Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Infringement Claims Against "Different Accused Products" Should be Asserted in Separate Lawsuits

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss for misjoinder where plaintiff sued three unrelated companies with unrelated products for infringement of plaintiff's patent. "[N]o conspiracy, joint action, or common transaction or occurrence by or involving the defendants is alleged. Thus, Plaintiff’s claims should have been prosecuted in three separate lawsuits against each named defendant. . . . [T]he Court will dismiss without prejudice all but the first-named defendant . . . from this action. By dismissing rather than severing, the Court will remedy any potential prejudice to [the other two defendants] by allowing them to prepare their own defense rather than requiring them to attempt to jointly defend this action which involves very different accused products. . . . It will also remedy any prejudice to the Court by requiring Plaintiff to pay the filing fees Plaintiff would have paid if it had complied with Rule 20(a)(2). Finally, dismissal will remedy the burden resulting from one judge presiding over a single action that consists of three separate and distinct cases."

Man Machine Interface Technologies, LLC v. Funai Corporation, Inc., et. al., 2-10-cv-08629 (CACD April 7, 2011, Order) (Walter, J.)

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