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Judge Robinson grants motions to dismiss declaratory judgment claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Judge Sue L. Robinson recently granted Automatic Transactions, LLC’s (“ATL”) motions to dismiss declaratory judgment claims seeking to invalidate 14 of its 28 patents.  NRC Corp. v. Automated Transactions, LLC, Civ. No. 14-779-SLR; Nautilus Hyosung America, Inc. v. Automated Transactions, LLC, Civ. No. 14-1189-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 30, 2015).  The declaratory judgment claims were filed at around the same time ATL moved to dismiss a number of infringement cases against the declaratory judgment plaintiffs’ customers.  ATL offered the dismissed customers covenants not to sue, but did not make the same offers to the declaratory judgment plaintiffs.  However, ATL’s managing member represented that “ATL has no plans to initiate any legal proceedings related to its patent portfolio[,]” and ATL further represented that it “has wound down its litigation efforts” and “has decided to sell its patent portfolio rather than engage in any further enforcement efforts.”  Id. at 3-4.  As a result, and in the interest of preserving judicial resources, Judge Robinson granted the motions to dismiss, without prejudice to their renewal if either ATL or another owner of the patents attempts in the future to enforce them against either the declaratory judgment plaintiffs or their customers.  Id. at 4.

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