Case Cite

British Telecommunications PLC v. Google Inc., No. 11-1249-LPS, 2013 WL 3814329 (D. Del. July 22, 2013).

IPDQ Commentary

The district court in British Telecommunications granted Defendant’s motion to bifurcate expert discovery and the trial on damages after fact discovery was complete. The court agreed the case was complex, and there would be no prejudice resulting from delay.

Case Summary

Defendant filed an opposed motion to bifurcate expert discovery and trial relating to damages after the completion of fact discovery on both liability and damages. Id. at *1. The district court granted the motion, saying:

  • Bifurcation would reduce juror confusion in a complex case. Id. The case involved (1) multiple patents, (2) a variety of asserted claims, (3) differing theories of infringement, and (4) a wide range of accused products (50 or so). Id. Thus, it would be extremely difficult for a single jury to determine infringement and validity and, concurrently, craft a damages award. Id. at * 2.
  • Requiring the damages experts to formulate and testify about contingent damages models would be both expensive for the parties and confusing for the jury. Id.
  • Bifurcation presented the possibility to preserve both judicial and party resources, particularly if the jury found certain patents to be either invalid or not infringed. Id.
  • Finally, the parties were not competitors, and Plaintiff did not practice the patents, which it waited years to enforce. Thus, there was no prejudice from delay due to bifurcation. Id.