A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


One of the phrases you least want to see on your docket is "deficiency notice." In the scale of bad docket entries it sits somewhere between "untimely" and "consumed by fire."

Worst of all, consumed by untimely fire
AI-Generated, displayed with permission

But alas, these notices come regardless, and in fact the last few weeks have brought quite a few that I hadn't seen before in Delaware. Example below:

DEFICIENCY NOTICE issued by the Court to defendants Alembic Pharmaceuticals Limited, Alembic Global Holding SA, an Alembic Pharmaceuticals, Inc defendant Nanjing Noratech Pharmaceutical Co., Limited: Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 7.1 (b)(1), A party must: (1) file the disclosure statement with its first appearance, pleading, petition, motion, response, or other request addressed to the court. Counsel for the defendant is requested to supplement the docket with an appropriate Rule 7.1 Disclosure Statement.

Novartis Pharms. Corp. v. Alembic Pharms. Ltd., C.A. No. 22-1395-RGA (D. Del. Jan 18, 2023).

As noted in the docket entry, Rule 7.1 requires parties to file a corporate disclosure statement with their "first appearance, pleading, petition, motion, response, or other request addressed to the court." This is easy enough to remember for plaintiffs, who usually file theirs with the complaint without particular difficulty.

What tripped up most of the parties this week was that the defendants filed stipulations to extend the deadline to respond to the Complaint, as opposed to answers or motions to dismiss. Reading the rule, it seems pretty clear that such a stipulation is a "petition" or at least an "other request" that would trigger the requirement to file the disclosure statement.

Looking back, however, it appears that last week's series of deficiency notices on this issue are just about the only ones—I saw only one other from 2022 as far back as DocketNavigator goes. So to the extent parties were sliding by in the past, it looks like the free ride is over.

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