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Judge Robinson considers motions to strike and exclude evidence

In Invista North America S.A.R.L., et al. v. M&G USA Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 11-1007-SLR-CJB (D. Del. June 25, 2013), Judge Sue L. Robinson considered three motions related to the parties’ discovery.

Plaintiffs moved to strike portions of defendants’ expert’s reply report and this expert’s references to and reliance upon certain experimental data. Plaintiffs argued that parts of the report were untimely because they addressed topics beyond secondary considerations, but the Court concluded that “although not labeled as such, [the sections] at issue were submitted in response to arguments in [plaintiffs’ expert’s] rebuttal report that [defendants’ expert’s] report was incomplete for failing to specifically cite support for his opinions. Thus, viewed as a supplement, those . . . pages were timely filed and appropriately clarified [defendants’ expert’s] opening report. They included only subject matter that was originally disclosed in the opening report and presented no new or changed opinions.” Id. at 5. Even if there had been some prejudice, it was “curable” by plaintiffs, and this reply report was “of high importance to [defendants].” Id. Therefore, the Court denied the motion with respect to this argument. As to the experimental data on which this expert relied, the Court similarly found that “the extreme sanction of” exclusion was not warranted, but noted that defendants could not withhold data from these experiments even if their expert only relied on selected portions of the data. See id. at 6-7. Defendants were ordered to produce such data. The Court did grant plaintiff’s motion to the extent that this expert’s declaration contained “previously undisclosed theories of invalidity,” and the Court listed the relevant parts of the opinion to be struck. Id. at 7-8.

Defendants moved to exclude plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony regarding infringement and secondary considerations of non-obviousness. Regarding the infringement opinion, defendants argued that the testimony was not reliable because the expert did not perform any testing. The Court denied this motion, explaining that “[t]esting is not required to support an infringement opinion” and concluding that the expert’s analysis was reliable. Id. at 9. Regarding the secondary considerations opinion, the Court concluded that the expert, a polymer chemist with over 30 years of experience in the polymer industry, was qualified under “the liberal standard for ‘specialized knowledge’” under Rule 702. Id. at 10. As a result, defendants’ motion was denied.

Finally, plaintiffs moved to strike defendant’s summary declaration and supplemental interrogatory response regarding defendants’ core documents, arguing that they were untimely and “set forth a new non-infringement defense that [defendants’] core technical documents do not reflect the composition of the [accused products].” Id. at 10. This non-infringement defense had been raised for the first time in summary judgment briefing. Although defendants argued that certain of its discovery responses and depositions had put plaintiffs on notice of this issue, the Court found that this defense was “new and untimely” as it “alter[ed] the entire infringement and non-infringement landscape that was developed and vetted during fact and expert discovery. . . . [Defendants were] aware of [plaintiffs’] infringement theories and even confirmed to the court that its own non-infringement theories were premised on its proposed claim construction, not the sufficiency of the core technical documents. At best, [defendants] stood by silently as [plaintiffs] relied on the core technical documents . . . . At worst, [defendants] purposefully disregarded the scheduling order and engaged in trial by ambush with its eleventh-hour defense. Either way, to allow [defendants’] belated new non-infringement theory would substantially prejudice [plaintiffs]” and would be “almost impossible” to cure at this stage of the case. Id. at 12. As a result, the Court granted plaintiffs’ motion to strike the supplemental declaration and interrogatory responses underlying this new defense. Id. at 13.

Invista North America S.A.R.L., et al. v M&G USA Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 11-1007-SLR-CJB (D. Del….

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