Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v. TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER overruling 294 Objections to the Magistrate Judge's Order compelling the production of Broadcom litigation materials. Defendants TCT Communication Technology Holdings, Limited, TCT Mobile Limited, TCT Mobile (US) and TCT Mobile, Inc.'s Motion to compel the production of Broadcom litigation materials is granted. Signed by Judge Joseph F. Bataillon on 3/8/2018. (nmfn)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
GODO KAISHA IP BRIDGE 1,
Civil Action No. 15-634-JFB-SRF
TCL COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
HOLDINGS LIMITED, a Chinese
Corporation, TCT MOBILE -LIMITED, a
Hong Kong Corporation, TCT MOBILE
(US), INC., a Delaware Corporation, and
TCT MOBILE, INC., a Delaware
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the court on plaintiff Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1’s (“IP Bridge”)
objections, D.I. 294/300 (redacted), to the order of the Magistrate Judge, see D.I.
305/306 (redacted), Declaration of Benjamin J. Schladweiler (“Schladweiler Aff.”),
Exhibit (“Ex.”) 1, Transcript of Hearing dated Aug. 23, 2017 (Sealed) (“Aug 23, 2017,
H’rg Tr.”), granting TCL Communication Technology Holdings Limited, TCL Mobile
Limited, TCL Mobile (US), Inc., and TCT Mobile, Inc.’s (collectively “defendants”) motion
to compel the production of expert reports and deposition transcripts regarding
damages from Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v. Broadcom Ltd. et al., Case No. 2:16-cv00134 (E.D. Tex.) (“the Broadcom litigation”), See D.I. 272, joint motion for
teleconference; D.I. 281, plaintiff’s letter on discovery disputes; D.I. 282, defendants'
letter on discovery disputes.
This is an action for patent infringement. IP Bridge asserts infringement of U.S.
Patent Nos. 7,373,295; 8,351,538; and 8,385,239 (the “Patents-in-Suit”) by TCL’s sales
of mobile phones and tablets in the United States and seeks as relief, among other
things, a reasonable royalty for TCL’s infringement. The Patents-in-Suit relate to mobile
telecommunication technology for transmitting data over the air.
“A district court may refer a nondispositive motion to a magistrate judge ‘to hear
and determine,’” under subparagraph (A) of § 636(b)(1). EEOC v. City of Long Branch,
866 F.3d 93, 99 (3d Cir. 2017) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A)).
magistrate judge’s issuance of an order on a nondispositive matter, the parties may
serve and file objections to the order within 14 days of being served with a copy of the
order. Id.; see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). “If a party objects to a magistrate judge’s order
regarding a nondispositive matter, the district court ‘must consider timely objections and
modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.’”
EEOC, 866 F.3d at 99 (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A)). “This standard requires the
District Court to review findings of fact for clear error and to review matters of law de
A finding of fact can be set aside as clearly erroneous when the reviewing court
is “left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Green
v. Fornario, 486 F.3d 100, 104 (3d Cir. 2007).
The district court must accept the
ultimate factual determination of the fact-finder unless that determination either (1) is
completely devoid of minimum evidentiary support displaying some hue of credibility, or
(2) bears no rational relationship to the supportive evidentiary data. Giles v. Kearney,
571 F.3d 318, 322 (3d Cir. 2009).
IP Bridge objects to the Magistrate Judge’s finding that the “expert reports and
deposition transcripts relating to damages” from the Broadcom litigation are relevant
and discoverable in this litigation. The Magistrate Judge found defendants had made a
sufficient showing as to the relevance of the requested Broadcom litigation materials
and found that such relief is proportional to the needs of the case.
Schladweiler Decl., Ex. 1, Aug. 23, 2017, Hr’g Tr. at 82. She relied in part on her
reasoning in her order compelling the production by defendants of similar materials in
another case involving a similar patent, Ericsson v. TCL. Id. at 48-52; see also D.I.
305, Schladweiler Decl., Ex. 2, Transcript of Hearing dated Feb. 1, 2017, at 22-30.
IP Bridge argues that the finding is clearly erroneous.1 It contends the Broadcom
case involved completely unrelated technology and the damages materials in the
Broadcom case are irrelevant here. In response, defendants argue that the materials
are relevant to issues of licensing and royalties.
The court finds the Magistrate Judge’s decision is not clearly erroneous. Based
on her familiarity with this case, the Magistrate Judge committed no clear error in
determining that the damages materials from the Broadcom litigation involve issues
relevant to this case. The court agrees that IP Bridge confuses discoverability with
admissibility. For purposes of discovery, relevancy is broadly construed. See Pacitti v.
Macy's, 193 F.3d 766, 777–78 (3d Cir. 1999) (stating “It is well recognized that the
federal rules allow broad and liberal discovery.”).
The expert reports and depositions materials appear tangentially relevant to IP
Bridge’s licensing and valuation practices. Patents at issue do not need to be identical
to provide a broad understanding of a company’s licensing practices. See, e.g., High
IP Bridge does not argue that the Magistrate Judge’s Order should be overruled as contrary to
Point SARL v. Sprint Nextel Corp., No. CIV.A. 09-2269-CM, 2012 WL 1533213, at *8
(D. Kan. Apr. 30, 2012). Comparable patents may be of assistance in determining a
reasonable royalty rate. See Trading Techs. Int'l, Inc. v. eSpeed, Inc., No. 04 C 5312,
2007 WL 704525, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 1, 2007).
If the patents at issue are not
comparable and will not give any indication of what the patents-in-suit would be worth,
they will not carry weight in the final determination. Id. (noting that the parties resisting
discovery were “getting ahead of themselves” and that “[w]e are currently dealing with
discovery, not the admission or weight of any evidence[.]”). “A different standard exists
for discoverability of other comparable patent licenses and the ultimate admissibility and
weight to be given to the licenses at trial.” High Point SARL, 2012 WL 1533213, at *8.
IP Bridge raises the argument to this court that production of the materials is
overly burdensome. The court finds IP Bridge has not shown that the burden imposed
on it by the defendants’ request to produce Broadcom litigation materials is any greater
than the burden faced by the defendants in producing the Ericsson litigation materials.
A review of thousands of pages of documents is not out of the ordinary for cases of this
nature. Accordingly, the plaintiff’s objection to the Magistrate Judge’s ruling will be
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Plaintiff Godo Kaisha IP Bridge’s Objection (D.I. 294/300) to Magistrate
Judge’s Order (D.I. 305, Ex. 1) compelling the production of Broadcom litigation
materials is overruled.
Defendants TCT Communication Technology Holdings, Limited, TCT
Mobile Limited, TCT Mobile (US) and TCT Mobile, Inc.’s Motion to compel the
production of Broadcom litigation materials (D.I. 272, 281) is granted.
DATED this 8th day of March, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Joseph F. Bataillon
Senior United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?