United States District Court, E.D. California
H.W.J. DESIGNS FOR AGRIBUSINESS, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
RETHCEIF ENTERPRISES, LLC, et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR
EXTENSION OF DEADLINES PENDING ISSUANCE OF CLAIM CONSTRUCTION
ORDER (DOC. 171)
K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
filed this patent infringement case against Defendants on
February 24, 2017. (Doc. 1.) The Court entered a scheduling
order on November 30, 2018, setting the claim construction
hearing for April 8, 2019, the non-expert discovery deadline
for October 31, 2019, the expert discovery deadline for April
5, 2020, the dispositive motions filing deadline for April
17, 2020, and a trial date of September 15, 2020. (Doc. 99 at
Court held a claim construction hearing on April 9, 2019, and
May 7, 2019. (See Docs. 127, 132.) The parties then
jointly requested an extension of certain scheduling order
deadlines, (Doc. 146), which the Court granted. (Doc. 147.)
The parties jointly requested to further continue the expert
disclosures deadline and the non-expert discovery deadline,
which the Court again granted, extending, in relevant part,
the expert disclosures deadline to January 27, 2020.
(See Docs. 163, 164, 167, 168.)
December 18, 2019, Defendants filed a “Motion for
Extension of Deadlines Pending Issuance of Claim Construction
Order, ” (Doc. 171), which Plaintiffs opposed, (Docs.
176, 177, 178). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion is granted in part.
to modify a scheduling order are governed by Rule 16(b)(4) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a
court may modify a scheduling order “only for good
cause.” Rule 16(b)'s good cause inquiry focuses
primarily on the movant's diligence. Coleman v.
Quaker Oats Co., 232 F.3d 1271, 1295 (9th Cir. 2000). A
trial court may also consider prejudice to any opposing party
in ruling on a motion to modify the scheduling order.
request that the Court extend the January 27, 2020 expert
disclosures deadline to 60 days after the Court's claim
construction ruling and extend the remaining deadlines
accordingly. (See Doc. 171 at 2.) Plaintiffs oppose
any extension of the existing schedule. (See Docs.
Court finds good cause for an extension of the expert
disclosures deadline tied to the Court's claim
construction ruling. See, e.g., Parker-Hannifin
Corporation v. Wix Filtration Corporation, No. 1:07 CV
1374, 2009 WL 10689387, at *1 (N.D. Ohio Feb. 4, 2009).
Cf. Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. Commerce Bancshares,
Inc., No. 2:13-CV-04160-NKL, 2014 WL 2511308, at *4
(W.D. Mo. June 4, 2014). Delaying expert discovery until
after the Court construes the claims will conserve resources
by necessitating expert discovery on only one claim
construction, as opposed to discovery related to each of the
parties' proposed constructions. The requested extension
will also prevent the need to reopen expert discovery if the
Court construes the claims differently than any party
proposed, which will prevent the need to later extend the
summary judgment-related deadlines. See, e.g.,
Digital-Vending Servs. Int'l, LLC v. Univ. of Phoenix
Inc., No. 2:09-CV-555, 2010 WL 11450408, at *16 (E.D.
Va. June 10, 2010); see also B & H Mfg. Co., Inc. v.
Sidel S.A.S., No. 2:07-cv-02208-MCE-EFB, 2009 WL
3762407, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 6, 2009).
the Court finds good cause to modify the scheduling order and
that Plaintiffs will not be unduly prejudiced by the
modification, and that tying the expert disclosures deadline
to the Court's claim construction ruling is appropriate
in this case. See Federal Judicial Center, Patent
Case Management Judicial Guide § 188.8.131.52.3.3, at 2-22
(2016) (“Expert reports on infringement, invalidity,
and damages are central to almost every patent case.
Technical experts opine . . . based on the meaning of the
claim terms as determined by (or anticipated from) the
court's claim-construction order. For this reason, claim
construction should precede expert reports . . . Many courts,
therefore, schedule expert discovery . . . to begin after
Court will extend the expert disclosures deadline and modify
the scheduling orderpending the issuance of a claim
construction ruling, but not to the extent requested by
Defendants. Instead, the Court will extend the expert
disclosures deadline to 30 days after the Court's claim
construction ruling, and vacate the remaining deadlines and
hearings, to be re-set after entry of the Court's claim
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Defendants' Motion for Extension of Deadlines Pending
Issuance of Claim Construction Order, ...