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Honeywell International Inc. v. Furuno Electric Co., Ltd.

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

May 29, 2013

Honeywell International Inc., Plaintiff/Counter Defendant,
v.
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd., Furuno U.S.A., Inc., Navico Holding A.S., Navico, Inc., Raymarine PLC, Raymarine, Inc., and FLIR Systems, Inc., Defendants/Counter Claimants.

Tara S.G. Sharp and J. Scott Culpepper, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, and Daniel R. Burgess, David A. Prange, Martin R. Lueck, Matthew L. Woods, and Peter N. Surdo, Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, (for Plaintiffs/Counter Defendants); and

Aaron Foldenauer, Bickel & Brewer, Gregory A. Bromen, Peter D. Gray, and Stanley E. Siegel, Jr., Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, and Kenneth N. Hickox, Jr., Farooq A. Tayab, and Michael J. Collins, Bickel & Brewer, (for Defendants/Counter Claimants Raymarine, Inc. and FLIR Systems, Inc.).

ORDER OPINION

TONY N. LEUNG, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court, United States Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung on Defendants Raymarine, Inc. and FLIR Systems, Inc.'s (collectively, "Raymarine") Motion to Compel Plaintiff Honeywell International Inc. to Respond in Full to Document Requests, Interrogatories, and Requests for Admissions (Docket No. 184). A hearing was held on April 3, 2013. (Court Minutes, Docket No. 194.) J. Scott Culpepper appeared on behalf of Honeywell and Kenneth N. Hickox appeared on behalf of Raymarine. ( Id. )

I.

The Court begins at a somewhat unusual juncture-what occurred after the hearing. The instant motion involves approximately 30 discovery requests. Following the hearing, the Court ordered the parties to work together on several of the requests, including privilege-log production and supplementation of prior responses. ( Id. ) The parties were also ordered to engage in another meet-and-confer and provide status letters to the Court concerning their efforts. ( Id. )

In joint status letters dated April 17, 2013 (Docket No. 195), and April 22, 2013 (Docket No. 196), the parties informed the Court of their progress on the identified issues. A testament to the cooperation of counsel, the parties have resolved the majority of these requests.

Based on the parties' correspondence, the Court grants Raymarine's motion with respect to Interrogatory Nos. 7 through 9 and Document Request Nos. 20 and 21 as set forth in the parties' April 22 letter and Interrogatory Nos. 1 through 3, Request for Admission Nos. 1 through 6, and Document Request Nos. 3 through 7, 10, 15, 16, and 27 as set forth in the parties' April 17 letter. Raymarine's motion is otherwise denied with respect to these requests.

II.

The Court now turns to the remaining requests in this patent-infringement action concerning navigation products. ( See First Am. & Supp. Compl., ΒΆΒΆ 31-38; Mem. in Supp. at 3, Docket No. 186.)

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow a party "to obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Relevance is construed broadly at the discovery stage." Heilman v. Waldron, No. 11-cv-1930 (JRT/SER), 287 F.RD. 467, 473 (D. Minn. 2012); see also Mead Corp. v. Riverwood Natural Res. Corp., 145 F.R.D. 512, 522 (D. Minn. 1992) (noting "[r]elevancy, in the discovery context, is extremely broad").

The wide scope of discovery under [Rule 26] allows parties to obtain "discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense...." Information sought in discovery need not be admissible at trial, so long as it appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

Heilman, 287 F.R.D. at 473 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1)).

Nonetheless, some threshold showing is necessary "before parties are required to open wide the doors of discovery and to produce a variety of information which does not reasonably bear upon the issues in the case." Hofer v. Mack Trucks, Inc., 981 F.2d 377, 380 (8th Cir. 1992); see Bredemus v. Int'l Paper Co., No. 06-cv-1274 (PJS/RLE), 252 F.R.D. 529, 532 (D. Minn. 2008) (stating "relevancy under Rule 26 is not without bounds"). ...


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