Procedural Posture

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The court heard motions brought by defendant seeking to dismiss plaintiffs’ claims for unfair competition and for a declaratory judgment that defendant’s patents were void and not infringed by plaintiffs’ activities. Parties’ San Diego litigation lawyer appeal.


Plaintiffs brought an action seeking a declaratory judgment that the United States patents held by defendant were void and that plaintiffs’ activities would not infringe the patents. Plaintiffs also set forth a claim for unfair competition based on an infringement action brought against them by defendant in a foreign country. Defendant moved to dismiss the declaratory judgment on the ground that it did not present a case or controversy. Defendant also moved to dismiss the unfair competition claim on the ground that it did not state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court granted defendant’s motions. Finding that plaintiffs failed to establish their immediate intent to engage in any potentially infringing activity, the court held that their request for declaratory relief was not justiciable. A single lawsuit was an insufficient basis for an unfair competition claim.


The court granted defendant’s motions to dismiss; since plaintiffs failed to establish an immediate intent to engage in potentially infringing activity, their claim for declaratory judgment was non-justiciable. Furthermore, one lawsuit was not a sufficient basis for a claim of unfair competition.