Revenue Realization LLC v. H&R Block, Inc., No. 11 C 85, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 11, 2011) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur granted defendant H&R Block’s motion to dismiss, after granting plaintiff Revenue Realization leave to file its response to the motion and fully considering it. Revenue Realization accused H&R Block of patent infringement. H&R Block moved to dismiss because it was a passive holding company for a variety of subsidiaries and, therefore, was not the proper H&R Block defendant.
H&R Block offered to identify the proper entities for Revenue Realization. But Revenue Realization refused the offer, as well as the Court’s suggestion that it file against all possible subsidiaries and narrow the defendants based upon the entities’ subsequent motions to dismiss. Instead Revenue Realization argued that the Federal Circuit’s decision in Nuance Commc’ns, Inc. v. Abbyy Software House, 626 F.3d 1222 (Fed. Cir. 2010) confirmed that the Court had jurisdiction over a passive parent entity in patent cases. The Court, however, held that the opinion stood for quite a different proposition and was a "weak reed to lean on." In fact, Nuance dealt with a subsidiary entity that had direct contacts with the forum. In contrast, H&R Block was a true holding company. And the fact that H&R Block defined itself as including its subsidiaries in certain SEC filings was irrelevant to the Court’s analysis.
The Court finished the opinion referring to the New Yorker’s old practice of filling the final page of an article that otherwise would have left a portion blank with a section captioned "Department of Clotted Nonsense" containing amusing quotations and reprinted errors from other publications. The Court then granted plaintiff leave to file its response brief, and noted that the Court had already fully considered it.
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.
Estwing Manufacturing Co. v. CTT Tools, Inc., No. 11 C 2139, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 18, 2011) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur entered this order sua sponte to address deficiencies in defendant CTT’s answer, affirmative defenses and counterclaims in this Lanham Act case, as he often does. First, CTT denied plaintiff Estwing’s claims for which CTT lacked information or belief. But the Court noted that denying a statement for which one lacks information or belief was "oxymoronic." The Court, therefore, struck the denials.
The Court also struck, with leave to replead, each of CTT’s affirmative defenses that were mere recitations of a legal principle and did not put Estwing or the Court on notice of the defense, as well as those defenses which did not accept the truth of Estwing’s allegations.
Finally, the Court also struck CTT’s counterclaims with leave to replead those that were not simply the "flip side" of Estwing’s complaint, which "add nothing to the mix." For example, the Court suggested that CTT’s counterclaim for cancellation of Estwing’s mark might be replead, while declaratory judgment claims for noninfringement and invalidity should not be. Finally, the Court ordered that CTT should not be charged for its counsel’s efforts in revising the papers, and counsel should send a letter to that effect to CTT, copying the Court.