Tigar (J, San Francisco)

The Liqmax 120 (one of the accused products manufactured by AVC and sold by its customer, Enermax).

In an omnibus decision issued March 15, 2019, Judge Jon S. Tigar ruled on Plaintiff/Counter-Defendant Asia Vital Component Co., Ltd.’s (“AVC’s”) motion for partial summary judgment of non-infringement and Defendant/Counter-Claimant Asetek Danmark A/S’s (“Asetek’s”) motion for partial summary judgment of invalidity and motions to strike expert reports and declarations.  AVC is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of fan coolers and heat sinks for CPUs, laptops, and personal computers.[1]  Defendant Asetek is a Danish company credited with popularizing widely used liquid cooling systems.

At issue in the case are two patents that describe a liquid cooling system for the central processing unit of a computer: U.S. Patent Nos. 8,240,362 (“’362 Patent”) and 8,245,764 (“’764 Patent”).  Mere weeks after the patents issued in August 2012, Asetek successfully asserted them in a lawsuit against CoolIT Systems Inc.[2]  Asetek also asserted these patents against Cooler Master Co., Ltd., winning a permanent injunction in addition to monetary damages.[3]  Asetek initiated licensing negotiations with AVC in April 2014.  After those failed, AVC filed suit for declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity in September 2014.


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Two orders recently issued regarding whether district court litigation should be stayed pending inter partes review.  In both cases, the IPR petition had been filed recently, and the institution decision had not yet issued—but the results could not have been more different.  Judge Tigar granted a stay in Uniloc USA, Inc. v. LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc. (Case No. 3:18-cv-06739, “Uniloc”).  Two floors down, Judge Orrick went the other way in J & K IP Assets, LLC v. Armaspec, Inc. (Case No. 3:17-cv-07308, “J & K”).

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