District Court Judge Rules on Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery

July 5, 2017-Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ruled on a motion brought by Plaintiff Snyders Heart Valve LLC against Defendants St. Jude Medical SC, Inc. et al.  The court denied in part Plaintiff’s motion to compel defendants and their affiliates to produce license agreements as overly broad and not proportional to the needs of the case. The opinion reads: “[T]he licensing agreements Plaintiff seeks are relevant in determining a fair and reasonable royalty to compensate Plaintiff for Defendants’ alleged infringement. However, this does not allow Plaintiff to obtain licensing agreements related to any or all of Defendants’ structural heart and coronary products. Nor does it allow Plaintiff to obtain license agreements bearing a royalty rate or payment of a certain amount. Instead, licensing agreements must be sufficiently linked to the technology of the patents-in-suit. Further, licensing agreements related to [a company that acquired defendants after the accused infringement] are irrelevant to this action.” (page 2). The relevant patents in the suit are Snyder’s Patent no. 6540792, which covers “an artificial valve for repairing a damaged heart valve having a plurality of cusps separating an upstream region from a downstream region” and Patent no. 6821297, which covers “An artificial valve for repairing a damaged heart valve having a plurality of cusps separating upstream and downstream regions.” The case number is 4-16-cv-00407.

By: Namita Dhawan