Autotech Techs. Ltd. Partnership v. Automationdirect.com, Inc., No. 05 C 5488, 2008 WL 783303 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 25, 2008) (Cole, Mag. J.).*
Judge Cole granted in part plaintiff Autotech’s motion to compel communications between defendant Automationdirect.com, Inc. ("ADC") and any third party regarding ADC’s competing C-More touch screen panel. The Court held that ADC need not produce documents related to source code for the C-More product. The Court previously denied Autotech’s motion to amend its complaint adding claims related to that source code. But the Court held that ADC’s third party communications could be relevant to show whether ADC has complied with its contractual obligation to use its best efforts to sell Autotech’s product, or if its C-More sales efforts interfered with sales of Autotech’s products. The Court also held that any communication evidencing customer confusion must be produced.
Practice Tip: Do not employ new arguments in reply briefs. The Court did not consider Autotech’s reply brief because it changed the scope of its argument on reply. Autotech’s opening brief sought ADC’s third party communications with the exception of those regarding ADC’s source code because claims regarding ADC’s software were not in the case. But on reply, Autotech also sought the source code related communications.
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