Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cequent Performance Products, Inc. v. Hopkins Manufacturing Corp.

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

April 1, 2015

CEQUENT PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
HOPKINS MANUFACTURING CORPORATION ET AL., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY PROCEEDINGS PENDING INTER PARTES REVIEWS (ECF #30)

MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

INTRODUCTION

Defendants Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation and The Coast Distribution System, Inc. (collectively "Hopkins") have moved to stay all proceedings in this matter pending resolution of Hopkins' petitions for inter partes review of U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 068, 352, 6, 012, 780 and 6, 445, 993 (collectively "the IPRs") before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the "Board") of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the "PTO"). {See the "Motion to Stay, " ECF #30.) The issues in the Motion to Stay have been adequately presented in the parties' briefs and oral argument is therefore unnecessary. See Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the Motion to Stay and STAYS all proceedings until further order of the Court.

RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On December 31, 2013, Plaintiff Cequent Performance Products, Inc. (“Cequent”) filed a Complaint in this Court against Hopkins alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 068, 352, 6, 012, 780 and 6, 445, 993 (collectively, the “patents-in-suit”). (See the “Complaint, ” ECF #1.) On March 13, 2014, Hopkins answered the Complaint and asserted a counterclaim, alleging invalidity and non-infringement of the patents in suit, as well as several defenses tied to Cequent’s allegations of patent infringement. (See the “Answer, ” ECF #12.)

On October 1, 2014, on the stipulation of the parties, the Court ordered a stay of all proceedings so the parties could prepare for and attend mediation. (See ECF #26.) The mediation was held on December 3, 2014, but the parties were unable to resolve their dispute. (See ECF #28.) The Court thereafter lifted the stay and established a new discovery and trial schedule. (See ECF #29.)

Hopkins says that it began preparing the IPRs after the mediation. (See Declaration of Scott Brown, ECF #30-1 at ¶ 17; see also the IPRs at ECF ## 30-4, 30-5, and 30-6.) Hopkins filed the IPRs with the Board approximately seven weeks later on January 23, 2015, the last possible day to do so under applicable federal law. See 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). Hopkins then filed the instant Motion to Stay with this Court on February 10, 2015. (See ECF #30.)

The IPRs challenged all of the claims then-identified in Cequent’s infringement contentions, as well as some, but not all, of the remaining claims in the patents-in-suit. (See Declaration of Matthew Cavanagh, ECF #31-1 at ¶ 25.) On February 25, 2015, after Hopkins had filed the IPRs, Cequent served amended infringement contentions on Hopkins identifying twenty additional allegedly infringed claims. (See ECF #31-6.) Among these twenty additional claims are seven that Cequent contends are not challenged in the IPRs. (See Cavanaugh Decl. at ¶25.)

ANALYSIS

District courts “have the broad discretion to determine whether a stay is appropriate” pending the conclusion of an inter partes review proceeding. See, e.g., Regents of Univ. of Mich. v. St. Jude Med., Inc., 2013 WL 2393340, *2 (E.D. Mich. May 31, 2013.) When reviewing the Motion to Stay, the Court considers three factors: “(1) whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set; (2) whether a stay will simplify the issues in question and trial of the case; and (3) whether a stay would unduly prejudice or present a clear tactical disadvantage to the non-moving party.” Id. (citing Star Envirotech, Inc. v. Redline Detection, LLC, 2013 WL 1716068, *1 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 3, 2013)); see also Dura Global Techs, LLC v. Magna Int’l Inc., 2011 WL 5039883 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 24, 2011).

All three factors favor granting the Motion to Stay.

A. First Factor: Whether Discovery is Complete and Whether a Trial Date Has Been Set

The first factor that the Court considers when considering the Motion to Stay is whether discovery is complete and whether a trial date has been set. This factor recognizes that granting a stay early in the case preserves judicial resources and saves the parties time and money.

The Court concludes that this factor weighs in favor of staying this action because the case is in a relatively early stage of litigation. Although fact discovery first commenced on March 31, 2014 (see ECF #29), this case was then stayed for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.