Amgen Inc. et al v. Sandoz Inc. et al

Filing 242

Redacted Discovery Order. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 5/5/2017. (mejlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/5/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 AMGEN INC., ET AL., Case No. 14-cv-04741-RS (MEJ) Plaintiffs, 8 DISCOVERY ORDER v. Re: Dkt. No. 236 9 10 SANDOZ INC., et al., Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 INTRODUCTION 14 Plaintiff Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) and Defendant Sandoz Inc. (“Sandoz”) filed a joint 15 discovery letter, in which Sandoz seeks an order for Amgen to produce a witness on Topic 35 of 16 Sandoz’s Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) notice of deposition. Jt. Ltr., Dkt. No. 236. 17 Having considered the parties’ positions, the relevant legal authority, and the record in this case, 18 the Court issues the following order. 19 20 LEGAL STANDARD Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 provides that a party may obtain discovery “regarding 21 any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense and proportional to the 22 needs of the case[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Factors to consider include “the importance of the 23 issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties’ relative access to relevant 24 information, the parties’ resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and 25 whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Id. 26 Discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. Id. However, “[t]he parties and 27 the court have a collective responsibility to consider the proportionality of all discovery and 28 consider it in resolving discovery disputes.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 advisory committee notes (2015 1 amendments). Thus, there is “a shared responsibility on all the parties to consider the factors 2 bearing on proportionality before propounding discovery requests, issuing responses and 3 objections, or raising discovery disputes before the courts.” Salazar v. McDonald’s Corp., 2016 4 WL 736213, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 25, 2016); Goes Int’l, AB v. Dodur Ltd., 2016 WL 427369, at 5 *4 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2016) (citing advisory committee notes for proposition that parties share a 6 “collective responsibility” to consider proportionality and requiring that “[b]oth parties . . . tailor 7 their efforts to the needs of th[e] case”). DISCUSSION 8 On March 7, 2017, Sandoz served Amgen with a Rule 30(b)(6) notice of deposition, which 9 included Topic No. 35: “To the best of Amgen’s knowledge, whether and to what degree 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 filgrastim binds to DOWEX ion exchange resins, including specifically DOWEX 1x2 anion 12 exchange resin.” Jt. Ltr., Ex. A at 8. Amgen objects on grounds that Topic 35 lacks specificity, is 13 overbroad, and is inappropriate for a fact witness, as it requires an expert opinion. Jt. Ltr. at 2; id., 14 Ex. B at 24. Sandoz counters that it should be allowed to question an Amgen witness regarding 15 Amgen’s use of DOWEX resins to purify filgrastim and whether filgrastim binds to them because 16 “[t]he question of whether filgrastim binds to DOWEX ion exchange resins is fundamental to 17 Amgen’s theory of infringement.” Jt. Ltr. at 1. As Amgen’s infringement contention is based in part on the use of DOWEX resins, Sandoz 18 19 is entitled to seek information about Amgen’s use of DOWEX resins to purify filgrastim. But 20 Topic No. 35 does not reflect this: it does not specifically address Amgen’s use of DOWEX 21 resins. Rather, as written, it seeks information about how filgrastim and DOWEX resins interact 22 generally. Sandoz does not argue that it cannot obtain this information from a source other than a 23 Rule 30(b)(6) witness. Amgen states it has offered to provide a witness if Sandoz tailors Topic No. 35, for 24 25 instance, to address the specific way(s) Amgen uses the DOWEX resin. Jt. Ltr. at 3. The Court 26 orders Sandoz to so tailor Topic No. 35. To the extent the narrowed Topic No. 35 does not require 27 an expert opinion or testimony, Amgen shall produce a Rule 30(b)(6) witness. 28 // 2 1 IT IS SO ORDERED. 2 3 4 5 Dated: May 5, 2017 ______________________________________ MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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