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.