Scheduling/Case Management

All across the country, district courts have had to modify scheduling orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patent cases have been no different. Many of the these case management modification orders have been issued on a sua sponte basis, often based on broader general Court Orders that were issued district wide within a particular jurisdiction. Some reflect a wait-and-see approach by staying all litigation until further notice or by moving all deadlines a few months, while other jurisdictions have shown a desire to avoid significant delays, often through the use of remote-capable technologies such as telephonic and video conferences.

Central District of California (Western Division—Los Angeles)

District Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr.

Theragun, Inc. v. Complete Recovery et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles granted plaintiff’s Motion for Electronic Service of Process Pursuant to FRCP 4(f)(3) to serve the Summons, Complaint and other initiating documents on the defendant by email and by uploading the documents at defendant’s interactive Alibaba website. Plaintiff requested the alternative service, in part, to avoid having to attempt to serve the Chinese defendant via The Hague Convention which might prove lengthy and futile, particularly since “[t]his vexing situation is now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, which undoubtedly will more than likely cause additional delays.” (Case No. 2:20-cv-03821; May 29, 2020).

District Judge John A. Kronstadt

Sound View Innovations, LLC v. Hulu, LLC – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California’s Western Division in Los Angeles sua sponte issued an order:

  • removing all motions, status and scheduling conferences scheduled between April 23, 2020 and May 1, 2020 from the calendar;
  • ordering that all motions will be decided without oral argument and that the court may order supplemental briefing; and
  • ordering that all current deadlines for briefing of motions and filing of status reports and scheduling conference reports remain in place.

The order was issued in accordance with the Central District of California’s Continuity of Operations Plan (“COOP”) which suspended hearings in civil cases, except emergency and time sensitive matters including temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, as ordered by the assigned district judge. (Case No. 2:17-cv-04146; March 24, 2020).

Magistrate Judge Karen L. Stevenson

Lexington Luminance LLC v. Feit Electric Company, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, on its own motion, rescheduled until August 21, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. a hearing on plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees, which had previously been scheduled for August 19, 2020. The Court further indicated that the hearing will be held telephonically due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consistent with the District’s General Orders 20-08 Amended and 20-09. (Case No. 2:18-cv-10513, presiding before District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez; August 11, 2020).

Central District of California (Southern Division—Santa Ana)

Special Master Judge  Stephen G. Larson (Ret.)

Preservation Technologies LLC v. MindGeek USA Inc. et al. – The Special Master recommended that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Santa Ana grant defendant’s motion to modify the scheduling order finding that “[g]iven the discovery stay, plaintiff’s transition to new counsel, and the COVID-19 pandemic, there is good cause to reexamine and modify case deadlines entered over a year-and-a-half ago.”  In crafting the proposed scheduling order, the Special Master considered a number of things including “the impact of COVID-19 on [the] case’s progression to trial.” In a July 21, 2020 Minute Order the presiding Judge accepted the recommendation of the Special Master and adopted the modified schedule outlined in the recommendation at pages 12-15. (Case No. 2:17-cv-08906, presiding before District David O. Carter; July 13, 2020 and July 21, 2020).

Northern District of California (Oakland)

District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. et al v. Meril Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland denied a Motion To Advance The Hearing, Setting A Briefing Schedule On Motions For Summary Judgment And Staying Certain Deadlines. Instead, the Court set a briefing schedule for the motion for summary judgment “[i]n light of defense counsel’s scheduling conflict on the currently-noticed hearing date, the obvious ongoing logistical challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shelter-in-place and travel restriction orders, and the parties’ apparent inability to agree on essentially anything . . . .” In addition, the Court indicated that “depositions should be taken in person if possible . . . [and if they] cannot be taken in person due to ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions, they must be completed by video conference (or an otherwise agreed-upon method) on or before August 7, 2020.” In a September 29th Order, Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore terminated the parties joint request for clarification of the Court’s June 8, 2020 order regarding the scope of the stay,. The parties were ordered to seek clarification directly from Judge Gilliam and meet and confer to resolve the discovery dispute if it is determined by the district court to not be subject to the stay. 

