In this patent infringement action between Natural Chemistry LP and Orenda Technologies, Inc. ("Orenda"), Orenda's counsel filed a notice of vacation designation, which the district court characterized as a notice of unavailability.

In considering the notice, the district court began by noting that "[t]he rules of this Court do not provide for filing a Notice of Unavailability as a method to avoid abiding by deadlines and schedules established by the Court or to extend the time for responding to motions."

Instead, the district court said that "[c]ounsel may notify opposing counsel of his or her unavailability and request that his or her schedule be accommodated." But, "[w]ith respect to deadlines for filing documents with the Court, attending hearings, or otherwise, counsel must file a motion for an enlargement of time or a continuance of a hearing or deposition date, as appropriate."

The district court then discussed how it was impractical for the court to review the docket for these types of notices. "It is impractical for the Court to be required to search the docket of each case for notices of unavailability before setting hearings and response deadlines. Accordingly, counsel may not rely upon the filing of the notice as a basis to excuse his or her appearance before the Court as required or to comply with a deadline established by the Court or governing rules of procedures."

Therefore, the district court struck the notice of vacation designation.

Natural Chemistry LP v. Orenda Technologies, Inc., et al., Case No. 6-13-cv-01607 (M.D. Fla. May 11, 2015)