By Eric Schweibenz
On March 26, 2009, ALJ Carl C. Charneski issued Order No. 60 in Certain Semiconductor Integrated Circuits Using Tungsten Metallization and Products Containing Same (337-TA-648).  In the Order, ALJ Charneski denied Complainants LSI Corporation’s and Agere Systems Inc.’s (“Complainants”) motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation to assert two additional patent claims against respondent Magnachip Semiconductor, Ltd. (“MagnaChip”).

According to the Order, Complainants’ motion failed to meet the good cause standard set forth in Commission Rule 210.14(b)(1) as it relates to post-institution motions to amend the complaint and notice of investigation.  Specifically, ALJ Charneski noted, among other things, that initial expert reports had already been filed, rebuttal expert reports are due on April 6, 2009, and the deadline for fact and expert discovery is April 17, 2009.

In support of their motion, Complainants argued that MagnaChip’s failure to provide discovery precluded Complainants from confirming a good faith basis for asserting the additional patent claims until the week of March 13, 2009.  The Commission Investigative Staff, however, argued that Complainants “should have followed up with MagnaChip more expeditiously if they felt MagnaChip’s discovery responses were insufficient” and should have filed a motion to compel to obtain the information it sought much sooner.  MagnaChip argued that granting Complainants motion to amend at this late date would be highly prejudicial. 

ALJ Charneski agreed with MagnaChip and the Commission Investigative Staff and further determined that “the substantial prejudice to MagnaChip were this motion to amend be granted could not be remedied by a further extension of the target date without adversely affecting the right of the remaining respondents in this investigation to a timely hearing and final agency decision.”