Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dismissal for Misjoinder Under AIA Does Not Eviscerate First-Filed Status of Case

The court granted defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's declaratory relief action under the first-to-file rule where defendant's earlier filed suit was refiled after being dismissed for joining 45 unrelated defendants in violation of the America Invents Act. "[Plaintiff] argues that [defendant's original] lawsuit was 'legally infirm' from the beginning, and that therefore this is the 'first-filed' lawsuit. . . . I do not think the original California lawsuit was 'legally infirm'. . . . The similarly-situated first named defendant in [defendant's original] lawsuit was allowed to proceed; the other defendants were told (essentially) to refile their lawsuits separately and any such lawsuits would be treated as related cases. In these circumstances, I do not think there is any legal reason not to treat [defendant's] extant suit against [defendant] as the 'first-filed' lawsuit. . . ."

Sony Electronics Inc. v. Digitech Image Technologies LLC, et. al., 1-12-cv-00980 (DED December 7, 2012, Order) (Andrews, J.).

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