Newly minted District Judge Leo T. Sorokin wasted no time halting Zond, LLC’s patent infringement suit against Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and GlobalFoundries U.S., Inc., as well as various related foreign entities, in Massachusetts federal court, staying the case pending inter partes review of the asserted patents in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  The case involves U.S. Patent Nos. 6,853,142; 6,806,652; 7,604,716; 7,147,759; 7,811,421; 6,805,779; and, 7,808,184, which cover claims generally directed to the generation and use of strongly ionized plasma discharges.

The defendants filed their motion to stay on May 6, 2014, citing, among other things, the early stage of the litigation, in which discovery had not yet begun and a trial date had not been set, as well as the judicial efficiency that could be derived from the Patent Office’s analysis of the patents.  Additionally, the defendants pointed to Judge Richard G. Stearns’s decision to stay, pending inter partes review, two other cases involving the same patents that were recently filed by Zond in the District of Massachusetts.

The case was originally assigned to District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, but was reassigned to Judge Sorokin on July 17, 2014, shortly after his appointment to the bench.  At a June 6 scheduling conference following briefing on the motion, Judge Woodlock issued an oral order granting the stay and instructing the parties to submit a proposed order.  A disagreement between Zond and the defendants ensued as to the content of the proposed order, with Zond asserting that various representations made by the defendants at the scheduling conference to secure the stay needed to be expressly included.  Upon assignment to the case, and after the submission of competing draft orders, Judge Sorokin sided with the defendants’ position, leaving Zond no choice but to await completion of the inter partes reviews.

The case is Zond, LLC v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. et al., Civ. No. 13-cv-11577-LTS (D. Mass.).