Chief Judge Young Affirms Magistrate’s Discovery Order Refusing Inspection of Production Facilities in Patent Infringement Case

Evansville, INChief Judge Richard L. Young has affirmed Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann‘s discovery ruling that denied a request to inspect production facilities by Intertape Polymer Corp. of Bradenton, Florida, in a patent infringement lawsuit case. In May 2010, patent attorneys for BerryPlastics.jpgBerry Plastics Corporation of Evansville, Indiana filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleged that Intertape infringed patent no.7,476,416, Process for preparing adhesive using planetary extruder, which has been issued by the US Patent Office.

The patented technology is described as “a manufacturing process for preparing an adhesive using specifically modified planetary roller extruder.” Intertape had filed a motion to compel inspection of Berry’s production facilities, to observe the facilities in use and to perform tests on the goods produced during the inspection. Berry objected, and the issue was put before Magistrate Hussmann. The Magistrate denied Intertape’s request, finding that Intertape could use less intrusive methods to uncover the information it was seeking. Specifically, the Magistrate suggested that Intertape depose a Berry representative and pointed to video and photographs that Intertape already had.

Intertape filed objections to the Magistrate’s ruling, but Chief Judge Young affirmed, concluding “The Magistrate Judge balanced the interest of both parties, and came up with a fair and logical resolution for obtaining the information Intertape seeks.”

Practice Tip: This ruling addresses a discovery dispute. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, a party must make a good faith attempt to resolve a discovery dispute before seeking a court order to compel.

This case was assigned to Chief Judge Richard L. Young of the Southern District of Indiana, and assigned Case No. 3:10-cv-00076-RLY-WGHOrder

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