Panini has freed itself from the Wildcat electronic trading card fight. On December 18, a Stipulation of Dismissal was filed by Wildcat and Panini which states, "all claims and counterclaims in this action be, and upon approval are, dismissed WITH PREJUDICE, subject to the terms of that certain agreement entitled 'SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT' dated December 17, 2012, with each party to bear its own costs, expenses and attorney's fees."
Legal translation: Panini is outta there!
Of course, the December 17 settlement agreement is not attached, confidential, and we'll likely never know the terms of the agreement. But, because the dismissal is "WITH PREJUDICE," Wildcat cannot go after Panini again for the issues raised in this lawsuit.
Although Panini is out of the lawsuit, a number of defendants still remain, including Topps, Wizards of the Coast and Konami. These parties will have an exciting rest of the week, since they will be in Court on December 20 to fight out the Markman Hearing.
Legal translataion: This is the hearing where the parties argue before the judge what they believe the patent covers.
Usually, Markman hearings are the most important hearings in patent cases. Therefore, they are also some of the most expensive. In all likelihood, Panini pulled the rip chord now to avoid the legal fees required to prepare for this hearing and attend it.
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