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Judge Sleet grants motion for leave to amend answer to include inequitable conduct allegations

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In a recent Order, Judge Gregory M. Sleet granted defendants’ motion for leave to amend its answer to include allegations that the asserted patents are unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. Lifeport Sciences LLC v. Endologix, Inc., C.A. No. 12-1791-GMS (D. Del. Jul. 29, 2015). Judge Sleet noted that plaintiff opposed the amendment on the grounds that “defendant unduly delayed in filing the motion” and that “it would [be] prejudiced if the court were to allow the amendment at this stage of litigation.” Id. at 1. Judge Sleet rejected plaintiff’s arguments, explaining that “the parties specifically built into their scheduling order a deadline . . . to amend the pleadings to allege inequitable conduct, whether by affirmative defense or in a counterclaim,” and that defendant filed its motion by the deadline in the scheduling order. Id. at 2. Judge Sleet added that “[e]ven assuming the plaintiff is correct that the defendant could have filed it[s] motion sooner, the court cannot say the delay was undue or that the plaintiff will be prejudiced when this was explicitly contemplated as a possibility.” Id.

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