The Court further stated that its “resources are even more limited due to the pandemic, making it especially important that the parties meet and confer in good faith with an eye toward resolution.”    (Case No. 4:19-cv-06593; June 8, 2020 and September 29, 2020).

Chief District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton

Cyntec Company, Ltd. v. Chilisin Electronics Corp. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland issued an Order ruling on defendant’s summary judgment motion, defendant’s motion to exclude and a motion to seal.  The Court also set a case management conference to further amend the case schedule for October 16, 2020, further noting “that General Order No. 72-5 prohibits in person jury trials through September 30, 2020, and this court generally will not hold any in-person jury trial while a national public health emergency related to the COVID-19 disease remains ongoing.” (Case No. 4:18-cv-00939; September 8, 2020).

Five Star Gourmet Foods, Inc., et. al. v. Fresh Express, Inc. et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland sua sponte issued a clerk’s notice on March 12, 2020, to all civil litigants in matters before the Honorable Phyllis J. Hamilton stating the following:

  • all Case Management Conferences shall be held telephonically through CourtCall;
  • all law and motion matters will be submitted on the papers and any set hearings during this time period shall be vacated, but, if the court deems oral argument necessary it will issue a notice setting a telephonic hearing date;
  • all civil trials are subject to continuance;
  • and indicating that the notice is in effect until May 1, 2020.

(Case No. 4:19-cv-05611; March 12, 2020).

District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers

Netlist, Inc. v. Smart Modular Techs., Inc., et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland sua sponte suspended all in-person appearances in all civil matters before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers through at least May 1, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Case No. 4:13-cv-05889; March 12, 2020).Netlist, Inc. v. Smart Modular Techs., Inc., et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland sua sponte suspended all in-person appearances in all civil matters before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers through at least May 1, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Case No. 4:13-cv-05889; March 12, 2020).

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. v. SiTime Corp. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland sua sponte ordered that all in-person appearances be suspended in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Specifically, the court ordered:

  • all case management conferences be held telephonically and not recorded;
  • all law and motion matters be submitted on the papers with no oral arguments or personal appearances held on regularly scheduled or specially set motions, tutorials, or other matters;
  • all compliance hearings to be addressed on the papers; and
  • continuing all civil trials pending further order of the court.

(Case No. 4:19-cv-01174; March 12, 2020).

Northern District of California (San Francisco)

District Judge William Haskell Alsup

Fluidigm Corp., et al. v. Ionpath, Inc. – On April 13, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, District Judge William Alsup sua sponte vacated all in-court civil hearings through April 17, 2020 and ordered that all case management conferences be conducted telephonically, in light of the public health concern caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This order supplemented Judge Alsup’s prior March 16, 2020 Order which had also vacated all in-court civil hearings through April 17th and, until further notice, ordered that all pending motions be submitted on the papers unless a telephonic hearing is deemed necessary by the court. The Court set a telephonic Motion Hearing regarding interrogatory responses for June 18, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. (PDT). On October 20, 2020, the Court entered the parties Stipulation And Order To Enlarge Time For Showdown Procedure Due To Recent Illness Impacting Expert Availability, requesting a four-week extension, because the plaintiff’s expert was experiencing symptoms consistent with and tested positive for COVID-19. (Case No. 3:19-cv-05639; March 16, 2020, April 13, 2020, June 12, 2020 and October 20, 2020).20).

Attachments:
Fluidigm Corp., et al. v. Ionpath, Inc. Docket 89
Fluidigm Corp., et al. v. Ionpath, Inc. Docket 91

District Judge William Haskell Alsup

Straight Path IP Group, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. – On April 30, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, District Judge William Alsup sua sponte vacated all in-court civil hearings “for the time being”, in light of the public health concern caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court indicated that a scheduled May 7 hearing will still proceed, telephonically, with the courtroom deputy to provide further instruction.  (Case No. 3:16-cv-03463; April 30, 2020).

Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson

California Beach Co., LLC v. Exqline, Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco granted plaintiff’s Motion for Substituted Service of Process Pursuant to FRCP 4(f)(3) to serve the Summons and Complaint on one defendant through its U.S.-based counsel, and for substituted service of process on another defendant by email. The decision to allow service by email was in part made because the plaintiff made multiple attempts to serve defendant at its physical addresses and discovered that these addresses were “unsuitable for service” because they were closed at this time and for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Case No. 3:20-cv-01994; July 7, 2020).

District Judge Richard G. Seeborg

CF Traverse LLC v. Amprius, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco granted defendant’s motion for a 30-day extension for all deadlines in the parties’ Case Management Scheduling Order dated March 12, 2020, as well as all other deadlines under the Federal Rules, Civil Local Rules, or Patent Local Rules, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The court further ordered the parties to “submit a Status Report by April 17, 2020 to determine whether any further extension is warranted.” (Case No. 3:20-cv-00484; March 27, 2020).

Northern District of California (San Jose)

District Judge Edward J. Davila

Breathe Techs., Inc. v. New Aera, Inc., et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose entered the parties’ stipulation and order staying certain deadlines in the case for a period of six (6) weeks. According to the stipulation, both plaintiff and defendant Inogen “provide respiratory care products to ill patients, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators, which currently are in great demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Case No. 5:19-cv-07691; April 21, 2020).

Sunset Licensing LLC v. Azuga, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose granted-in-part and denied-in-part plaintiff’s Application for Alternative Service of Process and Extension of Time for Service of Process and Continuance of Other Deadlines.  The Court denied the request for alternative service finding the Plaintiff had not demonstrated good cause, but found that an extension of 30 days to complete service is appropriate “[g]iven the added challenges to personal service caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related shelter-in-place orders . . . .”  (Case No. 5:20-cv-02174; June 15, 2020).

Southern District of California (San Diego)

Magistrate Judge Allison H. Goddard

Orthopaedic Hospital d/b/a Orthopaedic Institute For Children v. DJO Global, Inc. et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego granted defendants’ opposed motion to extend case deadlines by 60 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court found defendants’ requested extension to be “modest and reasonable”, particularly in light of the previous two-month continuance of the claim construction hearing from April 16, 2020 to June 11, 2020, however it agreed with plaintiff that there is “no right to prepare witnesses or take depositions in person” and “there is no evidence that circumstances will be materially different in August 2020 than in June 2020.”  While granting the extension, the Court cautioned the parties that it “will not find good cause to grant any further extensions of the case schedule based on the purported need to take depositions or prepare witnesses in person.” (Case No. 3:19-cv-00970, presiding before District Judge Janis L. Sammartino; May 28, 2020).

Magistrate Judge Linda Lopez

Golden Eye Media USA, Inc. v. Trolley Bags UK Ltd. et al– The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego granted plaintiff’s ex part motion to extend the pre-trial motion filing deadline -- which passed on March 27, 2020—to September 18, 2020, due to excusable neglect. Although the parties had previously agreed to “forego” the submission of summary judgment motions, the plaintiff argued that circumstances had changed since then. In particular, the plaintiff argued that “circumstances were ‘drastically altered’ by the USPTO action invalidating the sole claim of Plaintiff’s ‘912 patent and by the COVID pandemic, which ‘resulted in unanticipated circumstances’ such as the trial date being set almost six months from now.”  The Court found these reasons compelling and that “setting the trial date almost six months out from the final pretrial conference is a generous amount of time that would allow for filing and resolving motions for summary judgment prior to trial, which could lessen the issues to be litigated at trial or lead to settlement.” (Case No. 3:18-cv-02109, presiding before District Judge Roger T. Benitez; September 11, 2020).

Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes

Masimo Corporation v. Sotera Wireless, Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego granted in part defendants’ ex parte motion to modify the case management order, seeking to extend by several months most remaining dates, including pretrial and trial dates, given the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Court agreed that the scheduling order will not be dictated by the effect it would have on the pending IPR proceedings, in response to an argument from defendant that a more accurate trial date is an important factor that will be consider by the PTO, it found that “the case status at this juncture does warrant a small extension.” The Court granted an approximate two-month extension on remaining dates to provide the parties with more time to conduct discovery while other issues, such as claim construction and the stay request, are determined.  (Case No. 3:19-cv-01100, presiding before District Judge Cynthia Bashant; October 6, 2020).

