In L’Oréal S.A. v. MSD Consumer Care, Inc., C.A. No. 12-99-GMS (D. Del. Sept. 19, 2014), Judge Gregory M. Sleet addressed defendant’s motion for leave to amend its answer with affirmative defenses and counterclaims. The motion was filed following the deadline to amend the pleadings, and defendant was therefore required to show “good cause.” Id. at 1 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(c)(b)(4)).
Judge Sleet granted defendant’s motion for leave to amend to include claims of inequitable conduct. Judge Sleet was “not convinced” that “defendant needlessly delayed or that the plaintiffs will be unduly burdened by the addition of these allegations.” Specifically, the close of fact discovery was on January 31, 2014, and defendant filed its motion of February 6, 2014. Judge Sleet explained that “defendant was diligent in filing its motion for leave to amend to include allegations of inequitable conduct, and that the plaintiffs have failed to argue that any prejudice would result.” Id. at 2. Judge Sleet did, however, deny defendant’s motion for leave to amend to include new counterclaims for invalidity and non-infringement. Judge Sleet explained that “[d]espite having previously included these claims as affirmative defenses, the defendant provides no justification for why these counterclaims were not or could not have been included within the time limits of the original scheduling order.” Id. at 3.