District of Delaware Limits ESI Search Terms Sought
In the patent infringement case AVM Technologies, LLC v. Intel Corp., Case No. 15-00033 (D. Delaware, May 3, 2016), Plaintiff sued Defendant in connection with certain of Defendant’s processors, which Plaintiff alleged infringed upon one of Plaintiff’s patents. Throughout the case, the parties ran into a number of discovery issues with respect to proposed protective orders and requests for data. The court held multiple telephonic hearings to resolve these issues. Most recently, the court held yet another telephonic hearing, at which one of the issues to be resolved was Plaintiff’s request that Defendant search its databases for certain search terms: charge sharing, power race, contention and short circuits and their synonyms. Defendant opposed performing the database searching.
Plaintiff argued that it was entitled to the information based upon the nature of the information sought with respect to the products at issue. Plaintiff also maintained that the searching should encompass the time period of 1995 to the present, despite the fact that the patent for the subject processor was issued long after 1995. However, Defendant argued that the scope of the search terms would necessitate discovery review regarding all the circuits in its earlier products, since the terms could relate to commonalities within all of its microprocessors. Plaintiff further made various arguments about how the information would support its case. Defendant sought a much more limited search.
The court found that Plaintiff did not show that Defendant’s production to date was inadequate. The court also disagreed that the search requested was narrow, holding that it would likely result in “numerous” irrelevant documents. The court therefore limited the search terms further, granting Plaintiff’s request in part and denying it in part.