Got Docs, LLC v. Kingbridge Holdings, Inc., No. 19 C 6155, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 7, 2021) (Guzman, J.).

Judge Guzman granted defendant Kingbridge’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ conversion and civil conspiracy claims, and denied plaintiffs’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings as to certain of defendants’ counterclaims in this trade secret dispute.

With respect to plaintiff’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, the Court held as follows:

  • Defendants’ declaratory judgment counterclaim was not identical to its affirmative defense. The counterclaim and the affirmative defense both claim that plaintiffs gave up their interests, but the counterclaim also claims that to the extent plaintiffs did not give up their interests, defendant AMF6 still retained an ownership interest.
  • Plaintiff’s argument that a declaratory judgment claim is not a stand alone claim, just an affirmative defense also failed. Parties to a contract often use the Declaratory Judgment Act to clarify disputes over the scope and meaning of a contract.
  • The Court denied as untimely arguments plaintiff made in its reply brief.

With respect to Kingbridge’s motion to dismiss, the Court held as follows:

  • Under Illinois law, plaintiff’s conversion claim cannot survive because the allegedly converted asset is intangible. Even if the governing law were Delaware or California, a conversion claim could not stand because plaintiff does not alleged that Kingbridge obtained plaintiff Riviera’s interest in Got Docs.
  • Because there is not a conversion claim, plaintiff cannot make a civil conspiracy claim based upon conversion.