Thursday, September 22, 2011

Allegation that Defendants Infringe the Same Patents in "Exactly the Same Fashion" Does Not Justify Joinder

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss for misjoinder and dismissed four of five defendants. "[P]laintiff asserts that each of the accused instrumentalities is comprised of, among other things, a processor and its associated cache memory, a PWM rate controller, and portions of the BIOS software. Plaintiff has grouped defendants’ products into “uniform, homogenous groupings” based upon the processor family utilized in the accused instrumentalities, and plaintiff asserts each of the processors in the same group performs its portion of the power management accused of infringement in exactly the same fashion. Thus, plaintiff asserts, there are multiple common legal and factual questions presented by plaintiff’s infringement claims against defendants . . . Although plaintiff accuses defendants of infringing the [same] Patent in five similar ways, plaintiff does not allege that defendants’ infringement involved the 'same transaction, occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences.' Plaintiff has not alleged that defendants acted in concert or otherwise controlled or directed each others’ conduct – and indeed defendants appear to be ardent competitors of one another in the marketplace for their products; nor has plaintiff alleged any connection between defendants except for the fact that each defendant is alleged to have infringed plaintiff’s patent."

Optimum Power Solutions LLC v. Apple Inc., et. al., 3-11-cv-01509 (CAND September 20, 2011, Order) (Illston, J.)

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