A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Entries for tag: Scheduling

Not the hoped-for result.
Not the hoped-for result. Michael Jin, Unsplash

Sometimes it's nice to know what doesn't work.

In AlterWAN, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., C.A. No. 19-1544-MN (D. Del.), the parties stipulated to a judgment of non-infringement after the Court construed certain terms of the patent, and then appealed to the Federal Circuit.

The Federal Circuit vacated the stipulated judgment because it found it was not specific enough, and remanded the case. See AlterWAN, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 63 F.4th 18, 23 (Fed. Cir. 2023) (“[W]e cannot ‘ascertain the basis for the judgment’ of non-infringement, . . . because the parties did not adequately explain how the claim construction rulings related to the accused systems.”).

On remand, the …

Alpine Forget-me-not. Myosotis alpestris (1925)
Alpine Forget-me-not. Myosotis alpestris (1925) Mary Morris Vaux Walcott

Stipulations to extend time are a popular, both as a topic on this blog and in how routinely they are filed. Usually, stipulations to extend time are granted without incident, so we highlight the outliers as reminders that sometimes there’s more to it than mere agreement between the parties.

Don’t forget! If you’re stipulating to extend the:

  1. Deadline for discovery completion, or
  2. Postponement of trial

You must include the reasons for the request in your stipulation or motion. And the local rules require you to include either a supporting affidavit by the requesting counsel’s client or a certification that counsel has sent a copy of the request to the client.

This latter requirement reminds me of pre-college: in which students who received sub-optimal test scores needed to get a parental signature to prove to the teacher that the parent had seen the score and reviewed the offending test.

The parties in The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania v. Genentech, Inc., C.A. 22-145-MN-JLH demonstrated how to correct deficiencies. Earlier this month, Judge Noreika issued an oral order denying their prior ...

It's no secret that the Court is busy, and it's only getting busier. Time being such a limited resource, requests for special (expedited) treatment are particularly fraught.

AI-Generated, displayed with permission

An important codicil (legal words for 200 Alex (#notmyAlex)) to this rule is that, once you receive this special treatment, you really can't change your mind. This rule was brought into sparkling clarity in Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. v. Eugia Pharma Specialities Ltd., C.A. No. 19-2309-CFC (D. Del. May 1, 2023) (Oral Order), which really speaks for itself:

Plaintiffs have filed a motion to extend by two weeks the deadline for their posttrial brief and findings of fact. During these proceedings, both sides insisted on quickly proceeding to a bench trial on the validity of the '284 patent, even though that patent does not expire until 2029. The Court accommodated the parties' request, and it has repeatedly noted the importance of the parties adhering to the Court's schedule given the Court's high caseload. Plaintiffs now seek to extend their posttrial briefing schedule by an additional two weeks because they have chosen to hire additional counsel. Plaintiffs have significantly burdened the Court's resources to date and proceeded to trial knowing that they had to abide by the Courts post trial schedule. Now therefore, Plaintiffs' motion is DENIED.

So there you go—if you're going to go fast, go fast.

I'll fix that for you...
Sasun Bughdaryan, Unsplash

The Court issued an order today clearing all of our calendars for the District of Delaware's Bench and Bar, which is set for September 21-22, 2023.

The order says that it moves all filing and service deadlines to the following Monday:

WHEREAS, the Court having announced that it will host its biennial District of Delaware Bench and Bar Conference on September 21 and 22, 2023, and the
Court wishing to promote the participation of as many members of the Bar as possible;
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that all members of the court - District, Magistrate, and Bankruptcy Judges - will, to the greatest extent possible, cancel and refrain from scheduling court proceedings and filing deadlines on …

Green Light
Pawel Czerwinski, Unsplash

Parties in D. Del. patent actions frequently stipulate to adjustments of the case schedule, and these typically go through without any issue. So it always catches my eye when a stipulated stay is denied.

In Zogenix, Inc. v. Apotex Inc., C.A. No. 21-1252-RGA (D. Del.), and two related actions, one of the defendants had moved to dismiss one of the asserted patents in a related action, and the plaintiff had moved to amend its complaint to assert additional patents and join additional parties. The motions were filed in September and November, 2022, and remain pending.

The parties in the three actions stipulated to consolidate the actions for the purposes of discovery, and to stay the consolidated action until resolution of the motions to dismiss and amend.

Judge Andrews denied the motion, ordering that the parties instead move forward as if the motions were resolved in the broadest way:

ORAL ORDER: The Stipulation to Consolidate and Stay Case . . . is DENIED. The Court is not willing to stay the cases. The discovery deadlines in the two earlier cases . . . will not be extended. The parties should proceed as though the motion for leave to amend . . . will be granted and the motion to dismiss . . . will be denied. Ordered by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 3/1/2023.

We've noted before that stipulations to stay the entire case can be iffy, and Judge Andrews has previously rejected an attempt ...

System Update
Clint Patterson, Unsplash

Judge Williams issued a new form scheduling order last week. Updating his previous orders, he primarily added text mirroring Judge Connolly's procedures that require parties to rank summary judgment motions (where if any motion is denied, lower-ranked motions will not be considered):

(d) Ranking of Summary Judgment Motions. Any party that files more than one summary judgment motion shall number each motion to indicate the order in which the party wishes the Court to review its pending motions. The first motion the party wishes the Court to consider shall be designated #1,the second motion shall be designated #2, and so on. The Court will review the party's summary judgment motions in the order designated by …

Artem Beliaikin, Unsplash

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
Tim Mossholder, Unsplash

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 …