Illinois Court’s Coronavirus Order Does Not Affect Motorola-Hytera Deadlines
Thursday, April 02, 2020 | Comments

A pair of general orders for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that extended civil deadlines will not affect deadlines in Motorola Solutions’ theft of trade secrets lawsuit against Hytera Communications. Additionally, a district judge denied a joint emergency motion from the two parties laying out a timeline for post-trial briefings.

The court remains open during the pandemic, but the orders are an effort to comply with social distancing guidelines recommended by the federal government and public health officials. The first general order from the court, issued March 17, extended all deadlines in civil cases for 21 days. The second general order, released March 30, extended all deadlines in civil cases for an additional 28 days.

In February, an Illinois jury ruled in favor of Motorola in the case and awarded it $764.6 million in damages from Hytera. Motorola asked the court to implement both temporary and permanent injunctions against Hytera to prevent it from using its trade secrets. Hytera has argued injunctions are not necessary because the damages the jury awarded essentially amounted to a perpetual license for the technology.

Hytera planned to file a joint motion under Rule 50(b) and Rule 59 under the Federal Rules of Procedure that was due April 2. Those two rules allow a party in a case to ask for a new trial. The two general orders do not extend deadlines for filings under those rules, meaning that Hytera’s deadline will not be extended.

In the joint emergency motion, the parties said Motorola plans to file motions seeking attorneys’ fees and costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and accounting, and a permanent injunction.

Hytera’s and Motorola’s joint emergency motion outlines a schedule for replies to the motions but does not propose changes for when the initial motions are due. It does offer some changes to deadlines for responding to motions. District Judge Virginia Kendall denied the motion, deeming it moot under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the court’s general orders regarding coronavirus.

“The parties in this case are represented by highly skilled litigation attorneys who must read the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the general orders from this court,” Kendall said. “As they know, a motion under Rule 50(b) and 59 is due 28 days after judgment. The judgment was entered on March 5 and parties have 28 days from that day to file their motions.”

Once the initial motions are filed, the parties will have 28 days to file responses to those motions and then another 14 days to file replies to those responses. It is not clear how long it will take the court to make a decision on the motions following that, but a decision likely won’t be made until late May or early June.

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