Cave Consulting Group, Inc. v. Truven Health Analytics Inc.

Filing 234

ORDER RE: DISCOVERY (Illston, Susan) (Filed on 5/24/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 CAVE CONSULTING GROUP, INC., 8 Plaintiff, 9 ORDER RE: DISCOVERY v. Re: Dkt. Nos. 215, 217 10 TRUVEN HEALTH ANALYTICS INC., 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 15-cv-02177-SI Defendant. 12 13 The parties have submitted two discovery disputes to the Court. The first concerns 14 plaintiff’s request that defendant be required to respond fully to plaintiff’s Interrogatory No. 21. 15 That interrogatory asks, “Identify each Truven customer who has used Advantage Suite to perform 16 an efficiency (cost) profile to compare physicians of a particular specialty type on the basis of cost 17 per episode.” Defendant’s responses to this interrogatory have been framed in terms of identifying 18 customers who have “generated a physician efficiency score,” or by incorporating responses to 19 other interrogatories and requests for production of documents. 20 Plaintiff contends that defendant’s responses are inadequate because the interrogatory did 21 not use the concept of a “physician efficiency score,” and that by using this phrase in its responses 22 defendant has improperly narrowed the interrogatory. Plaintiff also asserts that defendant cannot 23 respond to Interrogatory No. 21 through reference to other discovery responses because the other 24 discovery requests were directed at different information, and because the other discovery 25 responses referred to hundreds of allegedly responsive documents. Plaintiff seeks an order 26 directing defendant to respond to Interrogatory No. 21 as written. 27 Defendant responds that it has repeatedly provided a straightforward answer to the 28 interrogatory, and that “the answer has always been that Truven does not know of any such 1 customers.” Dkt. No. 215 at 4. Defendant also asserts that plaintiff has questioned nearly all of 2 defendant’s witnesses on this issue, and that all of the witnesses have testified that they are not 3 aware of any Truven customers using Advantage Suite in a manner potentially covered by the 4 claims of the ‘726 patent. 5 Based upon defendant’s representations in the parties’ joint letter brief, it is not clear that 6 there is an actual dispute between the parties (or if there is one, that it could not have been 7 resolved through the meet and confer process). In any event, because defendant’s responses have 8 used the phrase “physician efficiency score,” which is not used in the interrogatory itself, the 9 Court directs defendant to respond to Interrogatory No. 21 as it is written. Defendant shall 10 provide a supplemental response no later than June 2, 2017. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 The second discovery dispute concerns plaintiff’s request that defendant be required to 12 produce documents relating to its own practice of physician efficiency measurement and to 13 provide a Rule 30(b)(6) witness to testify about the same. 14 depositions, “it has emerged that Truven has also been conducting physician efficiency 15 measurement internally, with the objective of ‘overhauling’ or replacing its existing efficiency 16 measurement methodologies.” 17 defendant’s internal use of physician efficiency methods is relevant because (1) it likely 18 constitutes direct infringement; (2) defendant’s recognition of the benefits of “Marketbaskets” and 19 other attributes claimed in the ‘726 patent is evidence of the novelty and inventiveness of the 20 patent claims; and (3) defendant’s “migration in the direction of CCGroup’s patent claims is 21 relevant to the value of the claimed technology.” Id. Dkt. No. 217 at 1. Plaintiff states that in recent Plaintiff asserts that discovery about 22 Defendant responds that it provided information regarding its internal use of Advantage 23 Suite for basic methodological research purposes in December 2016, five months before the close 24 of fact discovery. Defendant asserts that “[i]f this basic methodology research – not incorporated 25 in any Truven product, let alone an accused product – were relevant to this lawsuit, CCGroup 26 could have diligently pursued discovery months ago, including seeking this Court’s intervention if 27 necessary. Instead, CCGroup did not even discuss this matter with Truven until May 3: five days 28 after the close of fact discovery.” Id. at 4. Defendant also asserts that if plaintiff wants to argue 2 1 that defendant’s internal use of physician efficiency methods constitutes direct infringement and is 2 evidence of the inventiveness and value of the claimed technology, plaintiff may make these 3 arguments based on the documentary and testimonial discovery it already has. 4 The Court agrees with defendant that plaintiff has not demonstrated good cause to reopen 5 fact discovery on this matter. On this record, the Court finds that plaintiff has not been diligent in 6 pursuing discovery regarding this internal Truven project. Further, the discovery sought appears 7 to be of limited relevance in light of the fact that Truven’s internal research methodologies have 8 not been incorporated into any Truven product, and in any event, plaintiff already has some 9 discovery on this issue. Accordingly, the Court DENIES plaintiff’s request to compel further 10 discovery. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 IT IS SO ORDERED. 13 14 15 Dated: May 24, 2017 ______________________________________ SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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