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Limited Amendments Of Infringement Contentions During Discovery Are Consistent With The Federal Discovery Rules

Nov.21.2006

In 02 Micro International Ltd. v. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc., (No. 06-1064; November 15, 2006), the Federal Circuit affirms the district court's denial of leave to amend infringement contentions and supplementation of an expert report. Local rules require parties to state infringement contentions early in the litigation, with the ability to amend the contentions to account for the district court's claim construction. All other amendments to infringement contentions are allowed only for good cause which requires a showing of diligence.

The Federal Circuit holds that the requirement of the local rules to amend contentions with diligence after discovery of new information is consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by balancing the right to develop new information in discovery with the need for certainty of legal theories. As 02 Micro did not provide sufficient evidence that it acted with diligence during the three month delay between discovery of new information and amendment of the infringement contentions, the Federal Circuit holds that the district court's denial of leave to amend infringement contentions was not unreasonable or arbitrary.

[http://www.fedcir.gov/opinions/06-1064.pdf]

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