Judicial Efficiencies and Economy Support Bifurcation of Liability and Damages at Trial

Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Actavis, Inc., et al.

Case Number: 1:12-cv-08985-TPG (Dkt.55)

Endo brought suit against Actavis, as well as over a dozen other pharmaceutical manufacturers, for allegedly infringing its patents related to an opioid painkiller. Unlike the action against Actavis, Endo’s claims against the other manufacturers do not seek damages because their products are still awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Accordingly, and with Endo’s consent, Actavis moved the court to bifurcate damages from liability at trial.

Under these circumstances, Judge Griesa held bifurcation served dual purposes of convenience and efficiency, as the liability trial would be simplified and the other manufacturers would not be required to participate in damages proceedings inapplicable to them. Judge Griesa also recognized that if Actavis were to prevail on liability, the common question of damages would be rendered moot. This is especially significant in patent cases, the court observed, as damages are often “notoriously complex and expensive.” Granting the motion to bifurcate, Judge Griesa noted that avoiding such a situation where considerable time and money would be expended by the parties and the court – that may become moot – promotes judicial efficiency and economy.

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