CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
 
FRAUD EXAMINERS  
 
RESTRUCTURING ADVISORS

 

News

Ritz Camera Trustee Appeals SanDisk Monopoly Suit to Federal Circuit

May 31, 2016 | PaRR

On 31 May, plaintiffs Alfred Giuliano, the Chapter 7 Trustee of the Ritz Bankruptcy Estate, CPM Electronics Inc., E.S.E. Electronics Inc. and MFLASH Inc. filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Circuit.

The trustee for Ritz Camera & Image LLC and other plaintiffs have appealed a decision granting summary judgment to SanDisk Corporation in a case over NAND flash memory monopolization.

On 31 May, plaintiffs Alfred Giuliano, the Chapter 7 Trustee of the Ritz Bankruptcy Estate, CPM Electronics Inc., E.S.E. Electronics Inc. and MFLASH Inc. filed a notice of appeal to the Federal Circuit.

The plaintiffs appealed the district court's 29 April order granting SanDisk's renewed motion for summary judgment.

Background

NAND flash memory is a type of non-volatile electronically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEprom). SanDisk develops and manufactures data storage solutions using NAND flash memory.

In June 2010, Ritz filed a class action complaint against SanDisk for Sherman Act violations. Ritz alleged that SanDisk fraudulently procured two patents and established its monopoly position by enforcing the fraudulently obtained patents against its competitors and by threatening competitors' customers.

In October 2010, SanDisk filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The court entered an order in February 2011 granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss. SanDisk appealed the decision to the Federal Circuit in September 2011.

As reported, in November 2012, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's decision, finding that a direct purchaser is not precluded from bringing a Walker Process antitrust claim even if it cannot seek relief under patent laws. The 1965 US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling in Walker Process Eqpt. Inc. v. Food Machinery Corp. held that a party using a patent to obtain or preserve a monopoly may be liable under antitrust laws if the patent was procured through deliberate fraud on the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint in October 2013, alleging SanDisk maintained a monopoly over raw and finished NAND flash memory products that could be imported into or sold in the US.

SanDisk filed a motion to dismiss in May 2014. In September 2014, the court denied the motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a fourth amended complaint.

In May 2015, the court granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs' motion for class certification. A month later, the court denied SanDisk's motion for summary judgment without prejudice on the grounds that class notice had not yet been disseminated.

In October 2015, SanDisk renewed its motion for summary judgment, along with a motion to exclude certain opinions and testimony.

In April 2016, US District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong granted SanDisk's October 2015 renewed motion for summary judgment. The court denied SanDisk

Schedule a Consultation

All of GMCO’s members, managers, and staff discover innovative solutions to direct your business toward success.

learn