On May 23, 2013, District Judge Thomas P. Griesa denied defendant MLB Advanced Media’s motion to stay proceedings pending a USPTO inter partes reexamination of U.S. Patent No. 7,628,716. The court found that the statistics cited by each party were too general to serve as reliable indicators of the outcome of the reexamination except that each party agreed it would take a long time—up to six years—for the reexamination to conclude. The court examined three factors: 1) the prejudice to the non-moving party; 2) whether a stay would simplify the issues in question and at trial; and 3) whether discovery was complete and trail date set. The court found that a six-year litigation stay would prejudice the plaintiff because it could realistically affect the memory and availability of key witnesses. Additionally, the court found that while a trial date had not been fixed, the instant action could be ready for trial in a fraction of the time it would take for the reexamination process to conclude because substantial progress had already been made in claim construction and discovery. Finally, the court found the risk of the court’s decision being vacated was slight and not outweighed by the very probable harm caused by delaying the case for six-years. Therefore, the court denied the motion to stay proceedings pending reexamination of the ’716 patent.

Case: Baseball Quick, LLC v. MLB Advanced Media, L.P., No. 11 Civ. 1735, 2013 BL 136137 (S.D.N.Y. May 23, 2013)