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Judge Robinson Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Action for Noninfringement and Invalidity Under the First-Filed Rule

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In Elpida Memory, Inc., et al. v. Intellectual Ventures I, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 11-623-SLR (D. Del.), Judge Robinson granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ declaratory judgment action under the first-filed rule. Id. at 5. On July 11, 2011, defendants originally filed suit for patent infringement against plaintiffs and several other Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) circuit manufacturers and their customers in the Western District of Washington. Id. at 1-2. On July 12, 2012, defendants also filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that certain of plaintiffs’ products infringed the same three patents-in-suit asserted against plaintiffs in the Western District of Washington action. Id. at 2. Two days later, on July 14, 2011, plaintiffs filed the instant declaratory judgment action against defendants in the District of Delaware for noninfringement and invalidity of the same three patents asserted against plaintiffs in the District of Washington and the ITC. Id. at 2. In response, defendants moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, transfer the Delaware declaratory judgment action based upon the first-filed Washington action. Id. at 2. The Court granted defendants’ motion. Id. at 5. In its reasoning, the Court noted that there is no dispute that “the Washington action encompasses all of the patents and parties at issue in this case, and is the first-filed action as between it and the instant case.” Id. at 4. The Court also noted that the “record does not demonstrate, nor does [plaintiff] contend, that any exceptions to the first-filed rule apply” and that to find otherwise would “eviscerate the first-filed rule as it is currently understood.” Id. at 4.


Elpida Memory, Inc., et al. v. Intellectual Ventures I, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 11-623-SLR (D. Del.)

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