Upcoming events through beginning of May 2021:
(1) HCMC's Opposition to PM's MTD (March 11, 2021): Absent an extension of time to respond, HCMC's opposition to PM's MTD is due on or before March 11, 2021. I would expect some form of opposition that includes arguments that (a) dismissal is not warranted because discovery has not happened yet and discovery is needed in order to determine whether combustion is a process that occurs in the accused devices, (b) dismissal is not warranted without a claim construction that construes, amongst other terms, the term "combustion", and (c) testimony, by way of a declaration, explaining that it is not dispositive, based on the documentary evidence presented by PM's MTD, that there is no combustion. A well written opposition brief hitting those points will likely result in denial of the MTD. I would also expect that there be a request by HCMC to correct any defects in their complaint, should the court deem there to be any defects. That request is granted liberally and would overcome the MTD for the time being.
(2) Rule 26(f) Meet and Confer (March 15, 2021): This is held in private between lead counsel for all parties. The parties are required to confer in person in an effort to settle the case, discuss discovery, limit issues, and discuss other matters.
(3) PM's Reply to HCMC's Opposition (March 25, 2021): Absent an extension of time, PM will have the opportunity to reply to HCMC's opposition brief regarding the MTD.
(4) Joint Preliminary Report and Discovery Plan (April 12, 2021). Absent an extension of time, the parties will file this report and plan that results from the parties' Rule 26(f) meeting and conference and sets forth numerous details including, amongst other things, the progress of settlement discussions, a proposed schedule of the case for fact discovery, motion practice, expert discovery, and trial.
(5) Infringement Contentions (May 12, 2021): HCMC is due to serve contentions showing infringement where HCMC will identify (these are usually exchanged between the parties and not made public or filed publicly with sensitive information redacted): (a) Each claim of each patent in suit that is allegedly infringed by each opposing party; (b) Separately for each asserted claim, each accused apparatus,method, composition or other instrumentality (“Accused Instrumentality”) of each accused party of which the claiming party is aware.