A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

As we've covered pretty exhaustively, its getting harder and harder to schedule a trial next year in the District of Delaware. In fact, given the huge number of delays and cancellations of trials that were previously scheduled for this year, most of 2021 is already double or triple-booked with trials.

So it's no surprise that parties that don't have firm dates already on the calendar for next year are eager to lock something—anything—down. That's what happened in Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Elecs., Inc., et. al., C.A. No. 12-1595 (LPS), last week. In that case—which is actually seven related cases—the scheduling order (as modified by recent COVID-related stipulation) set a deadline for dispositive motions that had briefing set to conclude next April, but did not set a specific trial date.

Plaintiffs' thus sent a letter to the Court requesting trial dates in the fall noting "the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the Court’s trial docket," and "submit[ting] that it would be prudent to set trial dates in these long-pending actions, which currently only have set dates through dispositive motions." Id. at D.I. 219. Defendant's opposed the request in their own letter.

Judge Stark denied the request, noting that "While it is true that these cases are 'long-pending,' it is also true that the current (jointly-proposed) schedule does not set trial dates and that it is reasonable and appropriate to defer scheduling any trials in these related matters until after case-dispositive motions are resolved." Id. at D.I. 222.

The takeaway from this exchange seems to be that, if for some reason you need to lock down a trial date, you'll need a better reason to have one set than "they'll all be gone soon."

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