ChriMar Systems Inc. et al v. Cisco Systems Inc. et al

Filing 361

NOTICE OF TENTATIVE RULING AND REQUIRING SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING RE 338 339 Motion for Leave to File Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses, and Third Amended Counterclaims and Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses and Second Amended Counterclaims. Supplemental brief from Plaintiffs due by 4/13/2016 at 12:00 p.m. Supplemental Response from Defendants due by 4/15/2016 at 3:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on April 7, 2016. (jswlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/7/2016)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 CHRIMAR SYSTEMS INC, et al., Plaintiffs, 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 v. CISCO SYSTEMS INC, et al., Case No. 13-cv-01300-JSW NOTICE OF TENTATIVE RULING AND REQUIRING SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEFING IN ADVANCE OF HEARING Re: Docket. Nos. 338-339, Defendants. 12 13 TO ALL PARTIES AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD, PLEASE TAKE NOTICE 14 OF THE FOLLOWING TENTATIVE RULING on Defendants’ motion for leave to amend, 15 which is scheduled for a hearing on April 22, 2016. The Court issues this tentative ruling in the 16 hopes that the parties might be able to meet and confer and resolve this issue without further Court 17 involvement. If they are able to do so, they shall file a stipulation and order to that effect by April 18 20, 2016. If they cannot, the Court shall resolve the motion in advance of the deadline to file 19 motions for summary judgment. 20 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) permits a party to amend its pleading once as a 21 matter of right any time before a responsive pleading has been served. Once a responsive pleading 22 has been served, however, the amendment requires written consent of the adverse party or leave of 23 the court, and leave “shall be freely given when justice requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). The 24 Court considers five factors to determine whether a motion for leave to file an amended complaint 25 should be granted: “‘(1) bad faith, (2) undue delay, (3) prejudice to the opposing party, (4) futility 26 of amendment[,]’” and (5) whether the moving party previously amended a pleading. In re 27 Western States Wholesale Nat. Gas Antitrust Litig., 715 F.3d 716, 738 (9thc Cir. 2013) (quoting 28 Allen v. City of Beverly Hills, 911 F.2d 367, 373 (9th Cir. 1990). 1 Each factor is not given equal weight. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 2 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003); Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 845 (9th Cir. 1995). “Absent 3 prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining … factors, there exists a presumption under 4 Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Eminence Captial, 316 F.3d at 1052 (emphasis 5 in original). 6 In brief, the Court tentatively finds that each of these factors would support granting leave 7 to amend. The Court tentatively concludes there has been no bad faith and, to the extent there has 8 been some delay, that, on its own would not justify denying the motion. With respect to futility, 9 the Court’s tentative view is that Defendants have alleged sufficient facts to show that amendment would not be futile and that, on this record, the Court could not rule as a matter of law the 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 allegations fail to satisfy the standards required to show specific intent to deceive and materiality. 12 See Therasense v. Becton , Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276, 1290-93 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Rather, it 13 appears to the Court that the arguments presented in opposition to the motion are better addressed 14 in the context of the impending motions for summary judgment. 15 Plaintiffs argue that if the Court grants the motion, it “may” warrant reopening discovery 16 and the exchange of additional expert reports “to the extent” an expert in patent office practice is 17 warranted. (See Opp. Br. at 4:16-19.) The Court tentatively finds that, on the current record, 18 Plaintiffs have not made a strong showing of prejudice. The Court also tentatively concludes that 19 Plaintiffs have not shown that any potential prejudice could not be cured by permitting some 20 limited and targeted discovery on an expedited basis. Because prejudice is the factor that, in 21 general, carries the greatest weight, the Court concludes supplemental briefing would be useful. 22 Accordingly, the Court HEREBY ORDERS Plaintiffs to file a supplemental brief, not to 23 exceed five (5) pages, that outlines in detail the discovery they would need to obtain to adequately 24 respond to a claim or defense of inequitable conduct by 12:00 p.m. on April 13, 2016. By this 25 Order, the Court is not inviting Plaintiffs to submit a “wish list” of any and all possible discovery 26 they might need to respond to a claim for inequitable conduct. Rather, the Court expects Plaintiffs 27 to respond to this request in good faith and in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 28 26(b)(1). Plaintiffs should also provide an estimate of how much time they expect would be 2 1 req quired to com mplete any additional dis scovery. De efendants ma file a thre (3) page re ay ee esponse by 2 3:0 p.m. on April 15, 201 00 A 16. 3 4 5 6 7 8 If, after considering the parties’ supplemen briefs, th Court concludes that t motion r g ’ ntal he the can be resolved without ora argument, it will notif the parties in advance of the heari date. n d al , fy s e ing IT IS SO ORDER S RED. Da ated: April 7, 2016 , ___ __________ ___________ __________ ________ JEF FFREY S. W WHITE Un nited States D District Judg ge 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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