District of Colorado (Denver)

Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty

Anza Tech., Inc. v. Mushkin, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver sua sponte ordered that all hearings and conferences scheduled for the week of March 16, 2020 be conducted telephonically. (Case No. 1:17-cv-03135; March 14, 2020).

District Judge Raymond P. Moore

Rain Design, Inc. et al v. Spinido, Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver set aside an order to show cause dealing with failure to effectuate service, in response to which the Plaintiffs’ counsel “[admitted] his failures, including due to personal issues such as concerns that he had contracted Covid-19 . . . .” Considering the fact that Plaintiffs had attempted to effect service and did so as permitted by a California court before the case was transferred, the Court decided to allow Plaintiffs one final opportunity to properly obtain service on Defendants within 60 days or move for an order of substituted service, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4. (Case No. 1:19-cv-00349; June 8, 2020).

District of Delaware (Wilmington)

District Judge Richard G. Andrews

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. et al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington approved a Joint Stipulation Of Dismissal Of Complaint as to one of the named defendants. It was agreed, as part of the stipulation, that if the parties agree that an employee of the removed defendant is a necessary fact witness, the witness will be made available for deposition in the United States, subject to any governmental travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 global pandemic without the need for service of a subpoena or adherence to the procedures of the Hague Convention or other methods of foreign service/discovery if outside the United States. If the parties disagree as to whether such an employee is a necessary fact witness, then the parties will present the matter for Court resolution, and if the deposition is ordered then the employee will be made available for deposition in the United States, subject to any governmental travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pursuant to the Court’s Order without requiring that Plaintiff adhere to the procedures of the Hague Convention or other methods of foreign service/discovery. (Case No. 1:20-cv-00986; July 24, 2020).

First Quality Tissue, LLC v. Irving Consumer Prod. Ltd, et al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington granted Plaintiff’s Proposed Order to Amend Scheduling Order over Defendants’ competing proposed order. While the Court acknowledged that there was need for some extensions due to COVID-19 related delays, “it seem[ed] evident to [the Court] that the main reason Defendants [sought] a longer extension [was] that new counsel has entered for Defendants.” The Court went on to state that counsels’ clients must “live with its decisions, including choice of counsel” and that “[n]ew counsel…can do what it needs to do to be ready for trial.” The Amended Scheduling Order extends the Fact Discovery deadline from August 21, 2020 to September 21, 2020. Deadlines for expert reports and dispositive motions were extended by varying amounts between one and 4 weeks. The trial date remains set for September 13, 2021. (Case No. 19-cv-00428; August 19, 2020).

Ingevity Corp., et al. v. BASF Corp. – In response to the parties’ dispute over whether expert depositions should go forward, and in an effort to keep the case on track for a September trial date, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware:

  • extended the time for expert depositions by 30 days;
  • extended deadlines for Daubert and dispositive motions; and
  • vacated deadlines for depositions and dispositive motions relating to bifurcated claims, subjecting them to a separate schedule to be set after the patent trial is held.

(Case No. 1:18-cv-01391; March 30, 2020).

Pfizer, Inc., et al. v. Apotex, Inc., et al. – On March 23, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington granted the parties’ stipulation and proposed order staying all deadlines in the case and ordering the parties to submit a joint status report on April 17, 2020. The stipulation and order states that “there have been delays in the taking of depositions due to the COVID-19 emergency and given the uncertainties that exist regarding travel, absent a stay, the parties would need to discuss with the Court revisions to the case schedule.” On March 31, 2020, the court entered an oral order stating that the pretrial conference scheduled for April 29, 2020 will be held telephonically. On April 15, 2020, the parties’ request to continue the stay was granted and the April 29th pretrial conference, as well as the bench trial scheduled for May 11, 2020 are continued to an undetermined date. On June 12, 2020, the Court approved the request to extend the stay to July 10, 2020. (Case No. 1:18-cv-00795; March 23, 2020, March 31, 2020, April 15, 2020 and June 12, 2020).

