Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is the shortest period of delay that a district has deemed sufficient to support a laches defense in recent decisions?

In the past twelve months, district courts have addressed the issue of litigation laches fifteen times. Two of those instances did not rule on the merits of a laches defense, but addressed evidentiary and procedural issues — whether a motion in limine to exclude discussion of laches at trial, and whether a party could amend its pleading to include a laches defense.

Of the thirteen orders that addressed the merits of a laches defense, seven found the defense did not apply either because the plaintiff’s reasons for delaying were adequate, or the defendant did not persuasively argue its case. The remaining six that upheld a laches defense involved delays of the following lengths:

■ 13 years (Collins, et al. v. Western Digital Technologies, Inc., et al)
■ 9 years (Lautzenhiser Technologies, LLC v. Sunrise Medical HHG, Inc., et al.)
■ 6 1/2 years (Bristol Company LP v. Bosch Rexroth Inc., et. al.)
■ > 6 years (Personal Audio LLC v. Apple, Inc., et al.)
■ 5 1/2 years (Ronald A Katz Technology Licensing LP v. Ameren Corp. et al.)
■ 5 1/2 years (IMX, Inc. v. E-Loan, Inc., et al)

See how we identified these cases using Docket Navigator.

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