Judge Andrews Resolves Jury Instruction Dispute

March 17, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

In EMC Corporation, et al. v. Pure Storage Inc., C.A. No. 13-1985-RGA (D. Del. Feb. 29, 2016), Judge Andrews granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment of infringement as to certain claims of the ‘015 Patent against Pure Storage Inc. (“Pure”). In light of disagreements over the proposed jury instruction on the Court’s finding of infringement, the Court ruled on February 26, 2016, that a jury instruction on the infringement would properly be described as “agreed” upon, since in fact Pure had agreed to stipulate to the infringement. Plaintiffs had argued for a jury instruction that stated that the Court had “determined that Pure’s products directly infringed the asserted claims.” Judge Andrews decided not to tell the jury that the Court had “ruled against Pure,” as that would not be fair to Pure.

Subsequently, Pure further proposed that the Court’s instruction on infringement clarify that infringement of its products was agreed upon “for purposes of this trial” only. Pure suggested that the instruction read as follows: “Pure has agreed for purposes of this trial that the accused FlashArray products infringe five asserted claims of the ’015 Patent.” On February 29, 2016, Judge Andrews rejected Pure’s proposed language because including such contested language “undercuts the stipulation” and was unnecessary to preserve Pure’s right to appeal the Court’s infringement determinations. The Court decided that the instruction would read as follows: “The issues you must decide in relation to the ‘015 Patent are different from what you must decide in relation to the other two patents. Pure has agreed that the accused FlashArray products infringe five asserted claims of the ‘015 Patent. Thus, you will not hear anything at trial about infringement of the claims of the ‘015 Patent.”

Analysis: The District Court did not require that a jury instruction on infringement state that infringement was found by the Court.

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