By Eric Schweibenz
On September 29, 2009, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued Order No. 18 quashing a subpoena served by Respondents CompX International, Inc. and Waterloo Furniture Corporation Ltd. (collectively, “CompX”) on Complainant Humanscale Corp.’s (“Humanscale”) attorneys, Alston & Byrd LLP (“A&B”), in Certain Adjustable Keyboard Support Systems and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-670).

In support of its motion to quash, A&B argued that (1) when A&B ceased to represent Humanscale in 2007, A&B returned to Humanscale all documents that were not work product or confidential; (2) CompX’s subpoena seeks documents already obtained from Humanscale; (3) the requested documents are not relevant to this investigation; (4) compliance with CompX’s subpoena would pose undue burden on A&B; and (5) the burden of reviewing and logging the requested documents outweighs any alleged need for the documents.

In response, CompX argued among other things that (1) the documents sought in the subpoena pertain to prior art of which A&B may have been aware; (2) Humanscale’s attorneys have changed firms several times, complicating the question of whether they knew of prior art at any given time; and (3) the requested documents are otherwise unavailable to CompX.

In the Order, ALJ Luckern agreed with A&B’s arguments and determined that no responsive non-privileged documents remain to be discovered, CompX had not shown a need for the requested documents with respect to A&B, and requiring A&B to review and record on a privilege log over 350 boxes of documents to comply with the subpoena would result in a potential hardship to A&B.

Accordingly, ALJ Luckern quashed CompX’s subpoena to A&B.