United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
Nuffer District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER ENTERING A STAY OF THIS
C. Wells United States Magistrate Judge.
before the court are the parties' Stipulated Motion for
Scheduling Order or Status Conference and VidAngel's Motion to
Compel Discovery Responses. On October 12, 2017, the court
heard arguments from the parties about the status of the case
and whether continuing the stay would be appropriate. Having
heard argument and after considering the written memoranda,
the court finds that a continued stay is warranted. Thus, the
court will deny without prejudice the Motion to Compel
Discovery and grants the stipulated motion because of the
status conference held on October 12th.
this case ensued in December 2013 in the Northern District of
California and was transferred to this district in March
2014. Approximately seven months later in October 2014
VidAngel moved to stay this case over the objections of
Clearplay. The court granted VidAngel's motion and the
case was stayed in February 2015 pending resolution of the
inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. The IPR
proceedings concluded in late 2016 and after hearing from the
parties the court lifted the stay on October 31,
2016. On March 31, 2017, the court entered a
second stay this time granting Clearplay's motion to stay
which VidAngel opposed.
March 31st order the court stated:
The court, however, at this time does not stay this case for
the remaining time of the Studio Litigation. Rather, the case
will be stayed until the Ninth Circuit renders an opinion on
the preliminary injunction. Once that decision is rendered
the parties are to contact the court to determine whether a
further stay will be necessary.
Ninth Circuit entered a decision on the preliminary
injunction on August 24, 2017.
hearing held on October 12, 2017, Clearplay asserted that the
court must first consider the stay before turning to any
other issues in this case, including whether discovery should
commence in accordance to VidAngel's request. The court
agrees with Clearplay's assertions and notes that first
determining “whether a further stay will be
necessary” is appropriate given the circumstances in
this case and the court's prior order. Unlike in March,
however, there is no active motion to stay filed by
Clearplay. But based upon the court's prior order and
Clearplay's request during the hearing, the court will
construe Clearplay's request as an oral motion to enter a
further stay of proceedings.
noted in its prior order, whether to grant a motion to stay
is within the discretion of the court. In deciding
whether to grant a stay the court considers the following
factors: (1) whether granting a stay will simplify the issues
before the court; (2) the stage of the litigation; and (3) a
balance of prejudice to the parties. Here, the court finds
there is not much change in the circumstance in this case
from its March 31st order and the factors still weigh in
favor of a stay.
the Studio Litigation will assist in resolving the issues in
this case and may moot many of them depending on the outcome
of that litigation. During oral argument VidAngel asserted
that lifting the stay may allow this case to catch up to
another matter in this district that involves some of the
same patents - Clearplay Inc. v. Dish Network LLC et
al. case no. 2:14-cv-191 DN. Not only does this seem
highly unlikely given the schedule in the Dish
Network case, but the resolution of claims in that case
may actually provide simplification of the issues in this
matter. Thus, allowing the Dish Network
case to progress toward resolution while this matter remains
stayed further supports the first factor for a stay.
there has been little substantive work done in this case and
that fact has not changed since entering the March 31st
order. Thus the second factor supports a stay.
the balance of prejudice also supports a stay. Engaging in
litigation that has a high likelihood of becoming moot or
much simpler by the resolution of the Studio Litigation and
the Dish Network case is a waste of the parties and
judicial resources. “[W]hen balancing the potential
prejudice to the parties, the court continues to be mindful
of the remaining life of each of the Patents and the
potential prejudice that [VidAngel] may suffer as a result of
a stay.”Clearplay, the owner of the patents at
issue in this case, seeks the stay so the remaining life of
the patents is not concerning to the court's decision.
The prejudice to VidAngel is largely outstanding litigation
with an unknown outcome. That prejudice does not outweigh the
benefits of entering a continued stay.
upon the foregoing the court GRANTS Clearplay's oral
Motion for Stay. Based upon this stay, it is further ORDERED
that VidAngel's Motion to Compel Discovery
Responses is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The parties