A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Amendment of Patent Infringement Contentions with Information Learned in Discovery Denied

In an August 12, 2013 ruling, Judge Laura Taylor Swain, applying the Northern District of California patent rules, denied plaintiff Richard A. Williamson's motion to amend its infringement contentions in its patent infringement action against AT&T Operations, Inc.  The plaintiff sought to amend his contentions supposedly in response to information learned from AT&T's Rule 30(b)(6) deposition and 1.8 million page document production.  AT&T contended, and the Court agreed, that the information that Williamson supposedly learned through discovery was publicly available before he filed his infringement contentions.  Williamson nevertheless contended "that publicly available information at the time he served his infringement contentions was less reliable than non-public information that became available during discovery."  Judge Swain rejected this argument, writing that "[a]llowing a Plaintiff to delay serving infringement contentions because publicly available information might not be as reputable as yet-undisclosed information would run contrary to the purpose of the" infringement contention disclosure rules of focusing discovery and the remainder of an infringement case.  The Court thus found that the plaintiff lacked diligence in seeking to amend his contentions, and denied the motion without having to reach whether AT&T was prejudiced by the delay.
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