DNJ Court Denies Request for Early Summary Judgment Finding Motion Made Mid-Fact Discovery Premature

In Metacel Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Rubicon Research Private Limited, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently denied the defendant’s request for leave to file a motion for summary judgment with respect to patent infringement. The plaintiff opposed the motion arguing that discovery was ongoing, and, in particular, the defendant had not yet produced certain samples necessary for the plaintiff to evaluate infringement. The plaintiff also argued there were also claim construction issues in the case that had not been resolved. The defendant’s motion was filed approximately two months before the parties’ opening claim construction briefs were due and, per the case’s scheduling order (ECF No. 25), fact discovery was to conclude 30 days after the court’s claim construction opinion.

Agreeing with the plaintiff’s position, United States Magistrate Judge José R. Almonte found the defendant’s motion was “premature” and concluded that motions for summary judgment should be filed after claim construction.

Gibbons will continue to monitor and report developments in Hatch-Waxman litigation in the District of New Jersey.

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