Judge Richard G. Andrews recently denied a defendant’s motion for leave to amend its answer to assert invalidity counterclaims. M2M Solutions LLC v. Sierra Wireless America, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 12-30-RGA (D. Del. May 15, 2014). Judge Andrews acknowledged that leave to amend under Rule 15 should be granted “when justice so requires,” but explained that in this case the defendant also had to comply with the scheduling order entered under Rule 16. Here, the defendant did not move to amend until more than 12 months after the scheduling order’s deadline for amended pleadings. The Court found that the defendant “failed to show that the Court’s Scheduling Order could not ‘reasonably be met despite  diligence’ on [defendant’s] behalf.” Id. at 2. The motion was therefore denied pursuant to Rule 16.
The Court explained that the defendant asserted mirror image invalidity affirmative defenses in a timely manner, and found no reason why the defendant could not have alleged its invalidity counterclaims at that time. Id. As a result, Rule 16 aside, Judge Andrews explained that denial would also be appropriate under Rule 15, because the defendant unduly delayed filing a motion for leave to amend. Id. at 3.