Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Earlier Declaratory Judgment Claim Does Not Dictate Forum for Later Infringement Action Based on the Same Patents and Accused Products

The court denied plaintiff's motion to reinstate a declaratory relief action that it voluntarily dismissed two years earlier in response to defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Defendant's argument that it had "never asserted any claim of any kind against [plaintiff], never threatened it with suit and, indeed, never engaged in any conduct whatsoever directed against it" did not require defendant to return to the instant court to pursue infringement claims against plaintiff two years later. "[Defendant] was not required to file a motion to reinstate a case that was voluntarily dismissed — by [plaintiff] — almost two years earlier when it determined that it was necessary to pursue a patent infringement action against [plaintiff]. Nor was [defendant] required to, as [plaintiff] suggests, inform 'the Clerk of Court that its case was essentially the same facts, patents and law that had been asserted by [plaintiff in the 2009 Action] so that the Clerk could have determined whether the case should have been assigned to [a particular judge]."

ClearCorrect, Inc. v. Align Technology, Inc., 4-09-cv-00470 (TXSD June 2, 2011, Order) (Miller, J.)

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