OpticsPlanet, Inc. v. OpticSale, Inc., No. 09 C 7934, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 14, 2010) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur granted in part plaintiff OpticsPlanet’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss certain of defendants’ (collectively "OpticSale") counterclaims in this dispute over trade names. As an initial matter, the Court noted that OpticSale’s tortious interference with prospective business relationships and with prospective economic advantage claims were properly brought as a single federal claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b). Furthermore, both counts failed at the hands of the competitor’s privilege. Businesses are free to compete to divert business from their competitors unless, among other exceptions, the competition is solely motivated by spite or ill will. OpticSale made no such allegation in this case. And the Court noted that OpticSale had competed with OpticsPlanet in similar ways.
The Court also dismissed OpticSale’s Sherman Act attempted monopolization claim because there was no indication that OpticsPlanet controlled or could come to control market prices. The Court further noted that the claim improperly sought to turn competition into attempted monopolization.
Finally, the Court dismissed OpticSale’s accounting claim to the extent its scope was reduced by dismissal of the other claims.