Monday, May 10, 2010

Compliance with Accused Industry Standard Does Not Justify Joinder of Defendants in a Single Action

The court severed and dismissed without prejudice all but the first named defendant where plaintiff asserted 11 patents containing 694 claims against 4 corporations. "No conspiracy is alleged. No joint action is alleged. No common transaction or occurrence is alleged. Even crediting plaintiff’s argument that this dispute involves an industry standard that supposedly reads on the patents-in-suit, this does not entitle plaintiff to improperly circumvent filing fees and bring a single massive civil action against any entity that manufactures products using that standard. For each of the hundreds of accused products, the all-elements rule for infringement must still be applied. The burden such a maneuver would place on a single judge -- who would get credit for only one civil action under our assignment system -- would be erroneous."

Finisar Corporation v. Source Photonics, Inc. et al., 3-10-cv-00032 (CAND May 5, 2010, Order) (Alsup, J.)

No comments: