In In re MSTG, Inc., No. 11-M996 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 9, 2012), the Federal Circuit denied MSTG, Inc.’s (“MSTG”) petition for a writ of mandamus, finding that license negotiation discussions are not protected from discovery based on a settlement negotiation privilege, after MSTG’s expert had relied upon the discussions in his determination of a reasonable royalty. Noting that this was an issue of first impression, the Court analyzed the recognition process for new testimonial privileges under the Federal Rules of Evidence and determined that the public policy goals asserted by MSTG in support of a privilege can more appropriately and effectively be achieved by limiting the scope of discovery.
See this month’s edition of Last Month at the Federal Circuit for a full summary of this decision.