Tuesday, July 8, 2014

District Judge in New Jersey Severs 12 Patent Infringement Cases into 80

The court sua sponte severed all of plaintiff's infringement claims against more than 80 defendants into separate actions because of judicial economy. "The Court’s [order to show cause] expressed two concerns underlying its suggestion for total severance: (1) that competitor defendants not be joined in the same action in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 299; and (2) that the claims against the downstream retailer defendants should be stayed pending resolution of the claims against the upstream defendants. The latter concern is based on the 'peripheral nature' of the claims against the downstream retailer defendants and on the fact that 'some of defendants have agreed to indemnify other defendants, particularly those downstream in the stream of commerce.'. . . The fact that some defendants that Plaintiff seeks to join in one lawsuit are not competitors and that some defendants have consented to joinder does not convince the Court to permit such joinder. . . . Plaintiff, by filing claims against over eighty defendants in twelve lawsuits, has placed an undue burden on the judiciary and the Clerk of the Court by seeking relief under only twelve docket numbers and paying only twelve filing fees."

Richmond v. Lumisol Electrical Ltd. et al, 3-13-cv-01944 (NJD July 7, 2014, Order) (Cooper, M.L.)

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