Weber-Stephen Prods., LLC v. Char-Broil, LLC, No. 16 C 4483, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2016) (Gettleman, J.).

Judge Gettleman denied defendant Char-Broil’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and granted Char-Broil’s corporate parent Bradley’s motion to dismiss on the same grounds. The Court also granted

Med Script Pharm., LLC v. My Script, LLC, No. 14 C 469, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 11, 2014 (Gettleman, J.).

Judge Gettleman granted in part defendants’ various Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss plaintiff Med Script’s Lanham Act false advertising and other state law claims. Of particular note, the Court held

Fasoli (a/k/a Jaz) v. Voltage Pictures, LLC, 14 C 6206, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 22, 2014) (Gettleman, J.).

Judge Gettleman granted plaintiffs’ motion to transfer this copyright case involving plaintiffs’ copyrighted mural “Castillo” to the C.D. California. Of particular note, the Court held as follows:

  • The Court did not afford plaintiffs’ choice of

BlueStar Management, LLC v. The Annex Club, LLC, No. 09 C 4540, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 12, 2010) (Gettleman, J.).
Judge Gettleman granted in part defendants’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and 9(b) motion to dismiss this Lanham Act case. Plaintiff Wrigley Done Right sued defendants, a number of other Wrigley Rooftops and one rooftop owner individually alleging that defendants harmed Wrigley Done Right by falsely advertising the Wrigley Done Right name and excluding Wrigley Done Right from websites and organizations.
Lanham Act
The Court dismissed the Lanham Act claims as to all defendants except the individual defendant and one of his rooftops the Wrigley Rooftop Club. Wrigley Done Right sufficiently pled the who, what, where, when, and why of its claims as to those two defendants. Wrigley Done Right sufficiently pled false designation: 1) defendants sponsored an advertisement showing a picture of Wrigley Done Right linked to the Wrigley Rooftop Club; 2) defendants placed the ad in interstate commerce via the internet; and 3) Wrigley Done Right was harmed by business lost to the ad.
Wrigley Done Right also sufficiently pled false advertising. Wrigley Done Right pled that, for more than a year, defendants provided and advertised the availability of its Ivy League Club despite the fact that it was under construction. Further, the Ivy League Club’s booked reservations during that time diverted sales from Wrigley Done Right. Because the legal inquiry for Wrigley Done Right’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Consumer Fraud Act claims involved the same legal inquiry, the motion to dismiss was denied as to them as well.
Sherman Act
Wrigley Done Right’s Sherman Act § 1 claim was dismissed. Wrigley Done Right pled a group boycott of it by defendants which prevented Wrigley Done Right from joining a rooftop association. But Wrigley Done Right did not plead that exclusion from the group would result in serious anticompetitive effects. And Wrigley Done Right pled no lost customers or revenues.
Tortious Interference
The Court dismissed Wrigley Done Right’s tortious interference claim because the parties were competitors and defendants only engaged in protected competitive behavior.

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Chief Judge Holderman recently gave the annual State of the Court address, concluding that the Northern District continues to be an active, growing district court. Civil case filings were up 6.2% from 2008 to 2009, and the Northern District remains in the top 10% of district courts for median time to disposition – 6.2 months.
The Court began 2009 with one vacant judgeship – created by Judge Filip’s March 2008 resignation. The Court ended 2009 with from after Judges Bucklo, Coar and Gettleman took senior status. In February 2010, Judge Manning also took senior status. Judge Feinerman was confirmed last month, reducing the vacant seats by one, but there could be five vacancies again at the end of July when Judge Anderson retires.
The magistrate bench was also active. Judges Ashman and Keys shifted to recalled status. Judges Finnegan, Gilbert and Kim joined the bench.
Finally, the number of registered e-filers is up 18% to over 25,000. And the daily filing rate is up 15% to an average 867 documents per day.

