By Eric Schweibenz
On March 1, 2010, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 4: Setting The Procedural Schedule in Certain Authentication Systems, Including Software and Handheld Electronic Devices (Inv. No. 337-TA-697).

According to the Order, the parties submitted a joint proposed procedural schedule on February 26, 2010 agreeing on almost all dates “except as to whether the ALJ should hold a Markman hearing.”  Specifically, Respondents Research In Motion, Ltd. and Research In Motion Corp. argued in favor of a Markman hearing and Complainant Prism Technologies LLC and the Commission Investigative Staff argued that such a hearing was not necessary.  In the Order, ALJ Essex determined that “it is not necessary to hold a Markman hearing” since the investigation involves “a single patent and specification.”  ALJ Essex further determined that “the parties can adequately address claim construction issues in their pre-hearing and post-hearing briefs and at the evidentiary hearing.”  ALJ Essex did find, however, that a technology tutorial would be beneficial and scheduled the tutorial for June 3, 2010.  Although the procedural schedule set by ALJ Essex did not include a Markman hearing, it does include provisions for the early exchange of claim construction terms and proposed constructions, and further provides that the evidentiary hearing in this investigation will begin on August 30, 2010.