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Luminara Worldwide, LLC v. Liown Electronics Co. Ltd.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 3, 2017

Luminara Worldwide, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Liown Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., Defendants. Shenzhen Liown Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., Counterclaim Plaintiffs,
v.
Luminara Worldwide, LLC, et al., Counterclaim Defendants.

          Courtland C. Merrill, Daniel R. Hall, Joseph W. Anthony, Cory D. Olson, Steven C. Kerbaugh, Steven M. Pincus, Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie P.A., Jon E. Wright, Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox, and Ryan S. Dean, Fish & Tsang LLP, for Plaintiff and Counterclaim Defendants.

          Alan G. Carlson, Jonathan D. Carpenter, Peter Kohlhepp, Tara C. Norgard, Carlson Caspers Vandenburgh Lindquist & Schuman P.A., Joseph P. Reid, Patrick J. McKeever, Thomas N. Millikan, Yun L. Lu, Perkins Coie LLP, and Kenneth J. Halpern, Perkins Coie LLP, for Defendants and Counterclaim Plaintiffs.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are two matters related to Plaintiff Luminara Worldwide, LLC's decision to withdraw its expert Doug Patton, and to substitute Dr. Stuart Brown in Patton's place. The first, memorialized in a Joint Status Report [Doc. No. 718] submitted by the parties on December 20, 2016, and by several briefs filed thereafter, seeks a ruling from the Court as to (1) the timing and structure of refiling various summary judgment memoranda; (2) whether a hearing will be held to reconsider the impacted summary judgment motions; (3) whether Plaintiff will be allowed to refile its renewed motion for preliminary injunction at this time; and (4) whether Plaintiff should bear the costs associated with its decision to withdraw Patton as an expert. The second consists of Defendants' Daubert motion as to Dr. Brown. (See Defs.' Daubert Mot. Against Pl.'s Expert Stuart Brown [Doc. No. 489].) The Court's decisions as to each matter are discussed below.

         II. ISSUES RELATED TO PENDING SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS

         For reasons that have been discussed at length in several other orders of this Court, Plaintiff Luminara Worldwide, LLC (“Luminara”) chose to withdraw its designation of Patton as a non-reporting expert witness on November 22, 2016. (Nov. 22, 2016 Letter to District Judge [Doc. No. 692].) See generally Luminara Worldwide, LLC v. Liown Elecs. Co., No. 14-cv-3103 (SRN/FLN), 2016 WL 6774229 (D. Minn. Nov. 15, 2016). On order of the Court, the parties met and conferred regarding the effect of Patton's withdrawal on several summary judgment motions then pending. (See Minutes [Doc. No. 708].) Ultimately, both sides agreed that parts of both Luminara's and Defendants' motion for summary judgment were impacted by the withdrawal, and would require refiling. (See Joint Status Report at 2.) The parties were unable to fully agree on the mechanics of that process, however. (See id.)

         The initial point of contention relates to the extent to which the summary judgment memoranda needed to be altered to reflect Patton's replacement by Brown, and the schedule by which those memoranda should be refiled. There appears to be general agreement that Luminara will refile redlined memoranda in support of its motion for summary judgment, and in opposition to Defendants' motion, replacing any reference to Patton's testimony with citations to evidence provided by Dr. Brown. (See Id. at 3, 5.) The disagreement relates primarily to the timing for filing responses and reply briefs. Having considered the parties' submissions, the Court will order as follows:

1. Seven days after the date of this Order, Luminara will refile its redlined motion for summary judgment of infringement.
2. Twenty-one days later, the parties will simultaneously file (1) Defendants' opposition to Luminara's motion for summary judgment; (2) Luminara's redlined opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment of non-infringement; and (3) Luminara's redlined opposition to Defendants' motion for summary judgment on trade secrets.
3. Fourteen days later, the parties will simultaneously file (1) Luminara's reply on its motion for summary judgment of infringement; (2) Defendants' reply on their motion for summary judgment of non-infringement; and (3) Defendants' reply on their motion for summary judgment on trade secrets.

         The parties are reminded that their briefing should be limited to those portions of the motions for summary judgment that were deemed to be affected by Patton's withdrawal. (See Id. at 1-2.)

         The next two matters may be addressed summarily. The parties contest whether a hearing is required to consider Dr. Brown's evidence, and to address any inconsistencies that may exist between positions he has taken at various points of this litigation. (See Id. at 5.) Similarly, there is disagreement as to whether Luminara should be allowed to refile its motion for preliminary injunction at this time, or whether it must wait until after the motions for summary judgment are disposed of. (See Id. at 4, 5-6.) Having considered the arguments, the Court concludes that no new hearing is required, and that there is no good reason to require Luminara to delay refiling its preliminary injunction motion. Accordingly, Defendants' requests as to both issues are denied.

         The fourth and most heavily contested matter presented by the parties has to do with who must bear the costs associated with rebriefing the summary judgment motions. Defendants argue that case law and justice demand that as the party responsible for Patton's withdrawal, Luminara must pay all costs and fees associated with at least (1) preparing and taking Dr. Brown's deposition regarding his new opinions; and (2) rebriefing the affected summary judgment motions. (See Defs.' Mem. re Patton [Doc. No. 739] at 5-11.) Luminara responds that it should not be assessed costs because its decision to withdraw Patton as an expert has only minimal effect on the motions pending before the Court, and because it acted in good faith. (See Pl.'s Mem. re Patton [Doc. No. 737] at 13-15.) In addition, Luminara argues that it has ...


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