District Judge Colm F. Connolly

Labrador Diagnostics LLC v. BioFire Diagnostics, LLC et al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware entered a voluntary dismissal, without prejudice, filed by plaintiff pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A).  The plaintiff stated that “in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and as requested by the defendants, [it] is dismissing the complaint to allow the defendants to focus their resources on combating the coronavirus and addressing the public health crisis . . . [and that it] continues to fully support all efforts directed to addressing the present international COVID-19 pandemic and continues to hope that more tests will be created, disseminated, and used to quickly and effectively protect our communities here and throughout the world.” (Case No. 1:20-cv-00348; June 28, 2020).

Magistrate Judge Jennifer L. Hall

Wildcat Licensing WI LLC v. Bayerische Motoren Werke AG et al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington granted the defendants’ Motion to Stay and entered the revised proposed Scheduling Order pursuant to the District of Delaware Revised Standing Order In Re: Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created By COVID-19, ¶ 3 (Apr. 17, 2020), providing that "[j]udicial officers may apply the principles of flexibility and accommodation to reasonable requests for filing or scheduling adjustments necessitated by reasonable and fact-based travel, health, or safety concerns, or advice or directives of public health officials." The Court found that “the defendants have proffered ‘reasonable and fact based concerns’ in support of their request for a stay, and they propose ‘reasonable’ extensions that will not affect the claim construction hearing or trial dates.” The defendants argued, among other things, that a stay was warranted due to the extraordinary pressures and difficulties faced in the current COVID-19 crisis, including the fact that some defendants “paused their production and manufacturing and [] shifted their operations to help address the crisis . . . [and others] have shut down their legal departments and furloughed thousands of workers.” (Case No. 1:19-cv-00834, presiding before District Judge Maryellen Noreika; May 14, 2020).

Chief District Judge Leonard P. Stark

Princeton Digital Image Corp. v. Office Depot, Inc. – On March 18, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington ordered the parties to submit a joint status report by March 24, 2020 proposing how the case should proceed in light of the March 18th Standing Order Regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19. Specifically, the parties are to advise the court:

  • whether they intend to proceed with the scheduled upcoming teleconference or plan to seek a continuance or modification; and
  • if they intend to rely on a demonstrative or cite to other material, when in advance of the proceeding they propose to submit electronic versions of such materials to the court.

On April 6, 2020, the court entered an oral order, “[h]aving received an email communication from counsel for PDIC and Adobe,” cancelling all dates, deadlines, and upcoming court proceedings, including the April 7, 2020 motions hearing. The court further ordered that the parties shall provide a joint status report no later than April 27, 2020. (Case No. 1:13-cv-00239; March 19, 2020 & April 6, 2020).

SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd. et. al. v. Autel Robotics USA LLC et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, based on reviewing the parties' joint status report and proposed stipulation, ordered the parties to file a joint claim construction brief on June 26, 2020, adopted the parties' agreed-upon nature and timing of additional expert discovery, and ruled that the trial will be phased -- with liability to be decided in the first phase, and if necessary, damages and willfulness to be decided in the second phase, by the same jury.  The Court further indicated that it expects the parties to “remain in full and cooperative contact with one another, and the Court,” as all progressed towards “a hoped-for jury trial” set to begin on September 14, 2020. The parties were also instructed to file a joint status report on June 26, 2020 and to “let the Court know at any point if they believe the ongoing challenges and restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will make it impossible to proceed with trial as scheduled.” After reviewing the parties' June 26 joint status report, the Court ordered the parties to meet and confer and submit a further joint status report, addressing “the following: (i) whether any party believes it has a right to a jury trial and, if so, whether it is willing to waive that right in order to permit [the] case to be tried on or around its current schedule; and (ii) regardless of whether [the] case is tried as a bench or jury trial, whether there is any objection to the trial proceeding remotely or ‘partial−remotely,’ such that only a limited number of lawyers and witnesses would be present in the courtroom while the remainder participate by video technology.” The Court further indicated that “if the case proceeds as a bench trial, the Court fully expects to be able to conduct it on or around the currently−scheduled dates (September 14−24) and will demonstrate maximum flexibility to accommodate witnesses testifying remotely (even those confronting 12−hour time differences).” After reviewing the further joint status report, the Court ordered the parties to submit simultaneous letter briefs addressing: “(i) whether, notwithstanding [defendant’s] belief that it has a jury right on Counts I-IV of [plaintiff's] complaint and all pending counts in [defendant's] Second Amended Counterclaims, [defendant] truly does have such a right and (if so) if it is a right the Court can and should balance against other interests and convert the scheduled September trial to a bench trial (which would likely be a remote bench trial); (ii) whether there is any way (and, if so, how) to obtain the testimony of the fact witnesses residing in China by having them travel to Hong Kong and testify remotely from Hong Kong; and (iii) if the Court were, instead, to reschedule the September trial to a date to be determined in 2021, whether there are steps the Court and/or [defendant] could take to ameliorate the prejudice to [plaintiff] from that further delay.” After further communication with the parties regarding “appropriate next steps”, the Court vacated the trial date of September 14, 2020 and all pretrial dates and deadlines, including the pretrial order deadlines and the date of the pretrial conference, indicating that the trial will be rescheduled for a date to be determined. (Case No. 1:16-cv-00706; May 8, 2020, June 30, 2020, July 6, 2020 and July 15, 2020).

Middle District of Florida (Orlando)

District Judge Paul G. Byron

ParkerVision, Inc. v. Qualcomm Inc., et. al. – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando modified the Case Management Scheduling Order, based on the parties’ proposed Fifth Amended Scheduling Order and representation that they are equipped to proceed with discovery, with “some reservations” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an August 10, 2020 Order, the Court scheduled a hearing on a Motion To Compel for August 25, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., indicating that hearing will be conducted remotely using web-based Zoom application due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Case No. 6:14-cv-00687; June 3, 2020 and August 10, 2020).

Middle District of Florida (Tampa)

District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington

Delta T, LLC v. Dan's Fan City, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa granted in part plaintiff’s unopposed motion for a 90-day continuance. While the court “understands the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” it did not find a 90-day continuance was warranted, noting that the case had been pending for “well over a year” with more than three (3) months left for factual discovery. “Nevertheless, out of an abundance of fairness,” the court granted a 60-day extension of the case management and scheduling order and further indicated that it will be “disinclined to grant any further extensions.” (Case No. 8:19-cv-01731; April 9, 2020).

District Judge Mary S. Scriven

Wave Linx, LLC v. Outreach Corp. – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa sua sponte continued all criminal and civil jury trials and hearings in any cases assigned to Judge Scriven scheduled to begin or occur before May 29, 2020 pending further order, and stayed all civil cases assigned to Judge Scriven and all associated deadlines until May 29, 2020. The court will continue to resolve fully briefed motions ripe for resolution. (Case No. 8:19-cv-03144; March 19, 2020).

Southern District of Florida (Miami)

District Judge Federico A. Moreno

Symbology Innovations, LLC v. Celebrity Cruises Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami sua sponte dismissed the case, without prejudice, for failure to serve the summons and the complaint in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m). In responding to an Order to Show Cause why the complaint in the case had not been served in a timely manner, the plaintiff in part responded “that it attempted but failed to personally serve Defendant on April 29, 2020 because the office of Defendant’s registered agent was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” (Case No. 1:20-cv-21652; July 21, 2020).

District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr.

Global Life Technologies Corp. v. Medline Industries, Inc. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami denied the parties’ agreed motion for a 21-day extension of time for the defendant to respond to the complaint.  The Court noted that “the parties have filed multiple motions for extensions of time based on the COVID-19 pandemic, settlement negotiations, or a combination of both . . . [and the] latest motion would give the Defendants six-and-a-half months to respond to the complaint.” It also indicated that the motion failed to “explain why over six months of extra time is necessary to negotiate a settlement or alleviate the disruptions caused by the pandemic.” (Case No. 1:20-cv-21240; September 25, 2020).

Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division)

District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.

Intellectual Sporting Goods, LLC vs. StarPro Greens Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta granted the parties’ Joint Motion to Extend Case Deadline and Modify Scheduling Order, ordering that the discovery period be extended from August 13, 2020 up to and through September 18, 2020, and that the other deadlines be adjusted to conform to the deadlines set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rules. The parties had argued a short extension to complete discovery was warranted due to “unanticipated and unforeseen circumstances”, including that the COVID-19 pandemic made document collection and production, and coordination with third-parties, “more time consuming than usual”. (Case No. 1:19-cv-04161; August 4, 2020).

District Judge J. P. Boulee

SendSig, LLC vs. Square, Inc. –The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta granted defendant’s motion for an oral argument with respect to its Motion To Dismiss. The defendant asked that, in light of the “ongoing public health emergency” created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court schedule an oral argument for a date likely to allow in-person attendance by all relevant parties. The Court agreed that an “oral argument, with demonstratives, will simply and narrow the issues before [it].” (Case No. 1:19-cv-03733,; September 5, 2020).

District Judge Steven D. Grimberg

Sanho Corp. v. Kaijet Tech. Int’l Ltd., Inc. d/b/a j5create – The U.S. District Court for the District of Georgia in Atlanta granted defendants’ Opposed Emergency Motion to Modify the Case Management and Scheduling Order, ordering the parties to meet and confer and submit a proposed modified case management and scheduling order for the Court's consideration. The defendant had argued, among other things, that several aspects of the discovery process are being delayed by the ongoing dangers presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created delays in scheduling party depositions as well as serving and obtaining deposition testimony and discovery from third-party witnesses. (Case No. 1:18-cv-05385; October 19, 2020).

Chief District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.

Acceleron, LLC v. Dell, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta sua sponte issued on September 28, 2020, the Eighth Amended General Order 20-01 regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19 and Related Coronavirus, stating that “the average number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases in the State of Georgia remains significantly in excess of 1,000 cases per day . . . [and these] numbers far exceed those that existed at the time the Court entered General Order 20-01 and are among the highest nationally.” The Court indicated that “the extension of the suspension of jury trials also will facilitate the further coordination of health and safety procedures that will be required when jury trials resume, which the Court plans to occur in January 2021.” The Eighth Amendment further amends the General Order 20-01 entered on March 16, 2020, the Amended General Order 20-01 entered on March 30, 2020, the Second Amended General Order 20-01 entered on April 30, 2020, the Third Amended General Order 20-01 entered on May 26, 2020, the Fourth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 1, 2020, the Fifth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 10, 2020, the Sixth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on August 3, 2020 and the Seventh Amended General Order 20-01 entered on September 1, 2020. Specifically, the Eighth Amended General Order 20-01:

  • extends the time periods specified in General Order 20-01 through and including January 3, 2020;
  • orders that no civil or criminal jury trials be held until after January 3, 2021; and
  • grand jury proceedings may continue to he held, and summonses may be issued to prospective jurors for proceedings scheduled to begin after January 3, 2021.

(Case No. 1:12-cv-04123, presiding before District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.; September 28, 2020).

Acceleron, LLC v. Dell, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta sua sponte issued on September 1, 2020, the Seventh Amended General Order 20-01 regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19 and Related Coronavirus, stating that “the adverse conditions giving rise to General Order 20-01 have not sufficiently resolved for the Court to return to normal operations.”  The Fifth Amendment further amends the General Order 20-01 entered on March 16, 2020, the Amended General Order 20-01 entered on March 30, 2020, the Second Amended General Order 20-01 entered on April 30, 2020, the Third Amended General Order 20-01 entered on May 26, 2020, the Fourth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 1, 2020, the Fifth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 10, 2020 and the Sixth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on August 3, 2020. Specifically, the Seventh Amended General Order 20-01:

  • extends the time periods specified in General Order 20-01 through and including November 1, 2020;
  • orders that no civil or criminal jury trials be held until after November 1, 2020; and
  • grand jury proceedings may continue to he held, and summonses may be issued to prospective jurors for proceedings scheduled to begin after November 1, 2020.

