A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware


Entries for tag: Scheduling

Percentages
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This is a way of drafting scheduling order deadlines I haven't seen before. In Novarad Corp. v. Medivis, Inc., C.A. No. 21-1447-VAC-MPT (D. Del.), the parties initially agreed to a scheduling order that included a deadline for document production to be "substantially complete."

Many (maybe all) of the judges' form scheduling orders include a deadline for substantial completion of document production. Parties generally understand the substantial completion deadline to mean the production of enough documents that fact depositions can begin.

Exactly how many documents that is can be an occasional source of disagreement. There is not a lot of well-known precedent about exactly what proportion of documents must be produced before the substantial …

Do Not Enter Wrong Way
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Judge Andrews on Friday denied a fairly typical stipulation extending time for the briefing on a motion to dismiss:

ORAL ORDER: There is a pending motion of a routine nature. Each side is represented by multiple attorneys, at least some of whom on both sides are known to me to be more than competent. Summer schedules and other professional obligations are not a reason to add more than two months to the briefing schedule for this motion. The stipulation (D.I. 15 ) is DENIED. Ordered by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 6/3/2022. (nms) (Entered: 06/03/2022)

Robocast, Inc. v. Netflix, Inc., C.A. No. 22-305-RGA, D.I. 16 (D. Del. June 3, 2022).

I've noticed two similar orders lately as well, denying early-case extensions or stays and citing Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(2), both from Chief Magistrate Judge Thynge. First, with regard to a stipulation to extend time to submit a scheduling order:

ORAL ORDER re 18 STIPULATION TO EXTEND TIME to submit a scheduling order to 6/1/2022 filed by IP Power Holdings Limited: . . . By the time of the Rule 16 conference scheduled for 6/6/2022, this matter will have been pending for ...

Parties in Delaware can generally freely stipulate to many things that don't directly impact the Court, including common things like schedule adjustments, authenticity of documents, protective orders, and ESI procedures—as long as you stay away from trouble spots like increasing page limits or dates for dispositive motions or trial. But every once in a while a stipulation is denied, and it's always interesting when and why that happens.

Last month, the parties in ImmerVision, Inc. v. LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc., 18-1630-MN-CJB (D. Del.) filed a stipulation staying the action pending the outcome of objections to the magistrate judge's claim construction R&R. They noted that, if the R&R is adopted, plaintiff would stipulate to non-infringement and the …

As jury trials in Delaware continue to get back on track, the judges' trial calendars are jam packed for 2021 and 2022. What does this mean if you have an upcoming trial date and need to move it?

In some cases, you might be out of luck. Yesterday, Judge Andrews denied an unopposed motion to extend a case schedule that would have pushed trial from June 2022 to September 2022. The purpose for the request was to provide additional time to complete fact discovery.

In an oral order, Judge Andrews rejected the request outright:

The Parties say they need more time, but simply needing more time is not good cause. The Court's schedule is already completely full …

Time
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Judge Noreika issued an interesting order last week that allows us to pinpoint precisely how much time she requires to consider Daubert motions.

Naturally, we already had some insight into this issue from the Judge's form scheduling orders. For non-ANDA cases (i.e. cases where the parties may file summary judgment motions), Daubert motions are due at the same time as SJ motions -- at least 4 months before the pretrial conference. See Form Scheduling Order [Patent, Non-ANDA], ¶ 8(f)(iii) (D. Del. Apr. 5, 2021) (Noreika, J.).

The form scheduling order for ANDA cases, on the other hand, gives the parties considerably more leeway, simply requiring that any Daubert motion be brought …

Red Classic London Double Decker Bus
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As we discussed in our primer on bringing a discovery dispute in Delaware, each judge has their own procedures for scheduling a hearing on discovery disputes. Perhaps because of these different procedures, the time between request and conference varies quite a bit. Because it's sometimes useful to know how long you might expect to wait before receiving a decision on your dispute, I present you, dear reader, with the average time from request to hearing for each of the Article III Delaware Judges as of today (based on their 5 most recent scheduled conferences):

  • Judge Andrews - 21 Days
  • Judge Connolly - 19 days
  • Judge Noreika - 25 Days
  • Judge Stark - 39 Days

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 …

Chief Judge Stark on Friday scheduled the first post-COVID-19 patent jury trial that I've seen, in Guardant Health, Inc. v. Foundation Medicine, Inc., C.A. No. 17-1616-LPS-CJB, D.I. 487 (D. Del. Oct. 16, 2020). (The potential Judge Noreika trial I mentioned recently is not going forward).

The Court had offered the November 30 date late last month. The defendant objected to it due to a conflict. The defendant also argued that the jury pool will not be representative, lacking older jurors, and that holding a trial would go against CDC guidance.

The Court was not persuaded. It did, however, set the following restrictions:

  • No live witnesses: The Court accepted a proposal that since not all witnesses can …

Unsurprisingly, in light of COVID-19, recent signs indicate that the Court is all booked up for this year, and probably for a large part of next year.

Here, for example, is a Judge Stark order from yesterday:

ORAL ORDER: Having discussed with the parties on repeated occasions whether and when to schedule this patent infringement case for a jury trial (see, e.g., D.I. 474, 549, 583, 590, 591, 593, 596, 605, 607, 608, 610-15) and having found (unfortunately) no date that is reasonable and available to all parties and to the Court, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that trial in this matter is CONTINUED to a DATE TO BE DETERMINED, most likely in 2021 (and certainly NOT in 2020). IT …

Stopwatch
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In First Quality Tissue, LLC v. Irving Consumer Products Ltd., C.A. No. 19-428-RGA (D. Del.), defendant swapped its previous counsel, Michael Best, for Latham and Watkins, and sought a twelve-week extension of the schedule.

The parties agreed that some kind of extension was needed regardless of the change in counsel, with numerous pending disputes, 24 noticed depositions, and only 3 days left in discovery. Plaintiff proposed a 4-week extension. Even with four weeks, the parties would likely have to dual-track the depos to get them done in time.

Judge Andrews, however, did not buy the idea that a change in counsel warrants a large schedule extension, and held that the responsibility for …