Sometimes it seems that attorneys file motions for summary judgment as a matter of routine, without seriously considering the probability of success. (Bright Response, LLC v. Google Inc., et al.)
In the course of a lawsuit for patent infringement, the defendant, Google, presented several affirmative defenses, alleging, inter alia, that the patent-in-suit was invalid because the claimed invention was obvious in view of the prior art, that it was invalid because the claimed invention had been on sale more than a year prior to the patent’s filing date, and that it was invalid because it improperly named certain individuals as co-inventors. The plaintiff, Bright Response, filed motions for summary judgment, seeking to have these defenses dismissed. The Court denied all of these motions, and the case went to trial before a jury.
The result? The jury found the patent to be invalid due to prior public sale, improper inventorship, and because the claimed invention was obvious. Just to put the frosting on the cake, the jury also found that the patent-in-suit was not infringed, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.
Clearly, someone was terribly mistaken as to the merits of the plaintiff’s case!
THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED: Summary judgment motions are costly; think it over carefully before filing a flock of them.
Sounds like the plaintiff moved for SJ because it didn't have many other arrows in its quiver. Maybe they shouldn't have filed suit in the first place. Another attorney malpractice suit in the offing, perhaps?