11
Apr
By Eric Schweibenz
Investigations at the ITC already move very quickly, but did you know that the parties can make investigations move even more rapidly?  For example, under 19 C.F.R. § 210.15(c), parties to an ITC investigation have 10 days after service of any written motion to respond, unless a longer or shorter time is designated by the presiding Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) or the Commission.  Accordingly, most Ground Rules provide that a party may request a shortened response time during which the opposing party may respond to its motion.

By way of example, ALJ Gildea’s Ground Rule 3.7 states that “[a] motion shall include any request to shorten the period of time during which other parties may respond to the motion.  The fact that a shortened response time is requested shall be noted in the title of the motion and the motion shall include an explanation of the grounds for such a request.  A request for a shortened response time shall not be made through a separate motion.”  See also Chief ALJ Bullock Ground Rule 3.7, ALJ Essex Ground Rule 3.7, ALJ Rogers Ground Rule 3.7, and ALJ Pender Ground Rule 5.1.3

Typically, the movant’s request for a shortened response period is granted when an expedited response is required to meet the deadlines imposed by the ALJ’s procedural schedule or the time set for the hearing is near.  See, e.g., Certain Electronic Devices, Including Wireless Communication Devices, Portable Music and Data Processing Devices, and Tablet Computers, Inv. No. 337-TA-794, Order No. 29 (Feb. 13, 2012) (granting shortened response time for motion for protective order in light of the “fast approaching deadline for discovery”); Certain Video Game Systems and Wireless Controllers and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-770, Order No. 25 (October 17, 2011) (granting shortened response time for motion to amend the trial schedule in light of the “upcoming deadlines related to expert disclosures”); Certain Microprocessors, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-781, Order No. 12 (Sept. 26, 2011) (granting shortened response time for motion to amend the procedural schedule in light of the “impending Markman deadlines in this Investigation”); Certain Polyimide Films, Products Containing Same, and Related Methods, Inv. No. 337-TA-772, Order No. 32 (February 27, 2012) (granting shortened response time for motion for sanctions due, in part, to the “short time left before the start of the hearing in this matter”); Certain Wind and Solar-Powered Light Posts and Street Lamps, Inv. No. 337-TA-736, Order No. 17 (July 27, 2011) (granting shortened response time for motion to terminate       “[b]ecause the hearing is set to commence next week”).   

When no such exigent circumstances exist, or other good cause is not shown, motions for a shortened response period are frequently denied.  See, e.g., Certain Electronic Devices With Graphics Data Processing Systems, Components Thereof, and Associated Software, Inv. No. 337-TA-813, Order No. 5 (Feb. 13, 2012) (denying request for shortened response time with respect to motion to compel document production in light of the fact that fact discovery is ongoing and does not close for four months); Certain Mobile Telephones and Modems, Inv. No. 337-TA-758, Order No. 11 (June 24, 2011) (denying request for shortened response time with respect to motion to compel production of witnesses as a result of the movant’s failure to show good cause); Certain Electronic Devices, Including Mobile Phones, Portable Music Players, and Computers, Inv. No. 337-TA-701, Order No. 21 (July 16, 2010) (denying request for shortened response time where “there has been insufficient demonstration of exigent circumstances outweighing the appearance of prejudice to the other parties”).

Thus, while a request for a shortened response time may accompany any motion at the ITC, use of this procedure may be best reserved for instances where an expedited response is required to maintain the integrity of the ALJ’s procedural schedule or the hearing process.
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