Judge Sleet grants motion for leave to amend answer

In a recent Order, Judge Gregory M. Sleet granted defendants’ motion for leave to amend its answer to include allegations that the asserted patent is unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. v. Warner Chilcott Co., LLC, C.A. No. 13-2088-GMS (D. Del. Jul. 10, 2015). As Judge Sleet explained, plaintiff opposed the motion solely on the grounds that “permitting the defendants to include such allegations would be futile.” Id. at 1. Judge Sleet was unpersuaded by plaintiff’s argument, noting that “plaintiff essentially asks the court to evaluate the merits of the defendants’ inequitable conduct accusations, pointing to specific statements in the record and explaining why they do not evidence deception. These arguments are untimely and better suited for the summary judgment stage.” Id. at 2. Judge Sleet found that “the court cannot say that the defendants’ allegations are baseless,” and ultimately concluded that “defendants have adequately alleged the necessary elements of inequitable conduct.” Id.

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