Masterobjects, Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc.

Filing 82

ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE 81 Motion to Amend Invalidity Contentions; GRANTING 66 Motion to Stay; ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE.Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on April 2, 2014. (jswlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/2/2014)

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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 MASTEROBJECTS, INC., 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 Plaintiff, No. C 11-02539 JSW v. YAHOO! INC., ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY Defendant. / 14 15 Now before the Court is Defendant Yahoo! Inc.’s motion to stay this matter pending 16 resolution of the appeal in MasterObjects, Inc. v. Google Inc., 11-cv-01054 PJH, currently 17 before the Federal Circuit. The Court finds that this matter is appropriate for disposition 18 without oral argument and it is hereby deemed submitted. See Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). Accordingly, 19 the hearing set for April 11, 2014 is HEREBY VACATED. Having considered the parties 20 pleadings, the relevant legal authority, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendant’s motion to stay. 21 When ruling on such a stay, courts consider several factors: (1) the stage of the 22 litigation, including whether discovery is or will be almost completed and whether the matter 23 has been marked for trial; (2) whether a stay will unduly prejudice or tactically disadvantage the 24 nonmoving party; and (3) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question and streamline the 25 trial, thereby reducing the burden of litigation on the parties and on the court. Id. There is a 26 “liberal policy in favor of granting motions to stay proceedings pending the outcome of USPTO 27 reexamination or reissuance proceedings.” ASCII Corp. v. STD Entertainment, 844 F. Supp. 28 1378, 1381 (N.D. Cal. 1994). 1 Both parties agree that the resolution of the appeal will effect the resolution and scope of 2 dispositive legal issues currently before this Court. The only difference between the parties’ 3 positions is Plaintiff’s contention that they should be permitted an opportunity to finish 4 discovery. Plaintiff agrees to resolve dispositive motions after the resolution of the appeal. 5 However, a stay pending a potentially dispositive ruling in another forum is less warranted the 6 closer the case is to trial. The early stage of a litigation weighs in favor of granting a stay 7 pending reexamination. See, e.g., Target Therapeutics, Inc. v. SciMed Life Sys., Inc., 33 8 U.S.P.Q.2d 2022, 2023 (N.D. Cal. 1995) (holding that the absence of “significant discovery” or 9 “substantial expense and time . . . invested” in the litigation weighed in favor of staying the litigation); see also ASCII Corp., 844 F. Supp. at 1381 (granting stay where parties had 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 undertaken little or no discovery and the case had not yet been set for trial); see also 12 Evolutionary Intelligence, LLC v. LivingSocial, Inc., 2014 WL 213179, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 17, 13 2014) (“The early stage of this action accordingly favors a stay.”). A stay is most appropriate in 14 the earlier stages of litigation as, depending upon the outcome of the appeal, the parties and the 15 Court may not avoid unnecessary and time-consuming discovery and motions practice. 16 Accordingly, Defendant’s motion for a stay is GRANTED and the Clerk shall 17 ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSE this case. Due to the stay, Defendant’s motion for leave to 18 serve supplemental invalidity contentions is DENIED without prejudice to re-filing once the 19 stay is lifted. 20 The Court HEREBY ORDERS the parties to submit notice to the Court within 10 days 21 of issuance of the appeal. In their notice, the parties shall request that the stay be lifted, the 22 matter be reopened, and that a case management conference be scheduled. 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 Dated: April 2, 2014 JEFFREY S. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 26 27 28 2

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