craps_20game_croppedUnited States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division Judge Richard Seeborg issued an Order on April 26, 2010 denying a motion to stay Ultra Products, Inc. v. Antec, Inc. (Civil Action No. C 09-04255 RS) pending the outcome of a possible inter partes reexamination of the patent-in-suit, U.S. Patent No. 7,133,293 (the “‘293 patent”). The ‘293 patent is directed to a modular computer power supply that is designed to reduce problems with personal computer cords. A decision on a refiled request for inter partes reexamination dated March 29, 2010 based on Neo-Power 480 materials has not yet been made by the USPTO. In his decision to deny the stay of the patent infringement litigation, Judge Seeborg weighed three factors. The first two factors involve whether a stay would unduly prejudice or present a clear tactical advantage to the nonmoving party and will simplify the issues in question and trial of the case. The third factor is whether discovery is complete and a trial date has been set. He concluded that taken together these factors weigh against a stay of the patent litigation. The judge exercised his discretion to deny the motion for stay on the basis that the stay would threaten more delay considering the fact that the USPTO has not even granted the request for inter partes reexamination of the ‘293 patent. The results of any reexamination proceeding are thus uncertain at this time. While on the other hand, discovery and claim construction preparation are well under way. While this determnination may seem completely reasonable, other judges in the same district have decided otherwise. See our earlier post on a stay pending patent reexamination being granted in the ND of California based upon the mere filing of an inter partes reexamination request. Despite the inconsitencies in California, generally speaking, late filed inter partes reexamination are largely viewed as ineffective for stay purposes in advanced stage litigations.  Furthermore, the estoppel effect of a final determination in the ongoing litigation will effectively cut off the reexamination proceeding long before completion.