Denying Motion to Modify Oral Hearing Date IPR2013-00401, 00404


Takeaway: If a party wishes to modify the hearing date in the scheduling order, it should do so promptly and must show good cause, which requires more than a showing that its lead and backup counsel have a conflicting district court trial.

In its Order, the Board denied Patent Owner’s request to reschedule the oral argument from the date set in the Scheduling Order dated December 19, 2013. Patent Owner requested a change in the hearing date because its lead and backup counsel had a conflicting trial in an unrelated district court litigation.  However, the Board stated that its hearing room schedule and the schedule of the panel are not amenable to rescheduling the hearing at this late a date (less than a month prior to the hearing).  Further, the proceeding is conducted on a strict statutory timeline and cannot deviate without risking to meet that timeline; therefore, the moving party must show good cause for moving the hearing date.  The Board noted that Patent Owner provided no explanation for its request other than stating its counsel has a conflicting trial date.  Specifically, Patent Owner did not explain what efforts it undertook with the district court to schedule around the hearing date and did not state that Petitioner joined its request.  The Board allowed for Patent Owner to request a conference call with the Board to seek authorization to file a motion to change the hearing date if it believes there is good cause, but cautioned that even if a motion is authorized, it will not be granted without a showing that Patent Owner is entitled to the requested relief.

Cyanotech Corporation v. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, IPR2013-00401; IPR2013-00404 (consolidated)
Paper 50: Order on Trial Hearing
Dated: June 18, 2014
Patent 5,527,533
Before: Scott E. Kamholz, Sheridan K. Snedden, and Georgianna W. Braden
Written by: Kahmholz