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Technology Licensing Corp. v. Technicolor USA

October 25, 2010

TECHNOLOGY LICENSING CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TECHNICOLOR USA, INC., DEFENDANT.



MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: MOTIONS TO AMEND SCHEDULING

ORDER AND DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO PROHIBIT PLAINTIFF FROM INTRODUCING CERTAIN EVIDENCE

Plaintiff Technology Licensing Corporation ("TLC") brought this action against defendant Technicolor USA, Inc., ("Technicolor")*fn1 for patent infringement. Before the court are plaintiff's motion to amend the scheduling order, defendant's motion to amend the scheduling order, and defendant's motion to prohibit plaintiff from introducing facts or evidence requested but not identified in plaintiff's interrogatory responses pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff owns U.S. Patent Nos. RE40,411 E (the "'411 patent") and RE40,412 E (the "'412 patent"), which are July 1, 2008 reissues of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,754,250 (the "'250 patent") and 5,486,869 (the "'869 patent"), respectively. (Pl.'s Second Am. Compl. ("SAC") ¶¶ 6-8, Exs. A-D.) Plaintiff alleges that defendant infringed the '411 and '412 patents. (Id. ¶¶ 9-11.)

Pursuant to the court's Status (Pretrial Scheduling) Order of November 13, 2009, all discovery was to be completed by August 30, 2010, and all pretrial motions were to be filed by September 20, 2010; the matter was set for a pretrial conference on November 29, 2010, and trial on February 1, 2011. (Docket No. 229.) On April 13, 2010, pursuant to a joint stipulation of the parties, the court appointed Gale R. Peterson as a Special Master for purposes of claim construction. (Docket No. 273.) No recommendation has yet been issued by the Special Master.

Plaintiff and defendant now move separately to amend the scheduling order. Defendant also moves to prohibit plaintiff from introducing facts or evidence requested but not identified in plaintiff's interrogatory responses. The court granted defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings on plaintiff's claims of inducing and contributory infringement on October 18, 2010, with leave to amend the complaint; the deadline for submitting an amended complaint is also before the court.

II. Discussion

A. Motions to Amend

A court may modify the pretrial schedule "if it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party seeking the extension." Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992). Given that the Special Master has not yet issued his recommendation, it is proper to extend the discovery deadline so that the parties may conduct depositions after claim construction has been resolved. In the interest of retaining the structure provided by the November 13, 2009 Scheduling Order, the other deadlines will be similarly extended.

B. Motion to Exclude Certain Evidence

Defendant moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(c)(1) for an order sanctioning plaintiff for its purported failure to respond appropriately to discovery requests. Defendant seeks an order excluding any evidence offered by plaintiff regarding 1) alleged infringing devices beyond the three devices plaintiff identified in response to Interrogatory No. 1; 2) the doctrine of equivalents, which plaintiff did not address in answering Interrogatory No. 2.; and 3) licensing of the '411 and '412 patents or their predecessor patents, for which plaintiff did not provide information in answering Interrogatory No. 3.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(e)(1) requires that a party "supplement or correct its disclosure or response... if the party learns that in some material respect the disclosure or response is incomplete or incorrect, and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to the other parties during the discovery process...." Rule 37(c)(1) prohibits the introduction of evidence that should have been disclosed and was not disclosed pursuant to Rule 26(e)(1) if the failure to disclose was not harmless and was not substantially justified.

Defendant's first interrogatory asked for a claim chart for each allegedly infringing product. In response, plaintiff identified three of defendant's products and provided claim charts based on the allegedly infringing chips in those products. Defendant argues that plaintiff's failure to identify any other products should preclude plaintiff from introducing evidence regarding other products. However, plaintiff has thus far been substantially justified in failing to supplement its response. Discovery is not yet complete, and plaintiff may still discover other products that contain the allegedly infringing chips. Indeed, plaintiff has requested information regarding which of defendant's products incorporate the chips at issue, and defendant has apparently responded by providing a "long string of numbers (as opposed to an identifiable product name or number), which incorporate those chips." (Pl.'s Opp'n at 6.) Plaintiff states that it intends to determine which products incorporate the GS 4882 chip*fn ...


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