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Richmond v. Jiawei North America Inc.

United States District Court, Third Circuit

January 29, 2014

SIMON NICHOLAS RICHMOND, Plaintiff,
v.
JIAWEI NORTH AMERICA INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DOUGLAS E. ARPERT, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on a Motion to Intervene by non-party Coleman Cable Inc. ("Coleman"). See dkt. no. 71. Plaintiff Simon Nicholas Richmond ("Richmond") opposed the Motion. See Case No. 13-cv-1944, dkt. no. 59. The Court heard oral argument on January 16, 2014 and has fully considered the papers submitted. For the reasons set forth below, Coleman's Motion is GRANTED.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The facts and procedural history of this case are well known to the parties and need not be recited here at length. Briefly, Richmond has filed twelve lawsuits against various participants in the solar-powered garden light product industry. These lawsuits contend that various manufacturers, importers, suppliers, retailers, and others have infringed one or more patents developed and owned by Richmond.

Coleman is involved in three of these lawsuits. Richmond alleges that certain Coleman-branded MOONRAYS® solar powered garden light products infringe Richmond's asserted patents. In two cases, Case Nos. 13-cv-1951 and 13-cv-1959, Coleman is named as a defendant. In another case, Case No. 13-cv-1954, Plaintiff has consented to Coleman's intervention. Here, Coleman seeks to intervene in order to defend allegations against Defendant True Value for selling a "Moonrays 92338 Solar Powered Color-Changing LED Doves with Crackle Globe Light", a Coleman-branded product. See Amended Compl., ¶ 55, at dkt. 5. Richmond refuses to consent to Coleman's intervention in this case.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24, in pertinent part, provides:

(b) PERMISSIVE INTERVENTION.
(1) In General. On timely motion, the court may permit anyone to intervene who:
(A) is given a conditional right to intervene by a federal statute; or
(B) has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.

Pursuant to the Rule, a litigant seeking permissive intervention must establish (1) a timely application for intervention and (2) a common question of law or fact. Blue Ribbon Fuel Corp. v. American Safety Indem. Co., No. 2:12-cv-00749, 2013 WL 69353, *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 7, 2013). The decision to allow intervention is within the sound discretion of the Court. Brody v. Spang , 957 F.2d 1108, 1124 (3d Cir. 1992). In exercising its discretion, a court must "consider whether intervention would unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of rights of the original parties." Pansy v. Borough of Stroudsburg , 23 F.3d 772, 779 n.6 (3d Cir. 1994).

III. DISCUSSION

Coleman contends that it has satisfied the requirements for permissive intervention under Rule 24(b). See Coleman's Brief at pp. 2-4. As an initial matter, Coleman argues that its motion was timely filed, because this litigation is still in its initial stages. Id. at p. 4. Further, Coleman asserts that it has defenses that share common issues of law and fact with those of True Value. Id . Indeed, Coleman claims that True Value was named as a defendant "merely in part because it is alleged to have re-sold the Coleman-Branded Accused Products." Id. at p. 4. Moreover, Coleman's presence does not impose any undue delay or prejudice with respect to the rights of the original parties. Id . As the "real party in interest" concerning the Coleman-branded products, Coleman ...


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