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In re Seagate Technology, LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
497 F.3d 1360 (2007)


Facts

Convolve, Inc., and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collective “Convolve”) (plaintiffs) sued Seagate Technology, LLC (“Seagate”) (defendant) for infringement of its ‘635, ‘267, and ‘473 patents in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to the suit, Seagate retained independent attorney Gerald Sekimura to provide three written opinions regarding whether Seagate had engaged in infringement of the patents. Seagate notified Convolve that it intended to rely on Sekimura’s opinion letters in defending against Convolve’s allegation that Seagate engaged in willful infringement. Convolve then moved to compel discovery of all work product related to Seagate’s trial counsel. The district court concluded that Seagate waived the attorney-client privilege for all communications between it and any counsel, including its trial attorneys, concerning the subject matter of Sekimura’s opinions and also had waived work product protection as well. After the district court ordered Seagate to produce the documents, Seagate petitioned the court of appeals for a writ of mandamus.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mayer, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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