AVM Technologies LLC v. Intel Corporation
MEMORANDUM OPINION regarding the Magistrate Judge's Oral Order issued during the September 27, 2016, hearing. Signed by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 12/19/2016. (nms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
AVM TECHNOLOGIES, LLC,
Civil Action No. 15-0033-RGA-MPT
Benjamin J. Schladweiler, Esq., ROSS ARONSTAM & MORITZ LLP, Wilmington, DE;
Nicholas D. Mozal, Esq., ROSS ARONSTAM & MORITZ LLP, Wilmington, DE; David Boies,
Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP, Armonk, NY; Rosanne C. Baxter, Esq., BOIES,
SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP, Armonk, NY; D. Michael Underhill, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER
& FLEXNER LLP, Washington, DC; Eric J. Maurer, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER
LLP, Washington, DC; Patrick M. Lafferty, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP,
Washington, DC; Jon R. Knight, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP, Washington,
DC; Patrick H. Bagley, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP, Palo Alto, CA; Edward H.
Takashima, Esq., BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER LLP, Santa Monica, CA.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
David E. Moore, Esq., POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP, Wilmington, DE; Bindu A.
Palapura, Esq., POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP, Wilmington, DE; David C. Marcus,
Esq., WILMERHALE AND DORR LLP, Los Angeles, CA; William F. Lee, Esq., WILMER
CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP, Boston, MA; Lauren B. Fletcher, Esq.,
WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP, Boston, MA; Jordan L. Hirsch,
Esq., WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP, Boston, MA; Kevin A.
Goldman, Esq., WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP, Boston, MA;
Claire M. Specht, Esq., WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP, Boston,
MA; Todd Zubler, Esq., WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP,
Washington, DC; Jason Kipnis, Esq., WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR
LLP, Palo Alto, CA.
Attorneys for Defendant
'~ , 2016
ANDR'i'ws, u:S.V.sTRICT JUDGE:
The Magistrate Judge issued an oral order during a hearing on September 27, 2016 (D.I.
371-1) ("Hr'g Tr.") denying Plaintiffs Motion (D.I. 356) to impose discovery sanctions for
Defendant's failure to produce IDV data. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiffs
requests that: 1) Defendant be precluded from "making any arguments that its timing analyses
and any simulations that are based on UPF [pre-fabrication] models do not accurately reflect the
manufactured products" (D.I. 371 at 5); and 2) a negative inference be drawn in Plaintiffs favor
due to Defendant's failure to produce the IDV data. (Id.). Plaintiff filed objections (D.I. 371), to
which Defendant responded. (D.I. 375)
The Magistrate Judge had authority to rule on this pretrial motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b )(1 )(A). I review the Magistrate Judge's order pursuant to the same statute, which provides
that the district court "may reconsider any pretrial matter ... where it has been shown that the
magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous or contrary to law." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l)(A).
Findings of fact are reviewed for clear error and matters oflaw are subject to plenary review.
Haines v. Liggett Grp. Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91 (3d Cir. 1992). Only those facts properly presented
before the Magistrate Judge will be considered. Id. "When a magistrate judge's decision is on a
highly discretionary matter ... the clearly erroneous standard implicitly becomes an abuse of
discretion standard." Saldi v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co., 224 F.R.D. 169, 174 (E.D. Pa. 2004); St.
Jude Med. v. Volcano Corp., 2012 WL 1999865, at *1 (D. Del. June 5, 2012). The ruling
presently at issue was a discretionary decision relating to a discovery dispute.
The parties agree that Pennypack applies. Under Pennypack, factors to consider when
determining whether to impose discovery sanctions include:
( 1) the prejudice or surprise in fact of the party against whom the [evidence is
offered], (2) the ability of that party to cure the prejudice, (3) [likelihood of]
disrupt[ ion of] the orderly and efficient trial of the case or of other cases in the
court, and (4) bad faith or willfulness in failing to comply with the court's order.
Id. at 904-05. Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate Judge's ruling on the basis that Plaintiff is
prejudiced by Defendant's failure to produce the IDV data. (D.I. 371 at 10). Specifically,
Plaintiff argues that the IDV data is "[t]he only evidence that definitively addresses" Defendant's
argument that its pre-fabrication modeling results are not correlated to the manufactured
The Magistrate Judge has handled numerous discovery disputes between these parties
and is well-acquainted with the proceedings generally and the issues presented in this discovery
dispute specifically. During the hearing, she expressly found that Defendant had provided data
responsive to Plaintiffs discovery requests for wafer characterization data and that the IDV data
at issue "does not provide the values for the parameters, process parameters that AVM needs to
verify the accuracy of the UPF files." (Hr'g Tr. at 112:12-14). Rather, she found that the data
that had been produced "provides the precise measurements of the actual process parameters."
(Id. at 112:16-18). In other words, since Defendant produced data responsive to Plaintiffs
discovery request and that data provides the information Plaintiff needs, there is no prejudice to
Plaintiff for Defendant's failure to produce the IDV data, which does not provide the information
Plaintiff needs for verification of the modeling results. Plaintiff has not provided evidence that
the Magistrate Judge's factual findings are clearly erroneous. Therefore, I cannot say that the
Magistrate Judge abused her discretion in denying this motion.
For the reasons set forth herein, the Order is AFFIRMED.
An appropriate order will be entered.
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