Dragon Intellectual Property, LLC v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 13-2061 – RGA; 13-2062 – RGA; 13-2063 – RGA; 13-2064 –RGA; 13-2065 – RGA 13-2068 – RGA; 13-2069 – RGA SLR, July 12, 2016.
Andrews, J. Defendants’ motion for Rule 11 sanctions is denied. Oral argument took place on June 24, 2016.
Defendants asserted that plaintiff’s infringement contentions did not support a claim of infringement, noting that prosecution history estoppel foreclosed a doctrine of equivalents basis for infringement. The court denied defendants’ request to file summary judgment motion and the case proceeded to a Markman hearing. In the opinion following that hearing the court noted that it had only once seen a clearer case of prosecution disclaimer. Plaintiff’s counsel thereafter sought leave to withdraw. Defendants filed their Rule 11 motions. New counsel was substituted for Plaintiff, and a stipulation of non-infringement was filed and judgment entered in favor of defendants. The court denied the motion for sanctions as untimely. Defendants had waited over a year to serve the rule 11 motions, and therefore did not serve their motion “as soon as practicable” after discovering the rule 11 violation. The court also noted that it would be improper to award sanctions which relate entirely to legal issues.