Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 13 C 3648, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 9, 2014) (Kennelly, J.). Judge Kennelly granted in part plaintiff Malibu Media’s motion to dismiss Doe defendant’s counterclaim and certain of its nineteen affirmative defenses in this BitTorrent copyright infringement case. Doe’s counterclaim was not appropriate because it sought no affirmative … Continue Reading
TCYK, LLC, v. Does 1-44, No. 13 C 3825, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 20, 2014) (Dow J.). Judge Dow denied various Doe defendants’ motions to grant subpoenas to their respective ISPs in this BitTorrent copyright case involving the movie “The Company You Keep” with Robert Redford and Susan Sarandon. Of particular note, the Court … Continue Reading
Malibu Media, LLC v. Does 1-68, No. 12 C 6675, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 27, 2013) (Lee, J.). Malibu Media, LLC v. Does 1-42, No. 12 C 6677, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 27, 2013) (Lee, J.). Judge Lee granted various Doe defendants motion to sever their cases as unrelated, denied motions to quash … Continue Reading
The Thompsons Film, LLC v. Does 1-60, Slip Op. 13 C 2368 (N.D. Ill. Sep. 6, 2013) (Gottschall, J.). Judge Gottschall denied two Doe defendants’ motions to quash subpoenas to their respective ISPs seeking, among other things, their identities based upon their IP addresses in this BitTorrent copyright case. The Court held that a copyright … Continue Reading
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 14 C 693, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 7, 2014) (Shadur, Sen. J.). Judge Shadur sua sponte ordered plaintiff Malibu Media to serve a courtesy copy of its copyright complaint on the Court in compliance with Local Rule 5.2(f) and the Court’s website. Malibu Media also was ordered to … Continue Reading
TCYK, LLC v. Does 1-88, No. 13 C 3828, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. June 24, 2013) (Guzman, J.). Judge Guzman sua sponte severed Does 2-88 pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 & 21 in this Bit Torrent copyright case. Because the Does were not all part of the same “swarm” at the same time … Continue Reading
Malibu Media, LLC v. Reynolds, No. 12 C 6672, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 7, 2013) (Kendall, J.). Judge Kendall: 1) denied defendant Doe 15’s motion to dismiss; 2) denied Doe 15’s motion to quash the subpoena of Doe 15’s internet provider; 3) granted Doe 15’s unopposed motion to remain anonymous; and 4) severed each … Continue Reading
Sunlust Pictures, LLC v. Does 1-75, No. 12 C 1546, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 27, 2012) (Tharp, J.). Judge Tharp denied Doe defendant’s motion to quash a subpoena seeking his identifying information from his cable provider in this BitTorrent copyright case, but allowed the Doe to proceed in the suit using a pseudonym. The … Continue Reading
AF Holdings LLC v. Doe, No. 12 C 4244, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 5, 2012) (Shadur, Sen. J.). Judge Shadur sua sponte gave plaintiff AF Holdings ten days to provide a further showing justifying its suit against an anonymous John Doe in this copyright infringement suit. The Court explained that Doe cases were not a … Continue Reading
Pacific Century Int’l. v. Does 1-31, No. 11 C 9064, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 12, 2012) (Leinenweber, J.). Judge Leinenweber granted plaintiff Pacific Century International’s (“PCI”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(2)(B) motion to compel subpoena compliance, in this BitTorrent copyright suit. The subpoena sought identifying information from Comcast for certain of its internet service … Continue Reading
Judge Manning dismissed plaintiff Millenium TGA's case against a Doe defendant identified by its computer IP address ("Doe") for lack of personal jurisdiction. Doe was not an Illinois resident. And Millenium TGA offered no proof that Doe's actions in allegedly using Bit Torrent to download copyrighted video files were targeted at Illinois. Being part of a Bit Torrent "swarm" that downloaded a video did not rise to the level of targeting Illinois.
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First Time Videos, LLC v. Does 1-76, No. 11 C 3831, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 16, 2011) (Bucklo, J.).
Judge Bucklo denied the Doe defendants' various motions to quash or dismiss in this BitTorrent copyright infringement case. Plaintiff First Time Video ("FTV") alleged that the seventy-six Doe defendants infringed plaintiff's copyright in an adult movie using BitTorrent and in so doing engaged in a civil conspiracy. The Court denied each motion:
· While file-sharers have limited first amendment rights, those rights do not shelter copyright infringement.
