Powertech Technology Inc v. Tessera, Inc.

Filing 255


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1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 POWERTECH TECHNOLOGY INC., Plaintiff, 5 TESSERA, INC., Defendant. 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 ORDER DENYING PTI’S MOTION TO STAY PENDING RESOLUTION OF PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS (Docket No. 220) AND GRANTING PTI’S MOTION TO FILE A RESPONSE TO TESSERA’S OBJECTION TO REPLY EVIDENCE (Docket No. 239) v. 6 7 No. C 11-6121 CW ________________________________/ AND ALL RELATED COUNTERCLAIMS / 11 12 Plaintiff Powertech Techology, Inc. (PTI) has filed a 13 petition for a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of 14 Appeals seeking review of this Court’s January 18, 2013 order 15 affirming the December 14, 2012 order of the Special Master which 16 addressed whether documents sought by Defendant Tessera, Inc. were 17 protected by the attorney-client privilege. 18 the December 14, 2012 and January 18, 2013 orders while its 19 mandamus petition remains pending. 20 stay. 21 For the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES PTI’s motion to 22 stay (Docket No. 220). PTI now seeks to stay Tessera opposes the motion to The Court took the motion under submission on the papers. 23 “[T]he power to stay proceedings is incidental to the power 24 inherent in every court to control the disposition of the causes 25 on its docket with economy of time and effort for itself, for 26 counsel, and for litigants.” 27 254 (1936). 28 injury might otherwise result.” Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248, “A stay is not a matter of right, even if irreparable Nken v. Holder, 556 U.S. 418, 427 1 (2009) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). 2 it is “an exercise of judicial discretion,” and “the propriety of 3 its issue is dependent upon the circumstances of the particular 4 case.” 5 marks omitted). 6 justifying the exercise of that discretion. 7 Instead, Id. at 433 (citation and internal quotation and alteration The party seeking a stay bears the burden of Id. at 433-34. The factors considered “in determining whether a stay pending 8 petition for writ of mandamus is warranted are the same as a stay 9 pending appeal . . .” Durand v. Stephenson, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 154968, at *2-3 (E.D. Cal.) 11 citation omitted). 12 is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer 13 irreparable harm in the absence of relief, that the balance of 14 equities tip in his favor, and that a stay is in the public 15 interest.” 16 (9th Cir. 2009). 17 most critical.” 18 satisfied, courts then assess “the harm to the opposing party” and 19 weigh the public interest. 20 (internal quotation marks and “A party seeking a stay must establish that he Humane Soc. of U.S. v. Gutierrez, 558 F.3d 896, 896 The first two factors of this standard “are the Nken, 556 U.S. at 434. Once these factors are Id. at 435. An alternative to this standard is the “substantial 21 questions” test, which requires the moving party to demonstrate 22 “serious questions going to the merits and a hardship balance that 23 tips sharply towards the plaintiff,” along with a “likelihood of 24 irreparable injury.” 25 622 F.3d 1045, 1053 (9th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks 26 omitted); see also Golden Gate Rest. Ass’n v. City & Cnty. of 27 S.F., 512 F.3d 1112, 1116 (9th Cir. 2008). Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 28 2 1 PTI has not met its burden to show that it is likely to 2 succeed on the merits of its mandamus petition or that there are 3 substantial questions going to the merits. 4 “Elpida’s legal advisers, while not expressly licensed or members 5 of a bar association, are authorized to give in-house legal 6 counsel by implication in Japan.” 7 provides no authority or evidence for this assertion. 8 Welfare Rights Org. v. Crisan, 33 Cal. 3d 766 (1983), to argue 9 that the “California Supreme Court has embraced a practical PTI states that Mot. at 4. However, PTI PTI cites United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 approach to finding privilege by implication.” 11 that case, the court found that a “privilege comparable to the 12 attorney-client [privilege] is impliedly provided by statute,” 13 where various statutory and regulatory provisions authorized the 14 lay representation of welfare recipients at certain hearings. 15 Crisan, 33 Cal. 3d at 769-72. 16 referred to the role of Japanese patent advisers, as the Court 17 found in the January 18, 2013 order, it did not offer any evidence 18 whatsoever that the four particular individuals in question are 19 actually authorized in any jurisdiction to provide legal advice or 20 representation to Elpida Memory Inc. or that Elpida had a 21 reasonable belief that they were so authorized. 22 Mot. at 4. In Here, although PTI generally PTI’s citation to Renfield Corp. v. E. Remy Martin & Co., 23 S.A., 98 F.R.D. 442 (D. Del. 1982), is not to the contrary. 24 that case, which did not involve California law, the court 25 considered whether the attorney-client privilege applied to the 26 defendants’ French in-house counsel. 27 argued that the privilege was unavailable because the French in- 28 house counsel were not members of a bar. 3 Id. at 444. Id. In The plaintiff The court examined 1 the French legal system, found that “there is no clear French 2 equivalent to the American ‘bar’” and concluded that these 3 individuals were competent to render legal advice and permitted by 4 law to do so. 5 corresponding showing that the particular persons here were 6 permitted by law to give legal advice. 7 Id. As stated previously, PTI has not made any Because PTI has not shown that it is likely to succeed on the 8 merits of its mandamus petition and has not raised serious 9 questions going to the merits, the Court need not compare the United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 hardships involved in the granting or denial of the stay or 11 address the balance of equities. 12 Thomas, 89 F.3d 554, 558 (9th Cir. 1996). 13 See Mount Graham Coalition v. Accordingly, the Court denies PTI’s motion to stay (Docket 14 No. 220). 15 notwithstanding the reply evidence and argument to which Tessera 16 objects, the Court grants PTI’s motion to file a response to 17 Tessera’s objection (Docket No. 239) and overrules the objection. Because the Court reaches the same result 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 1 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 8(a)(2), PTI 2 may seek a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 3 it has obtained one within seven days from the date of this Order, 4 it shall immediately produce the documents. 5 the Ninth Circuit subsequently grants PTI’s petition for a writ of 6 mandamus, Tessera shall immediately destroy the documents and 7 shall not rely on their contents in any way. 8 Circuit has resolved the mandamus petition, Tessera’s counsel 9 shall restrict access to the documents to outside counsel only. United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Unless If it does so, and Until the Ninth IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 13 Dated: 3/20/2013 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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