This case involves several consolidated Hatch-Waxman cases filed by AstraZeneca against various defendants. Several of the defendants filed petitions for inter partes review and moved to join them with the petition previously filed by one defendant in June 2015 and instituted in May 2016. The PTAB’s decision on that first IPR must be issued by May 2017, but a trial in the consolidated litigation is scheduled to begin before Judge Sleet in September 2016. Given the institution decision by the PTAB, the defendants who filed the second wave of IPR petitions moved to stay the District Court litigation. AstraZeneca AB v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., et al., C.A. No. 14-664-GMS, Order at 1-2 (D. Del. Aug. 23, 2016).
Judge Sleet denied the motion to stay, finding that all of the factors considered in the stay analysis “weigh strongly against the imposition of a stay.” Id. at 2 n.3. Perhaps most importantly, Judge Sleet explained that “a stay would unduly prejudice AstraZeneca [because this] two-year-old case is within one month of trial [and the] parties have expended considerable resources and effort in preparing for this trial.” Id. Judge Sleet continued: “At this late date, the IPR Defendants are asking the court to delay trial for almost a year. The IPR Defendants have not presented any explanation for the lengthy delay in submitting their IPR petitions . . . [and] the 30-month stay of FDA approval will expire for most defendants’ ANDAs before [the IPR decision, requiring AstraZeneca] . . . to request preliminary injunctions to prevent the defendants from launching their products before the validity of the RE’l86 patent is resolved.” Id.