Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Snap-On Incorporated v. Robert Bosch

August 16, 2011

SNAP-ON INCORPORATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT BOSCH, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Charles P. Kocoras, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case comes before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff Snap-on, Inc. ("Snap-on") for leave to file a First Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a). For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

BACKGROUND

On November 3, 2009, Snap-on filed a complaint against Defendant Robert Bosch, LLC ("Bosch"), alleging numerous counts of patent infringement. Beissbarth GmbH ("Beissbarth") and Robert Bosch GmbH ("Bosch Germany") (collectively, the "German Entities") are related to the current Defendant, Bosch. As of January 25, 2010, only three months after Snap-on filed its original complaint, Snap-on believed that Bosch and the German Entities "worked as one unit to bring the infringing [product] to market." Snap-on, Inc. v. Robert Bosch, LLC, 09-CV-6914, Dkt. No. 30 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 25, 2010). Snap-on also acknowledged that "many of the tasks required to bring the infringing [product] to market [were] assigned to Beissbarth." Id.

On June 29, 2011, Snap-on moved for leave to file a First Amended Complaint, which adds the German entities as defendants. While Snap-on's motion is pending, the Court continued Bosch's recently filed motion for summary judgment. Discovery is ongoing and the Court has not yet set a trial date.

LEGAL STANDARD

"The court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). District courts have wide discretion in deciding whether to grant leave to amend. Johnson v. Cypress Hill, 641 F.3d 867, 871-72 (7th Cir. 2011). The court may deny leave to amend where there is undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, repeated failure to cure deficiencies, undue prejudice to the defendant, or where the amendment would be futile. Id. Delay, alone, is generally insufficient reason to deny a motion to amend, but the longer the delay, the greater the presumption against granting leave to amend. Id.

DISCUSSION

Snap-on requests leave to file an amended complaint adding the German Entities as defendants. Bosch responds that the Court should deny Snap-on's request for the reasons discussed below.

I. Undue Prejudice

Bosch opposes Snap-on's request because the amendment unduly prejudices Bosch by injecting a new infringement theory into the case, materially expanding discovery, delaying the case while the German Entities are served through the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-judicial Documents (the "Hague Convention"), and prompting a dispute over personal jurisdiction.

Bosch's argument lacks merit. First, Bosch fails to articulate what new infringement theory Snap-on purportedly introduces into the case. As before, Snap-on claims direct infringement, but now makes that claim against three defendants rather than a single defendant. Further, Bosch fails to substantiate how the amendment materially expands discovery. For instance, Bosch fails to identify any documents not previously produced which would become relevant and need to be produced if Snap-on adds the German Entities as defendants. Additionally, while the case may conceivably suffer some delay from service of the German Entities, Snap-on appropriately points out that Bosch's counsel, if representing the German Entities, could simply agree to accept service without forcing Snap-on to proceed through the Hague Convention. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d) (discussing waiver of service). Finally, any dispute concerning personal jurisdiction would not unduly prejudice Bosch, as it would be a controversy between Snap-on and the German Entities. Accordingly, Bosch does not demonstrate that the amended complaint causes it undue prejudice.

II. Futility of Proposed Amendment

Bosch further argues that the Court should deny Snap-on's request to file an amended complaint because the amendment is futile. In particular, Bosch claims that Snap-on's amended complaint fails to state a patent infringement claim against the German Entities and fails to set forth facts demonstrating personal jurisdiction over the German Entities. When evaluating whether the proposed complaint states a claim or sets forth facts demonstrating personal jurisdiction, the Court accepts all well-pleaded allegations as true. Hyatt Int'l Corp. v. Coco, 302 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.