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Oxford Immunotec Ltd. v. Qiagen, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

April 11, 2017

Oxford Immunotec Ltd., Plaintiff,
v.
Qiagen, Inc. et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          NATHANIEL M. GORTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Oxford Immunotec Ltd. (“plaintiff” or “Oxford”) alleges defendants Qiagen, Inc., Quest Diagnostics, Inc. and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (collectively, “defendants”) infringed six of its patents relating to a method for diagnosing tuberculosis.

         Pending before the Court is defendants' joint “emergency” motion 1) to preclude Oxford from offering constructions on 19 of its 61 claims and/or opposing defendants' proposed constructions, or, alternatively, 2) to modify the Scheduling Order (Docket No. 104) entered by this Court on December, 8, 2016. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion will be denied.

         I. Background

         Oxford is owner of six different patents describing a method for diagnosing tuberculosis in vitro (outside of the human body). The six patents-in-suit are: U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 632, 646, 7, 901, 898, 8, 216, 795, 8, 507, 211, 8, 617, 821 and 9, 005, 902. Oxford's amended complaint contains six counts alleging that defendants infringed each of those patents, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a)-(c).

         In November, 2016, the Court held a scheduling conference, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) and Local Rule 16.6, to determine all pre-trial deadlines. Following that hearing, on December 6, 2016, the parties filed a joint motion to amend the schedule in order to resolve deadlines that fell on weekends. This Court allowed that motion and entered the operative Scheduling Order on December 8, 2016.

         The Court entered, upon agreement by the parties, the following deadlines relevant to the instant motion:

1) March 15, 2017: the parties will exchange a list of claim terms to be construed and proposed constructions;
2) March 31, 2017: the parties will “meet and confer” to narrow the claim construction issues;
3) April 14, 2017: the parties will file preliminary claim construction briefs with replies due by May 1, 2017 and
4) May 25, 2017: the Court will conduct a Markman hearing.

         According to defendants, plaintiff's March 15 disclosure merely asserted that the terms in its 61 asserted claims were entitled to their plain and ordinary meaning. Then, on March 28, 2017, plaintiff provided defendants with proposed constructions for many of the disputed terms but maintained that 19 of them should be afforded their plain meaning.

         Defendants subsequently filed this motion to sanction plaintiffs for failing to comply with this Court's Scheduling Order, or, in the alternative, to modify the Scheduling Order. The Court allowed plaintiff an opportunity to oppose the motion, which it did on April 4, 2017.

         II. Defendant's Motion for Sanctions or to Amend ...


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