Court Rules that ZTE Must Bring Its GC to Deposition in US, Despite Arrest Fears
Aug. 12, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Back in late July, we discussed Judge Kaplan’s Order compelling ZTE to produce its general counsel, Guo Xiaoming, for deposition in the United States, to answer questions about his role in purportedly involving the Chinese anti-monopoly authorities in a scheme to pressure Vringo to drop its patent licensing demands. This ruling set off a flurry of filings, including a request by ZTE to show “mercy” and allow the deposition to take place in Hong Kong, at ZTE’s request. The reason why “mercy” was requested? Because ZTE’s GC was refusing to appear in the US for fear of being arrested in connection with another matter. Understanding that any such failure to comply would be sanctionable, ZTE asked the Court to modify its original order.
No dice for ZTE. In a long, 28-page opinion that lays out the factual history underlying the original request for the deposition, Judge Kaplan concluded quite simply that he was going to insist on compliance with his original directive. Meaning ZTE would need to arrange for its GC to appear in the US for his deposition, full stop.
Most interesting is Judge Kaplan’s exhortation that ZTE and Guo “reconsider” their promise to flout the Court’s Order. If they fail to comply, the “failure to reconsider” despite being given an opportunity to do so, will likely factor heavily into any sanctions decision, and render ZTE’s prior pleas for “mercy” even less relevant. In the meantime, look for Vringo to continue to press every advantage, as it attempts to chop ZTE down at the knees — and back to the settlement table to negotiate a worldwide deal that could be Vringo’s lifeline.
The Week(s) Ahead — Expected Events
- Bass IPR Decisions – Late August
Disclosures and Disclaimers:
Nothing in this material is intended to constitute legal or investment advice of any kind, nor is any of this material based on any non-public information of any kind. In addition to my work at Markman Advisors, I am also a name partner at a NYC-based intellectual property litigation boutique firm, Kroub Silbersher & Kolmykov PLLC (www.kskiplaw.com). Markman Advisors is affiliated with a Houston-based investment management firm, Perdix Capital Management, which may have existing or potential positions relating to situations discussed in this material. Markman Advisors also provides consulting services to buy-side investors, including hedge funds and family offices, that may also have or enter into positions relating to situations discussed in this material.
Main image via Flickr/conxa.roda