In a ruling that is likely to become more and more common after the passage of the America Invents Act, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed all but one of the defendants in a patent infringement action for improper joinder. In February 2010, the plaintiff filed a patent infringement action against Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sony for allegedly infringing a patent for dynamic power management of solid-state memories. The plaintiff alleged that each of the defendants sells computers and/or computer systems that infringe the patent-in-suit.
Plaintiff filed a motion seeking leave to amend the complaint to join five additional defendants on the ground that the new defendants' products also allegedly infringe the patent-in-suit. The existing defendants then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint as to all but one of the defendants based on the argument that the defendants were misjoined in the action.