Motions to strike are tough in Delaware. Although the reign of Pennypack seems to be slowly entering its dotage, the door remains open for the late-disclosed.
With exclusion so rare, its a bit odd we don't see more of Rule 37's lesser sanction -- fees.
But visiting Judge McCalla gave us one on Monday in Invacare Corp. v. Sunrise Medical (US) LLC, C.A. No. 21-823-JPM (D. Del. May 22, 2023) (Oral Order). The facts there were pretty stark.
The defendant had an inequitable conduct claim based on the patentee's failure to inform the PTO that identical claims had previously been rejected. Plaintiff's prosecution counsel testified that the failure was due to an error in an internal spreadsheet they kept of related applications that omitted the relevant application. Plaintiff had previously withheld the spreadsheet as privileged but eventually waived privilege and produced it.
Unfortunately, it came out during expert discovery that the spreadsheet actually contained the relevant application. This was probably a bad day for a lawyer somewhere. Plaintiff then went back to see if there were other versions of the spreadsheet that did omit the application -- they eventually found and produced some, but by then it was 4 months after the close of fact discovery.
Defendant moved to exclude these new references. Judge McCalla denied the motion but ordered plaintiff to pay what will surely be a hefty sum to cover the ...