Discretionary dismissal of declaratory judgment action is warranted

Woodbolt Distribution, LLC v. Natural Alternatives International, Inc., C.A. No. 11-1266-GMS,  January 23, 2013

Sleet, J. Motion to dismiss declaratory judgment action is granted.

On December 21, 2011, plaintiff filed this action for declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity.  Later that day, defendant initiated a case in the Southern District of Texas.  On January 11, 2012 defendant then moved to dismiss this action or, in the alternative, to transfer the case to Texas.  The motion to transfer was granted and the Delaware case was dismissed.  Discretionary dismissal is appropriate.  The private convenience factors – convenience of the parties, location of witnesses, location of documents, and potential consolidation with related litigation in Texas – warranted dismissal.  The first-filed doctrine did not control as the instant DJ action appeared to have been “anticipatory” and thus an exception to the doctrine. Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file as second and supplemental complaint was denied as moot.  Plaintiff’s motion to stay pending reexamination was denied as moot.

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