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Magna Electronics, Inc. v. Valeo, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 4, 2018

MAGNA ELECTRONICS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
VALEO INC., VALEO S.A., VALEO GMBH, CONNAUGHT ELECTRONICS LTD., VALEO SCHALTER UND SENSORSEN GMBH, VALEO NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY MATTERS

          AVERN COHN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         This is a patent case. The patents in-suit are generally directed at multi-camera vision systems installed in automobiles. Plaintiff (Magna) has identified the following as paradigm claims:

U.S. Patent No. 7, 859, 565 - Claims 45 and 46
U.S. Patent No. 7, 877, 175 - Claims 1 and 16

         See Doc. 46. The parties are engaged in contentious discovery. Before the Court are several discovery motions. On April 26, 2018, the Court held a conference on the record to discuss the motions and other discovery matters. This Memorandum formalizes the Court's rulings.

         II. Proceedings before the Exert Advisor and Expert Reports

         The Court referred to an Expert Advisor the parties dispute over the use of email search terms. See Doc. 167. The parties reported that proceedings before the Expert Advisor are ongoing. As discussed at the conference, proceedings before the Expert Advisor, including production of the emails and any related depositions (not expert), shall be completed by July 31, 2018.

         Expert reports shall be competed by September 15, 2018.

         III. Valeo's Request for Sanctions re: Interrogatory 4 (Doc. 170)

         This relates to Magna's responses to Valeo's Interrogatory request 4 in which Valeo asked for identifications of the portions of the specifications of the paradigm patens that provide enablement and written description requirements. The request is not the subject of a formal motion but rather, as the Court requested, in the form of a proposed order with responsive papers. See Docs. 170, 173, 177.

         The Court previously entered an order compelling Magna to provide more precise responses. See Doc. 108 at Ex. A.

         After rounds of correspondence and telephone conferences, Magna provided Valeo with a supplemental response which it says complies with the Court's order. Valeo says that Magna's supplemental response is still deficient and sanctions - in the form of preventing Magna from offering evidence that the specification of the ‘175 patent “provides written description or enablement support for ‘a vehicle camera system that calibrates on onboard camera in realtime using optical flow'” or that the specification for the ‘565 patent “provides written description or enablement support for ‘a vehicle camera system that generates a 360-degree view or surround view of the vehicle surroundings.'” Valeo also asks that the jury be instructed that Magna's failure to identify reasonably precise portions of the ‘175 and ‘565 patent as indicated above means the jury may infer that the specifications do not have such support.

         Valeo concedes that its requested form of sanction is evidentiary, not monetary. The proper time to consider such a request is after discovery is complete, after all pending motions have been resolved, and the case ready for trial. Until such time, Valeo's request is premature. As such, proceedings on the matter are STAYED pending an application ...


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