By Blake Brittain
(Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co failed to convince an East Texas federal court on Friday to pause the California Institute of Technology’s high-stakes patent lawsuit against it while it challenges the patents’ validity at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap said halting the lawsuit until the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reviews the patents would unnecessarily delay the court case and prejudice Caltech.
Caltech had no comment on the decision. Representatives for Samsung and Caltech did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Caltech sued Samsung after it won a $1.1 billion California jury verdict in 2020 against Apple and Broadcom in a dispute over some of the same patents. A U.S. appeals court tossed the verdict last year and remanded for a new trial on damages.
The school’s 2021 lawsuit alleges Samsung’s Galaxy phones, tablets, watches and Wi-Fi-enabled Samsung products like televisions and refrigerators infringe its data-transmission patents.
Caltech has separately sued Microsoft, Dell and HP over the patents. Samsung challenged their validity at the USPTO last year.
Samsung asked the Texas court to freeze Caltech’s case against it until the reviews finish, arguing the lawsuit was at an early stage and the PTAB decisions would simplify the issues.
But Gilstrap said Friday that pausing the case would “do nothing more than draw out the time to trial,” and that he could not determine whether the PTAB challenges would simplify the lawsuit because the board had not yet decided whether to hear them.
Gilstrap also said a pause would “require the parties to sink additional resources into the case,” which has already been going on for over a year, “all the while postponing Caltech’s vindication of its patent rights.”
The Texas case is scheduled to go to trial in September. The board’s final decisions on patent validity would be due in November.
The case is California Institute of Technology v. Samsung Electronics Co, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:21-cv-00446.
For Caltech: Dan Shih, Kalpana Srinivasan, Shawn Blackburn, Daniel Wilson and Tamar Lusztig of Susman Godfrey
For Samsung: Greg Arovas, Robert Appleby, Ed Donovan, Chris Mizzo, Mike Pearson, John Rhine, Nichole DeJulio, and Eric Hayes of Kirkland & Ellis
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