Monday, April 9, 2012

First-to-File Rule Does Not Require Identity of Parties

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's declaratory relief action under the first-to-file rule even though plaintiff was not a defendant in the first-filed action. "The Federal Circuit has not ruled on the precise question of whether identity of the parties is required under the first-filed rule. . . . [W]e find that looking to which court first obtained possession of the subject of the dispute, not the parties, is particularly appropriate in the instant case. The record indicates that [defendant] was attempting to ascertain the name of the proper [plaintiff] entity against which to file suit, that [plaintiff] made no efforts to disclose the name of the entity, and that once [defendant] learned the name of [plaintiff], it promptly added the entity to its new complaint."

Verizon Online LLC v. Brandywine Communications Technologies, LLC, 2-12-cv-00802 (PAED April 5, 2012, Order) (Davis, J.)

No comments: