Maryland Court Denies Parties' Motions to Dismiss Expert Testimony

          In Pulse Medical Instruments, Inc., v. Drug Impairment Detection Services, LLC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (J. Chasanow) denied each party's separate motion to exclude the other party's expert's testimony. In doing so, the Court found the following types of evidence to be admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 702:

          (1) An expert's reference to and analysis of the reasonable royalty factors articulated in Georgia-Pacific.  Such analysis is "far from being testimony regarding pure questions of law," the Court wrote, and can assist a trier of fact regarding damages issues.

          (2) An expert's analysis of a reasonable royalty based on a "hypothetical negotiation." Whether characterized as applying the Georgia-Pacific factors or imagining conducting a hypothetical negotiation, the process, the Court wrote, is one and the same.  Courts have accepted this process as falling within the bailiwick of damages experts as a tool of the trade.  No separate showing of an expert's expertise in negotiations is needed.

          Additionally, the Court noted that Rule 702 allows a witness to be qualified to testify as an expert based on a variety of different methods, but there is no requirement that experts share identical backgrounds to be able to opine about the same subject matter, or to criticize the other expert's opinion. 

          The Court reached the above conclusions after considering F.R.E. Rule 702.  In patent cases, the district court has "a special obligation to 'ensure that any and all scientific testimony. . .is not only relevant, but reliable.'"  Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999).  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has explained Rule 702 as follows:

The first prong of this inquiry necessitates an examination of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the expert's proffered opinion is reliable--that is, whether it is suppported by adequate validation to render it trustworthy.  See [Daubert, 509 U.S.] at 590 n.9, 113 S.Ct. 2786.  The second prong of the inquiry requires an analysis of whether the opinion is relevant to the facts at issue.  See id. at 591-92, 113 S.Ct. 2786.

          To be considered reliable, the Court wrote, an expert opinion "must be based on scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge and not on belief or speculation, and inferences must be derived using scientific or other valid methods."  In the case at hand,  the Court rejected the parties' motions based on the above standard.

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