Telebuyer, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc et al

Filing 104

ORDER denying 90 Motion for relief from deadline and imposing sanctions, by Judge Richard A Jones. In addition, Defendants shall provide courtesy copies regarding their motion for a protective order (Dkt. # 92 ). (VE)

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HONORABLE RICHARD A. JONES 1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 TELEBUYER, LLC, Plaintiff & Counterclaim Defendant, 9 10 11 ORDER v. AMAZON.COM, INC., et al., 12 Defendants & Counterclaim Plaintiffs. 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 CASE NO. C13-1677RAJ The court’s only order in this patent case, other than scheduling orders, is a twopage minute order that provided, in relevant part, as follows: Defendants should consider the scope of Plaintiff’s claims after Plaintiff files its Asserted Claims and Infringement Contentions in accordance with Local Patent Rule 120. If, after reviewing those disclosures, Defendants believe that additional time is necessary, they shall first meet and confer with Plaintiff. Defendants may then file a motion, stipulated or otherwise, requesting changes to the scheduling order. Jan. 21, 2014 minute order (Dkt. # 88). Defendants (collectively “Amazon”) violated that order. Amazon filed a motion 22 to extend the deadline for its next disclosures (its non-infringement and invalidity 23 contentions in accordance with LPR 121) by 30 days, and filed that motion so that it was 24 fully briefed before Amazon had even received Plaintiff’s initial contentions. Although 25 Amazon purported to have met and conferred in good faith, it rejected Plaintiff’s 26 reasonable proposal to permit Amazon to delay its LPR 121 disclosures until after the 27 court ruled on a motion to modify the scheduling order. The court will adopt Plaintiff’s 28 ORDER – 1 1 reasonable proposal. Amazon should have done so without seeking relief from the court, 2 and certainly without seeking relief from the court in a motion that squarely violates a 3 court order. The court accordingly DENIES Amazon’s motion for an extension of time 4 (Dkt. # 90) and imposes sanctions as stated at the conclusion of this order. 5 On February 7, Plaintiff Telebuyer, LLC, served disclosures of its asserted claims 6 and infringement contentions. According to a statement Amazon filed after it had 7 completed briefing on this motion, the disclosures are more than 900 pages long, assert 8 nearly 200 claims, and span 7 patents-in-suit. That most likely means that Amazon will 9 need to extend the March 10 deadline currently in place for its LPR 121 disclosures. But 10 Telebuyer recognizes that, and already offered to give Amazon any reasonable extension, 11 provided that Amazon requested one in accordance with the court’s order. Instead, 12 Amazon insisted that it file the motion now before the court. Instead of requesting a 13 reasonable extension to permit it to prepare its LPR 121 disclosures, Amazon requested a 14 30-day extension solely for the purpose of permitting it to prepare yet another motion for 15 an extension. 16 The only explanation Amazon offers for violating the court’s order is that the 17 court must have made a mistake in concluding that 31 days between Telebuyer’s 18 infringement contentions and Amazon’s deadline for a response was enough time to 19 permit Amazon to resolve any scheduling dispute. Amazon is mistaken. As Telebuyer’s 20 actions (and now this court’s actions) reveal, Amazon could have waited, complied with 21 the court’s order, and received reasonable relief. If Amazon was concerned that the court 22 might penalize it for not complying with the March 10 deadline while its motion was 23 pending (a concern that itself seems unreasonable), it could have filed a one-page motion, 24 with Telebuyer’s consent, requesting that the court vacate the March 10 deadline pending 25 its ruling. The court already indicated in its January 21 minute order that it understands 26 that the deadlines currently in place are likely to change once the parties (and perhaps the 27 28 ORDER – 2 1 court) can assess the scope of Telebuyer’s allegations of infringement. The court 2 reiterates that point today. 3 The court orders as follows: 4 1) The court DENIES Amazon’s motion for an extension of time. Dkt. # 90. 5 2) The court adopts Telebuyer’s reasonable proposal, and orders that Amazon’s 6 LPR 121 disclosures are not due until the latest of the following dates: (a) the 7 current March 10 deadline (unless Amazon files a motion for relief from that 8 deadline), (b) any reasonable deadline to which the parties agree, or (c) any 9 deadline the court imposes in an order resolving a dispute over the deadline. 10 3) As a sanction, Amazon shall pay Telebuyer’s reasonable attorney fees for 11 opposing its motion for an extension of time. The parties shall meet and confer 12 and attempt to agree on those fees. If they are unable to agree, a party may file 13 a motion. The court will impose sanctions on any party who takes an 14 unreasonable position in support of or in opposition to that motion. 15 4) The day after it filed its motion for extension of time, Amazon filed a motion 16 for a protective order that it supported with more than 200 pages of exhibits. 17 In violation of both this District’s electronic filing rules and this court’s 18 scheduling order, Amazon provided no courtesy copy. The court will not 19 consider Amazon’s motion for a protective order until Amazon provides 20 courtesy copies in compliance with the court’s scheduling order. The court 21 will terminate that motion unless it receives those copies by the end of this 22 week. 23 5) The parties must use the expedited joint motion procedure of Local Rules W.D. 24 Wash. LCR 37(b) for every motion they file, excepting dispositive motions and 25 claim construction briefs. 26 To conclude, the court cautions both parties to remember that their dispute is just 27 one of more than 200 civil cases assigned to this court, to say nothing of the court’s 28 ORDER – 3 1 active criminal docket. Their conduct to date suggests that they believe the court has 2 unlimited resources to apply to this litigation. That is not the case. 3 Dated this 11th day of February, 2014. 4 6 A 7 The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Court Judge 5 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 ORDER – 4