A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Motion to Strike

"They brought four motions to strike? We better bring 5!" AI-Generated, displayed with permission

There was an interesting order last week in Cleveland Medical Devices Inc. v. ResMed Inc., C.A. No. 22-794-JLH (D. Del.).

The parties filed a letter initiating a discovery dispute conference with the Court. These letters must include non-argumentative descriptions of each dispute the parties raise with the Court. Here, the letter listed a total of nine motions to strike expert reports, including five from the plaintiff and four from the defendant.

Typically the Court reviews these letters and sets a date for a conference and for briefing on each sides' issues. Here, however, the Court took issue with the extraordinary number of …

"Please, dear Court, don't strike our new argument that totally prejudices the other side." Lampos Aritonang, Unsplash

It can sometimes be tough to decide whether to ask the Court permission, or to just do something. The answer can vary depending on the thing you are doing and the judge.

But certain things clearly require permission. Say, for example, offering a "supplemental" expert report with a new damages calculation almost two years after the reply expert report, and only 19 days before trial:

There is no dispute that MED-EL failed to disclose Barry Sussman’s most recent damages calculations based on survey results (set forth in Paragraph 11 of his Supplemental Expert Rebuttal Report) during the expert disclosure period. Indeed, the …

"Why were we late? Aliens! No wait—bigfoot. I don't know." Albert Antony, Unsplash

We've talked about how, when deciding whether a late disclosure should result in waiver, the Court applies the Third Circuits rather forgiving Pennypack factors.

We've also discussed how you really ought to have a reason for a late disclosure.

On Friday, we saw another example of that in Natera, Inc. v. CareDX, C.A. No. 20-038, D.I. 392 (D. Del. Oct. 6, 2023). Magistrate Judge Burke rejected the idea that a party can just not bother to provide an explanation for its late disclosure:

ORAL ORDER: The Court, having reviewed Plaintiff's motion to strike certain [expert] opinions . . . hereby GRANTS the remaining …

Stealth Bomber
Matt Artz, Unsplash

We've talked before about MILs that are really stealth summary judgment motions, but now let's talk about MILs that are stealth Daubert motions and stealth motions to strike!

On Friday, Judge Burke denied a motion in limine to preclude the testimony, holding that it was really a Daubert motion, and the party had waived it by failing to present it by the deadline for Daubert motions:

ORAL ORDER: The Court . . . hereby DENIES [Defendants' Motion in Limine No. 1] for the following reasons: (1) [T]he Scheduling Order in this case provided that "[n]o Daubert motions or motions to strike expert testimony shall be filed unless discussed with the [C]ourt at [the status conference …

"I'm a motion to strike, not a stealth motion for summary judgment" Braydon Anderson, Unsplash

One of the more common District of Delaware questions you get as local counsel is "can we move to strike opposing counsel's (infringement or invalidity) contentions?"

That may seem like a simple question, but the answer depends many things, like: What is wrong with those contentions? How were our contentions in comparison? Which judge is this in front of? How long ago did they serve them? (And, sometimes, things like: Why are you asking this now, when we are two weeks from trial?)

Challenging contention disclosures can be tough even if you have what seem like fairly good arguments. The Court is generally not …

Magnifying Glass
Agence Olloweb, Unsplash

Since the Court's announcement of the current vacant judgeship program, there have been some lingering questions about what a magistrate judge in a vacant judgeship case can and cannot decide.

We got some insight on that question yesterday in Huber Engineered Woods LLC v. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, C.A. No. 19-342-VAC-SRF (D. Del.). The referral order in that case is typical of VAC cases—it says that the magistrate judge can resolve only a limited scope of disputes:

this case is referred to Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon solely for the following purposes: (1) to adjudicate discovery (including fact and expert discovery) and protective order disputes; (2) to issue or modify a scheduling order; (3) to …

Special Master Williams quoted Judge Andrews' recent holding that a new <a href='#' class='abbreviation' data-bs-toggle='tooltip' data-placement='top' title='Doctrine of Equivalents'>DOE</a> argument
Special Master Williams quoted Judge Andrews' recent holding that a new DOE argument "creates a new balgame." Caitlin Conner, Unsplash

Yesterday, Special Master Gregory B. Williams, who has been nominated to replace Judge Stark, issued an order granting a motion to strike late Doctrine of Equivalents contentions.

In TQ Delta, LLC v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, C.A. No. 15-611-RGA, D.I. 455 (D. Del. May 24, 2022), plaintiff served a new DOE theory over two months after final contentions were due, after it found—following non-infringement contentions received from the defendants—that its original DOE theory would fail.

Special Master Williams rejected …

These hands actually look pretty clean.
These hands actually look pretty clean. Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash

Defendants in patent cases often seem to throw in somewhat obscure affirmative defenses with little or no factual support. "Unclean hands" is a classic example. Defendants will sometimes seem to include defenses like unclean hands and prosecution latches with no real factual support (and, I suspect, not always the best grasp on what those defenses really mean).

Judge Stark issued an opinion today on a motion to strike "unclean hands" and "prosecution laches" defenses offers an example of what happens when a defendant actually does adequately support these defenses.

First, the standard: to succeed on a motion to strike affirmative defenses, the insufficiency must be "clearly apparent":

"[P]ursuant to Rule …

Pixelated Game Over screen on an oversized PAC-MAN arcade machine
Sigmund, Unsplash

Generally, corporations have to be represented to appear in Federal Court, or they are at risk of default. This is something that comes up surprisingly often, including when corporate defendants try to file their own filings without an attorney (by mailing them to the clerks' office), or when counsel for a corporate defendant seeks to withdraw mid-case.

Judge Fallon issued an opinion today showing the consequences of a corporation failing to retain counsel. Plaintiff brought suit and, requested entry of default after a corporate defendant failed to answer. That corporate defendant then filed an "answer"—which, based on the docket, was not an answer at all, in that it did not respond to plaintiff's claims. Plaintiff then moved …

Cade Roberts, Unsplash

Over the past year, we've noticed that the D. Del. judges have shown an increasing willingness to exclude late-disclosed evidence and theories. Until recently, motions to strike were difficult to win under the Third Circuit's Pennypack standard. If the prejudice caused by the late disclosure could be cured, it was almost impossible to get anything excluded.

Today, harkening back to an earlier time, Judge Andrews denied cross-motions to strike allegedly late-disclosed theories from the parties' opening expert reports. Although he found that the defendant's motion presented a close call on late disclosure, he concluded that "[e]ven if these infringement theories were untimely, I find, under the Pennypack factors, that their exclusion is not warranted."

At …