Geotag v. Circle K Stores, Inc., 2:11cv405 (8/14/12)
Judge: Michael Schneider
Holding: Motion to Dismiss for Misjoinder GRANTED IN PART
As was the case in Judge Davis' Norman IP case last week, this is a case which was filed against one defendant three days before enactment of the AIA, which was amended several weeks later to add over 50 additional defendants. The newly added defendants moved for dismiss and/or severance due to misjoinder.
Judge Schneider agreed, finding that the AIA controlled the joinder analysis as it was enacted before the newly accused parties were added, citing the Fifth Circuit caselaw to the effect that the addition of a new defendant commences the lawsuit as to that defendant. He then found that the claims against the new defendants did not relate back to the original filing, and therefore the relevant filing date was the date the new defendants were added, which was after enactment of the AIA. In a footnote, the Court noted, as did Judge Davis last week, that severance would likely be appropriate under vthe pre-AIA joinder standard as well, citing In re EMC.
Accordingly, Judge Schneider ordered the case severed into 54 separate cases.