Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EDTX Embraces Joinder Based on Similarity of Accused Products; Other Courts Disagree

The court dismissed all but the first-named defendant in plaintiff's infringement action for improper joinder. "Plaintiff brings claims of patent infringement against manufacturers of competing digital wireless audio products. Plaintiff’s Response contends that each claim arises from the same transaction or occurrence because the products use the same or similar infringing technologies. For example, [two defendants] allegedly incorporate 'Bluetooth v. 2.1' into their products, and it is that component technology that allegedly infringes Plaintiff’s patent. . . . Nonetheless, 'the complaint [or Response] contains no allegations that defendants have engaged in related activities or have otherwise acted in concert.' The fact that some of the products incorporate the same wireless technology does not alter the fact that Plaintiff brings suit against unrelated defendants for independent acts of infringement."

One-E-Way Inc. v. Plantronics Inc., et. al., 2-11-cv-06673 (CACD January 19, 2012, Order) (Anderson, J.)

The magistrate judge recommended denying defendant's motion to sever plaintiff's infringement action against it for improper joinder. "[Defendant] argues that this Court should adopt a standard in accordance with various district courts throughout the country that recognize that, 'in the context of patent infringement cases, similar acts of infringement do not meet the ‘same transaction’ test simply because multiple parties make or sell similar products alleged to have infringed the same patents.' However, the Federal Circuit, in an unpublished order on a writ of mandamus, recently upheld this District’s decision in [another case] on exactly the argument presented by Defendants. . . . Therefore, the Court sees no reason to adopt a standard other than the one adopted by the Fifth Circuit, and affirmed by the Federal Circuit."

Imperium (IP) Holdings, Inc. v. Apple Inc., et. al., 4-11-cv-00163 (TXED January 20, 2012, Order) (Mazzant, M.J.)

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