02 Micro takes strike threeNovember 16, 2006

02 Micro International Limited and 02 Micro, Inc. (collectively “02 Micro”) recently appealed a Northern District of California district court’s grant of summary judgment of non-infringement in favor of Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (“MPS”) to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. 02 Micro contended that the district court errored in denying it leave to amend its infringement contentions and refusing to allow supplementation of its expert report. The Federal Circuit determined that the district court’s denial of leave to amend the infringement contentions, refusal to allow amendment of the expert report, or grant of summary judgment was proper, thus denying 02 Micro their desired relief. Read more after the jump.The case presented to the Federal Circuit concerned the interpretation and application of the Northern District of California’s local rules for patent cases. After summarizing the relevant rules, the Federal circuit applied Federal Circuit law to interpret the local patent rules because “a procedural issue that is not itself a substantive patent law issue is nonetheless governed by Federal Circuit law if the issue pertains to patent law, if it bears an essential relationship to matters committed to our exclusive control by statute, or if it clearly implicates the jurisprudential responsibilities of this court in a field within its exclusive jurisdiction.” The Court went further to then state that it will apply its own laws to “both substantive and procedural issues intimately involved in the substance of enforcement of the patent right.” The Federal Circuit then agreed with the district court that 02 Micro’s actions during discovery failed to comply with the applicable local patent rules. Specifically, 02 Micro’s delay in moving to amend its infringement contentions in a timely manner and not having an adequate explanation for the delay constituted a lack of diligence and therefore a lack of “good cause.” Thus, the Federal Circuit decided that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying 02 Micro’s motion to amend it final infringement contentions. As such, the Federal Circuit agreed that the district court’s grant of summary judgment was proper. To read the complete decision, click here.

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