Wednesday, May 8, 2013

AIA Joinder Rule does not Prohibit MDL Centralization

The court denied defendants' motion to sever plaintiff's infringement claims against them from pretrial consolidation in an MDL case and rejected their argument that 35 U.S.C. § 299 had been violated. "Section 299’s prohibition on joinder of unrelated defendants based on common acts of infringement does not obviate a transferee court’s discretionary ability to order pretrial consolidation in multidistrict litigation. . . . The coordination that [defendants] advocate would thwart the court’s ability to manage the present litigation by transforming each case into an individual action circumventing the uniform rulings and judicial efficiency that the [Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation] intended when creating MDL 2371. [Defendants] can also present any unique facts surrounding their alleged infringement after remand."

Unified Messaging Solutions, LLC v. United Online, Inc., et. al., 1-13-cv-00343 (ILND May 3, 2013, Order) (Lefkow, J.).

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