A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Dismisses Declaratory Judgment Counterclaims as Redundant

In a March 18, 2014 ruling, Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. dismissed as redundant Barnesandnoble.com, LLC’s declaratory judgment counterclaims of non-infringement of the plaintiff’s copyrights. The plaintiff moved under Rule 12(f), which provides “that ‘the court may strike from a pleading . . . any redundant matter.’” Judge Carter wrote that a court should dismiss a “counterclaim if it is clear that there is a complete identity of factual and legal issues between the complaint and the counterclaim,” and quoted Second Circuit precedent holding that “‘a counterclaim is not duplicative or redundant if it asserts an independent case or controversy that survives the dismissal of plaintiff’s claim.’” In dismissing the counterclaims, the Court found that the “Defendant’s counterclaims seek to resolve legal and factual issues indistinguishable from those raised by Plaintiff’s complaint,” and that none of them “would survive adjudication of the issues in Plaintiff’s complaint.”
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