· FTV sufficiently described the alleged copyrighted work by naming the movie in the complaint.
· Joinder of the seventy-six Does was proper. FTV alleged that the Does acted in concert to copy one video over several months as part of a BitTorrent "swarm." And the case involved common legal questions regarding copyright law.
· The Court recognized that other Northern District judges had severed all of the Doe defendants. Those cases, however, involved many more Does, and did not show a connection to Illinois. FTV alleged that it had traced the accused IP addresses to Illinois using geo-location technology.
· FTV's personal jurisdiction allegations - that FTV traced the Doe IP addresses to Illinois - were also sufficient.
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Millennium TGA, Inc. v. Doe, No. 10 C 5603, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 24, 2011) (Manning, J.).
Judge Manning held in abeyance Doe defendant's motion to quash a subpoena issued to its alleged internet service provider and Doe's motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff Millennium TGA reasoned that the subpoenaed information would allow it to show that Doe's actions were directed at Illinois and within the Courts' jurisdiction.
The Court was "troubled" by Millennium TGA's claims that it needed jurisdictional discovery, as opposed to discovery only seeking Doe's identity. Millennium TGA already filed a complaint alleging jurisdiction upon information and belief. The Court, therefore, ordered Millennium TGA to file a brief detailing how the information it sought was necessary. And the Court held the motions in abeyance pending that brief. The Court also warned Millennium TGA that it would initiate sanctions proceedings if Millennium TGA had not met its Fed. R. Civ. P 11 obligations.
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Boy Racer, Inc. v. Does 1-22, No. 11 C 2984, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 9, 2011) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte dismissed plaintiff Boy Racer's copyright infringement complaint without prejudice. The Court held that Boy Racer could not "shoot first and identify [its] targets later" by suing twenty-two Doe defendants. Instead, Boy Racer was free to file its suits against identifiable individuals.
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Light Speed Media Corp. v. Does 1-1000, No. 10 C 5604, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 31, 2011) (Manning, J.).
Judge Manning dismissed without prejudice 999 of the 1,000 Doe defendants in this copyright infringement suit accusing unknown individuals of using BitTorrent to download copyrighted material without sufficient permissions. As in prior cases in the Northern District (click here for similar decisions), the Court held that the Doe defendants were not properly joined pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(A) because the use of a common internet service provider or network does not create sufficient commonality of action or transaction to warrant permissive joinder. The Court also held that joinder did not serve judicial interests or economy. A case with 1,000 Doe defendants could generate hundreds of factually dissimilar motions, just at the initial phase of the litigation.
The Court's decision to sever was bolstered by its concerns about whether venue was proper. There was nothing to indicate that plaintiff or any Doe had contacts with Illinois. The Court, therefore, dismissed without prejudice each of the Does except the one individual who had been identified, although not yet named. Plaintiff was given seven days from the Order to notify the parties and their Internet Service Providers. Finally, the Court denied as premature the identified individual's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The motion was premature until the individual was actually named in the suit.
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Farag v. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, No. 07 C 1688, 2007 WL 2404625 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 15, 2007) (Hart, J.).
Judge Hart dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction plaintiff's suit seeking that the Court order the PTO to place a secrecy order on plaintiff's patent application for a process of separating an isotope from uranium for use in nuclear applications. Plaintiff's application is about to be published and plaintiff believes that publication of the application would allow use of his process for illicit purposes that might threaten national security. The Invention Secrecy Act provides a patent applicant the right to appeal the issuance of a secrecy order, but not the right to appeal the denial of a secrecy order. See 35 U.S.C. Section 181; 35 C.F.R. Section 5.4. The Invention Secrecy Act also permits a suit for compensatory damages, but only based on damage created by a secrecy order, not the absence of one. Finally, the Court noted that plaintiff might have a claim pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (the "APA"), but the APA requires that the plaintiff by harmed by the agency (PTO) action. The Court noted that potential threat to national security based upon a review of plaintiff's patent application was too remote and general to create standing pursuant to the APA. As a result, the Court dismissed plaintiff's complaint. It is also interesting to note, the Court instructed plaintiff to file any appeal with the Seventh Circuit, instead of the Federal Circuit despite the fact that the case is focused on PTO procedure.
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