Judge Farnan recently addressed motions to amend in two related cases.
In WebXchange Inc. v. Dell, Inc. and WebXchange Inc. v. FedEx Corporation, the defendants sought to amend their answers (after the amendment deadline) to “add flesh” to their inequitable conduct affirmative defenses and counterclaims. C.A. No. 08-132-JJF, Memo. Op. (D. Del. Jan. 20, 2010); C.A. No. 08-133-JJF, Memo. Op. (D. Del. Jan. 20, 2010). The court granted defendants’ motions to amend finding that the amendments could not have been made prior to the pleading deadline, “despite [their] diligence.” Id. at 5. Furthermore, the court found that the amendments were not futile because factual determinations regarding the the extent of the inventor’s knowledge of certain documents and whether they were intentionally withheld from the PTO are “not appropriate at this stage of the litigation.” Id. at 9. The amendments also do not prejudice plaintiff because the amendments relate to two earlier theories alleged by defendants in their earlier amended answers, no Markman hearing has been held, no trial date has been set and the close of expert and fact discovery are set off the Markman order. Id. at 9.