Tuesday, November 27, 2007

USPTO Back in Court on Continuation Rule Changes

Dr. Tafas, GlaxoSmithKline and the PTO are scheduled to be back in court today, arguing over whether the depositions of Jon Dudas, John Doll, John Love and Robert Bahr should be allowed to take place. Additionally, the plaintiffs are seeking an order to compel document production from the PTO based on the fact that the Administrative Record is not complete due to the fact that certain documents have been withheld on the basis of privilege, as admitted by the PTO when the Administrative Record was certified.

The hearing will not only help resolve issues of discovery, but will also impact scheduling of the case. The preliminary schedule appears below.

Moving summary judgment briefs
If no discovery - Thursday, December 20, 2007
If discovery is ordered - Friday, January 25, 2008

Amici in support of GSK’s motions
If no discovery - Thursday, December 20, 2007
If discovery is ordered - Friday, February 1, 2008

Opposition briefs
If no discovery - Thursday, January 24, 2008
If discovery is ordered - Monday, March 3, 2008

Reply briefs
If no discovery - Thursday, February 7, 2008
If discovery is ordered - Friday, March 21, 2008

Hearing
If no discovery - Friday, February 15, 2007
If discovery is ordered - Friday, April 4, 2008 or Friday, April 11, 2008

For more information (and for additional juicy tidbits), read the blow-by-blow coverage at the PLI bog here and here.

UPDATE: The court denied the motions for discovery from the bench at the conclusion of the hearing earlier today. Thus, the Patent Office will not be required to provide a privilege log and can simply claim a blanket and unsubstantiated privilege at least in this case challenging the claims and continuations rules. Also, according to the earlier schedule, Summary Judgment motions will be due for Tafas and GSK on or before December 20, 2007. It is unclear whether that will also be the date by which Amici must also file. See more from PLI here.

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