By Eric Schweibenz
On April 2, 2010, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 14 in Certain Silicon Microphone Packages and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-695). In the Order, ALJ Rogers denied Complainant Knowles Electronics, LLC (“Knowles”) motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation to assert three additional patent claims against Respondent Analog Devices, Inc. (“Analog”).

In support of its argument, Knowles asserted that recently discovered documents produced by Analog regarding a modified product design provided the basis for adding three dependent claims to the complaint.  According to the Order, this discovery was received on January 8, 2010.  Knowles filed its motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation on March 15, 2010.  With regard to the delay, Knowles stated it was precluded under 19 CFR § 210.57 from expanding the scope of the temporary relief inquiry upon receiving such discovery.

Analog opposed the motion and argued that Knowles’ discovery was based on a single document which does not describe an Analog product.

The Commission Investigative Staff (“OUII”) concluded that the motion was not timely and that Knowles’ assertion that it was prevented from filing earlier under 19 CFR § 210.57 was incorrect.  OUII noted that this section applied only to broadening the scope of the temporary relief phase, not to amending the complaint.

ALJ Rogers agreed with OUII that 19 CFR § 210.57 applies only to the temporary relief portion of the case, and determined that there was nothing to prevent Knowles from moving to amend the complaint while the temporary relief portion of the case was pending.  ALJ Rogers thus determined that Knowles had failed to demonstrate good cause for its 9-week delay in filing the motion.

With regard to potential prejudice, ALJ Rogers determined that the proposed amendment would prejudice Analog.  The ALJ cited upcoming deadlines and determined that “requiring Analog to re-evaluate its infringement and invalidity positions to determine whether the newly asserted claims require construction, and to provide additional last minute discovery is unjustified at this late stage.”