Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., C.A. No. 12-11935, -12326, -12330, Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Epistar to Produce Infringement Discovery (D. Mass. Jan. 16, 2014) (Boal, M.J.) [Discovery].

This is a patent infringement action in which Trustees of Boston University (“BU”) accuse defendants of infringing U.S. Patent No. 5,686,753, directed to light-emitting device (“LED”) technology. Despite a scheduling ordering which deferred damages discovery, the Court (Boal, M.J.) ordered defendants to answer interrogatories that, among other things, seek the identity of customers, manufacturers, and suppliers of the allegedly infringing products.

Defendants objected to eight interrogatories served by BU on the basis that they were directed to damages discovery. The Court, however, disagreed. First, the Court found that the interrogatories were directed to questions of infringement in that they sought information concerning the manufacture, use, offer for sale, or sale of allegedly infringing product. Second, the Court held that the information could be relevant to invalidity in that it seeks information related to the question of commercial success. The Court was largely unsympathetic to defendants’ concerns of confidentiality related to revealing the identity of its customers.