Nation's First Certification of Class Granted in a Walker Process Claim
On May 14, 2015, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, the nation’s first certification of a class in a Walker Process case. A Walker Process claim is one predicated on defendant’s use of a fraudulently obtained patent to obtain or attempt to obtain monopoly power, named after the Supreme Court case, Walker Process Equip. Inc. v. Food Mach. & Chem Corp., 382 U.S. 172 (1965). A class of direct purchases of SanDisk flash memory products sued SanDisk for monopolization, among other claims, based on patents SanDisk fraudulently obtained, which patents were so critical that SanDisk referred to them as its “crown jewel” patents.
In rejecting each of SanDisk’s arguments against certification and its Daubert challenge of Plaintiffs’ expert, the Court found "that Plaintiffs have demonstrated that the superiority and predominance requirements of Rule 23(b)(3)have been met. Plaintiffs have shown the superiority of maintaining a class action and that questions of law and fact common to the proposed class predominance over any questions affecting only individual members."
Plaintiffs are represented by SSH attorneys Norm Siegel, Jason Hartley and Ryan O’Dell and are co-lead counsel in the case.