(Case No. 1:12-cv-04123, presiding before District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.; September 1, 2020).

Acceleron, LLC v. Dell, Inc. – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta sua sponte issued on August 3, 2020, the Sixth Amended General Order 20-01 regarding Court Operations Under the Exigent Circumstances Created by COVID-19 and Related Coronavirus, stating that “the adverse conditions giving rise to General Order 20-01 have not sufficiently resolved for the Court to return to normal operations.”  The Fifth Amendment further amends the General Order 20-01 entered on March 16, 2020, the Amended General Order 20-01 entered on March 30, 2020, the Second Amended General Order 20-01 entered on April 30, 2020, the Third Amended General Order 20-01 entered on May 26, 2020, the Fourth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 1, 2020, and the Fifth Amended General Order 20-01 entered on July 10, 2020. Specifically, the Sixth Amended General Order 20-01:

  • extends the time periods specified in General Order 20-01 through and including October 4, 2020;
  • orders that no civil or criminal jury trials be held until after October 4, 2020; and
  • grand jury proceedings may continue to he held, and summonses may be issued to prospective jurors for proceedings scheduled to begin after October 4, 2020.

(Case No. 1:12-cv-04123, presiding before District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.; August 3, 2020).

Attachment:
Acceleron, LLC v. Dell, Inc. Second Amended General Order - May 1, 2020

ERMI LLC v . GreeneOn March 30, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta sua sponte issued the Amended General Order 20-01 In Re: Court Operations Under The Exigent Circumstances Created By COVID-19 And Related Coronavirus which extended the specified 30-day time periods contained in the court’s General Order 20-01 through and including May 15, 2020.  General Order 20-01 directed that no jurors be summoned for any case or grand jury proceedings for 30 days, and continued all jury trials and trial specific deadlines for 30 days. (Case No. 1:20-cv-01476, presiding before District Judge J. P. Boulee; March 30, 2020).

The Amended General Order 20-01 has been docketed in the following patent cases before U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta:

  • ERMI LLC v. Smith, Case No. 1:20-cv-01474, presiding before District Judge J. P. Boulee; March 30, 2020;
  • Ledcomm LLC v. Sengled Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-00956, presiding before District Judge Mark H. Cohen; March 30, 20200;
  • Mobile Networking Solutions, LLC v. Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC, Case No. 1:20-cv-01061, presiding before District Judge Eleanor L. Ross; March 30, 2020;
  • PureCircle USA Inc., et al., v. Almendra Americas LLC, et al., Case No. 1:20-cv-01462, presiding before District Judge William M. Ray, II; March 30, 2020.

Fitness Anywhere LLC v. The Partnerships and Unincorporated Assocs. Identified on Schedule "A", Case No. 1:20-cv-01361, presiding before Senior District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber; March 30, 2020.

District Judge Amy Totenberg

Glock, Inc. v. The Wuster – In response to the emergency public health and safety conditions posed by the outbreak of COVID-19, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia’s Atlanta Division sua sponte issued an order and notice for all civil cases assigned to District Judge Amy Totenberg’s docket:

  • ordering all in-person hearings scheduled through at least April 16, 2020, to be conducted via telephone or videoconference “absent exceptional circumstances or a properly supported request for time sensitive injunctive relief requiring evidentiary presentation;”
  • extending by 30-days the time for discovery in all cases in which discovery has or will commence prior to April 16, 2020;
  • ordering all Rule 26(f) conferences to be conducted via telephone or videoconference; and
  • granting an automatic 15-day extension for submission of proposed pretrial orders in cases where discovery has been closed and that are due on or before April 16, 2020.

The order provides additional guidance on communicating with Chambers, submitting courtesy copies of filings, handling discovery disputes, and notably concludes with the following:

“Be kind to one another in this most stressful of times. Remember to maintain your perspective about legal disputes, given the larger life challenges now besetting our communities and world. Good luck to one and all.” (Case No. 1:14-cv-00568; March 17, 2020).

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