Discovery over Patent Transfer Agreements Roils Cypress Lake Campaign
Late last month, District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas granted a sealed motion, brought by defendants Dell and Samsung, to compel NPE-plaintiff Cypress Lake Software, Inc. to produce a set of communications that it had logged as attorney-client privileged and/or protected as attorney work product prepared in anticipation of litigation. Cypress had sought to prevent production of its communications with Robert Paul Morris, the inventor named on the patents that the NPE has been asserting in litigation since 2015; Sitting Man, LLC, a Delaware entity under Morris’s control; and Mirai Ventures, LLC, a Texas entity that, according to the court’s order, entered into an October 30, 2015 “Financial Backer(s) Agreement . . . whereby Mirai agreed to provide funding and patent-prosecution services to Sitting Man in exchange for a portion of any proceeds from the enforcement, sale, or licensing of the patents”. Judge Kernodle’s order comes as the Texas court has been pelted with filings over multiple issues, as a separate portion of the campaign—against HP and ZTE—may also be ramping up in the Northern District of California after a transfer there, and as Cypress has filed a fourth case against Samsung (6:19-cv-00328) in the Eastern District of Texas, this time targeting the Korean parent entity itself.