kobo, which admits that it develops the graphical user interface (“GUI”) and software for the eReading 28 applications that run on the devices, does not possess additional materials covered by the Local Rule. 1 For example, Positive believes that Kobo must have the source code for the GUI and any documentation 2 related to the ways in which Kobo’s eReading software communicates with the hardware of the two 3 Kobo devices. The Court agrees and joins in questioning how Kobo, as the developer of the GUI and 4 the eReading software, would only have two user manuals responsive to its L. R. 3-4(a) obligations. 5 The Court finds that this issue is appropriate for resolution by a Magistrate Judge. Accordingly, 6 the Court hereby REFERS this discovery dispute, Docket No. 274, to a Magistrate Judge for 7 determination in the first instance. 8 9 IT IS SO ORDERED. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 Dated: April 26, 2012 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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