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Magistrate Judge Fallon decides motion to compel regarding core technical documents, requests for production, and interrogatories, largely denying the motion

Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon recently considered plaintiff’s motion to compel defendant to supplement its document production and responses to certain interrogatories.  Regarding production of core technical documents, Plaintiff requested certain categories of documents, including:

(1) requirement and in-house technical specifications; (2) design documents; (3) scope of work documents and schedules; (4) vendor specifications; (5) complete functional programming guides; (6) testing documents; (7) deployment documents; (8) maintenance documents; (9) internal user guides; (10) system integration documents; (11) engineer training documents; (12) system architecture documents, and (13) complete architectural design documents.

Novanta Corporation v. Iradion Laser, Inc., No. 15-1033-SLR-SRF (D. Del. Sept. 16, 2016).  Defendant argued that it complied with the requirements of the Scheduling Order and that the categories of documents identified by plaintiff does not exist.  Id. at 4.

The Court’s Default Standard describes core technical documents as “‘documents related to the accused product(s), including but not limited to operation manuals, product literature, schematics, and specifications.'”  Id. at 5 (quoting Default Discovery Standard, ¶ 4(b )).  Further, the Scheduling Order described core technical documents as “documents ‘sufficient to show how the accused product(s) work[].'”  Id. (quoting Scheduling Order at ¶ 1(c )(3)).  Judge Fallon ordered defendant to produce certain documents it indicated at the hearing that it recently discovered, including testing documents, but plaintiff provided no other evidence that other core technical documents (i.e., “operation manuals, product literature, schematics, and specifications”) exist.  Id.  “Absent evidence to the contrary, the court must take [defendant] at its word that documents sought within the categories specified by Plaintiff do not exist.”  Id.

Plaintiff also sought an order compelling defendant to produce documents in response to several requests for production.  Plaintiff sought defendant’s corporate policies on document retention and destruction.  Id. at 6.  Judge Fallon denied the request finding that those policies are privileged under the Court’s Default Standard, falling “squarely within the meaning of the ‘duty to preserve information.'”  Id. (quoting Default Discovery Standard, ¶ 1(d)(iii) (“Activities undertaking in compliance with the duty to preserve information are protected from disclosure and discovery under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(A) and (B).”).   Judge Fallon also denied plaintiff’s motion seeking production of documents regarding defendant’s server locations, certain corporate records, prior litigation, opinions on patent rights, and unaccused products.  Id. at 6-13.

Last, plaintiff sought an order compelling responses to certain interrogatories.  Regarding contention interrogatories, Judge Fallon granted the motion only to the extent that defendant must comply with Rule 26(e) and the deadlines in the Scheduling Order.  Id. at 15.  Judge Fallon also required defendant to supplement its response to plaintiff’s interrogatory on manufacture and testing of the accused products to specifically identify the documents it referred to when citing Rule 33(d), but denied plaintiff’s request for a narrative response.  Id. at 15-16.

Novanta Corporation v. Iradion Laser Inc., No. 15-1033-SLR-SRF

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