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Adams v. Pull’R Holding Co., LLC, No. 09 C 7170, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 20, 2010) (Gettleman, Jr.).
Judge Gettleman granted defendants’ motion to dismiss as to plaintiff’s civil conspiracy claim and granted in part plaintiff’s motion to dismiss defendants’ trade secret and related state law counterclaim in this case involving hoists, fence installation tools and other do it yourself tools. The Court dismissed plaintiff’s civil conspiracy claim because it was not based upon an underlying tort claim. The purpose of a civil conspiracy is to extend tort liability to members of a conspiracy.
The Court denied plaintiff’s motion to dismiss as to defendants’ breach of contract counterclaim. The motion was premised upon plaintiff’s argument that he was not a party to the agreement. But plaintiff was not allowed to make that argument after having pled in his complaint that he was a party to the agreement.
The Court also denied plaintiff’s motion as to defendants’ trade secret misappropriation claim. It did not matter that defendants’ allegations were all pled on information and belief. Defendants’ pleading sufficiently provided plaintiff the what, where, when, why and how required by the pleading standards.

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Chief Judge Holderman recently gave his annual State of the Northern District speech. In a word, Judge Holderman said that the state of the District is “good.” Here are some of the highlights of the presentation (click here to read the Court’s press release):
* Judge Gettleman intends to take senior status May 5 and Judge Coar intends to take senior status August 12. Additionally, Magistrate Judge Ashman intends to retire later this year.
* Combined with the vacancy created when Judge Filip went to the Justice Department, when Judges Gettleman and Coar take senior status there will be three Article III and one magistrate vacancies on the Court.
* Civil filings were up 2.7% in 2008 over 2007. And the Court resolves those disputes quickly. The Northern District is in the top 10% of district court with its median time of 6.2 months to disposition.
* The Court is participating in a pilot program which allows jurors to fill out jury forms and get information about their service online.

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O’Leary v. Mira Books, No. 08 CV 8, 2008 WL 3889867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 18, 2008) (Gettleman, J.)
Judge Gettleman granted defendant’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright infringement and related state law claims. Plaintiff alleged that defendant – the author and publisher of the novel The Good Liar – infringed plaintiff’s copyright in plaintiff’s novel, What If, by publishing The Good Liar. The Court dismissed the copyright claim because plaintiff did not identify specific copied passages of her work or show substantial similarities between the works. What If was about a relationship between a paralegal and a rockstar. The Good Liar was about a counter-terrorist organization. The similarities between the works were references to common places or things – both were set in Chicago and had blonde-haired characters.
The Court also dismissed plaintiff’s state law unfair trade practices and unfair competition claims. Both were preempted by the Copyright Act because they were based upon publishing and marketing of the allegedly infringing novel.

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Bral Corp. v. CMN Comps. Inc., No. 07 C 7029, 2008 WL 2062494 (N.D. Ill. May 13, 2008) (Gettleman, J.).
Judge Gettleman denied defendant CMN’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (6) & (7) motion to dismiss. Plaintiff Bral alleged that it was the exclusive supplier, with limited exceptions, for certain cartridges third party Johnstown used in its patented MegaFlow Door System for coal-carrying railroad cars. Despite knowledge of the exclusive relationship, CMN allegedly offered to provide Johnstown the cartridges at reduced prices, thereby interfering with Bral’s contract with Johnstown.
First, CMN argued that the claim should be dismissed because it was not ripe until Bral resolved its breach of contract dispute with Johnstown. But it was sufficient that Bral pled a breach. Bral need not sue Johnstown to make its claim, it just had to prove the agreement was breached.
Second, CMN argued that the claim should be dismissed for failure to join necessary party Johnstown pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 19(b). But the Court held that Johnstown was not a required party. The case could be resolved without Johnstown. And neither Johnstown nor CMN would be exposed to multiple inconsistent judgments without Johnstown. Furthermore, Johnstown had shown no interest in being joined. And the case’s outcome would not affect Johnstown’s ability to defend itself in subsequent cases.
Third, the Court held that Bral met notice pleading standards for each element of its claim. Bral was not required to plead specific facts providing that CMN’s actions were “wrongful,” just that CMN’s actions were wrongful.

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