Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

H.W.J. Designs for Agribusiness, Inc. v. Rethceif Enterprises, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

January 8, 2020

H.W.J. DESIGNS FOR AGRIBUSINESS, INC., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
RETHCEIF ENTERPRISES, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF DEADLINES PENDING ISSUANCE OF CLAIM CONSTRUCTION ORDER (DOC. 171)

          SHEILA K. OBERTO UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs 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 1-2.)

         The 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.)

         On 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).[1] For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is granted in part.

         II. DISCUSSION

         Requests 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.

         Defendants 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. 177, 178.)

         The 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).

         Thus, 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 § 2.1.3.2.3.3, 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 claim construction.”).

         The Court will extend the expert disclosures deadline and modify the scheduling order[2]pending 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 construction ruling.

         III.CONCLUSION AND ORDER

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         1. Defendants' Motion for Extension of Deadlines Pending Issuance of Claim Construction Order, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.