Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Is Merck Vs. Merck Name Spat Moving Toward An Agreed Settlement?

We have been suggesting right since the go (a la that of about a year ago, now), that this dispute ought to be the subject of an agreed settlement -- a worldwide, negotiated and comprehensive set of cross licenses and rights -- or territorial and internet-based restrictions, linked to rights. It makes scant sense to leave the right to use one's immensely valuable wordmark in the hands of any federal judge (even one as able as this one).

Alternatively, one of the two parties (or each of them, separately) could choose to modify its own name (see image at right, as but one crude example) -- in a clearly distinctive way. In any event, we are (finally!) seeing some renewed evidence that this may settle. Overnight the below was filed as a joint request (a one page letter, uploaded to the PACER court file, as a PDF) -- see the bolded part, particularly.

. . . .We, along with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, represent Defendant Merck KGaA (“Defendant”) in the above-referenced matter. We submit this letter jointly with Sidley Austin LLP and McCarter & English LLP, counsel for Plaintiffs Merck & Co., Inc. and Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. (“Plaintiffs”), to request that the deadline for the parties’ production of documents be extended from July 31, 2017 until August 7, 2017 while the parties continue to meet and confer regarding a possible longer extension. . . .

Defendant notified Plaintiffs on June 30, 2017 that Defendant would need an extension from the current deadline of July 31, 2017 for production of documents. The parties have since been negotiating on proposed new case deadlines, as well as various steps that could potentially speed up the process for completion of discovery, but require more time to complete their negotiations. The parties intend to jointly submit a letter to this Court by Monday, August 7, 2017, either proposing a revised schedule or bringing the dispute to the Court for resolution.

Should Your Honor have any questions or concerns, we are available to speak at the Court’s convenience. Thank you for your consideration of this matter. . . .

Now you know -- and only 20 days now, until there is both fire -- and night-time like icy airflow -- in the clear skies, over Nashville. Grinning, excitedly (per the masthead). . . Onward.


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