United States District Court, D. New Jersey
OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable James B. Clark, III United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER comes before the Court on a motion by
Plaintiff Ansell Healthcare Products LLC
(“Plaintiff” or “Ansell”) for leave
to file a Supplemental Complaint [Pl.'s Br. Supp. Mot.
Suppl. Compl., ECF No. 17]. Defendant GlycoBioSciences Inc.
(“Defendant” or “Glyco”) opposes
Plaintiff's motion [Def.'s Br. Opp'n, ECF No.
26]. The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions, and
has considered the motion without oral argument pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b) and L. Civ. R. 78.1(b). For the reasons
set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to file a
Supplemental Complaint [ECF No. 17] is
legal relationship between the parties is lengthy and
contentious. This case arose out of a contract dispute
between Ansell, a New Jersey limited liability company, and
Glyco, a Canadian corporation in Ontario. See Compl.
¶¶ 5-6, ECF No. 1. On December 16, 2013, Ansell and
Glyco (collectively the “parties”) entered into a
written Patent Purchase Agreement (the “Purchase
Agreement”) assigning all of Plaintiff's patent
rights in the invention disclosed as U.S. Patent Application
No. 12/256, 648. See Id. ¶ 9. In exchange for
the transfer of patent rights, the Purchase Agreement
provided that Glyco was to make certain timed payments
totaling $50, 000.00 (“Milestone Payments”) and
additional royalty fee payments in an amount equal to seven
percent of net sales. See Id. ¶ 10. On December
14, 2016, Plaintiff initiated this action alleging, inter
alia, that Defendant breached the Purchase Agreement by
failing to pay all amounts due and owing thereunder-
specifically, $35, 000.00 remaining in Milestone Payments and
all royalty fees provided under the Purchase Agreement.
See Id. ¶ 21.
parties have filed various motions in this matter, including
motions to dismiss [ECF Nos. 7, 18], a motion to transfer
[ECF No. 18], and Plaintiff's present motion to
supplement its Complaint [ECF No. 20]. The first motion was
filed on April 21, 2017, when Defendant moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint for the lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. See ECF No. 7. On August 30, 2017, the
undersigned submitted a Report and Recommendation (“R
& R”), recommending that Defendant's motion to
dismiss be denied. See ECF No. 16. Thereafter, the
District Court adopted the R & R in its entirety as the
Opinion of the Court and denied Defendant's motion to
dismiss. See ECF No. 23.
August 9, 2017, Defendant filed a motion to transfer venue,
or in the alternative, to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
under the doctrine of forum non conveniens.
See ECF No. 18. Although Defendant's motion was
not submitted in compliance with Local Civil Rule 7.2, the
undersigned considered the motion on the merits and issued a
R & R for the District Court to review. See ECF
No. 41. Defendant objected to the R & R [ECF No. 42], and
Plaintiff filed a response to Defendant's objection [ECF
No. 43]. Currently, the R & R is pending before the
Honorable Susan D. Wigenton, United States District Court
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for leave to file
a Supplemental Complaint pursuant to Rule 15(d).
Plaintiff's proposed Supplemental Complaint repeats the
allegations of the original Complaint and proposes to add
claims for tortious interference with contract (Count II),
tortious interference with prospective economic disadvantage
(Count III), common law trade libel (Count IV), and
defamation (Count V). See generally Suppl. Compl.,
ECF No 17-2. As set forth more fully below, the proposed
Supplemental Complaint relates three incidents that
transpired following Plaintiff's initiation of this
alleges that on May 31, 2017 Kevin Drizen, the President of
Defendant Glyco (“Glyco's President”), sent
an email to Plaintiff's competitor Reckitt Benckiser, LLC
(“Reckitt”) falsely claiming that Glyco was the
owner of Ansell's polyisoprene condom technology.
See Pl.'s Br. Supp. Mot. at 4, ECF No. 17
(hereafter “Plaintiff's Brief”); see
also Exhibit B, ECF No. 17-4. According to Plaintiff,
Glyco claimed ownership of the same patents Ansell is
asserting against Reckitt in a case pending in the United
States District Court for the District of Delaware
(“U.S.D.C. for the Dist. of Delaware”).
See Pl.'s Br. at 4, ECF No. 17. Plaintiff
contends that the purpose of Defendant's actions was to
retaliate against Ansell for filing the present matter, by
interfering with Ansell's prosecution of the Reckitt
litigation. See Id. at 5.
On June 3, 2017, Plaintiff claims that Glyco's President
sent a letter via email to the President of Humanwell
Healthcare Co. (“Humanwell”) falsely claiming
that Glyco is the owner of Ansell's polyisoprene condom
patent portfolio (the “patent portfolio”).
See Pl.'s Br. at 4, ECF No. 17; see
also Exhibit E, ECF No. 17-7. According to Plaintiff,
Ansell is engaged in an effort to complete the sale of its
“Sexual Wellness” global business unit to
Humanwell. See Pl.'s Br. at 3, ECF No. 17.
Although it was not stated directly by Plaintiff, through
Plaintiff's allegations it is implied that the patent
portfolio, of which Glyco is allegedly claiming ownership, is
to be included in the sale of Ansell's global business
on August 1, 2017 Plaintiff claims that Glyco's President
sent a second email to the President of Humanwell,
reiterating the falsehoods stated in his previous email and
attaching a letter that he sent to Judge Richard Andrews of
the U.S.D.C. for the Dist. of Delaware. Id. at 4.
According to Plaintiff, in Defendant's letter to Judge
Andrews, Defendant falsely claimed rights in the Ansell
patents asserted against Reckitt in litigation. Id;
see also Exhibit F, ECF No. 17-8. Plaintiff contends
that the purpose of Glyco's actions was “clearly to
interfere with and hinder the sale of Ansell's Sexual
Wellness global business unit to Humanwell, in retaliation
against Ansell for filing the present matter against Glyco
for breach of the Patent Purchase Agreement.”
See Pl.'s Br. at 5, ECF No. 17.
on these arguments, Plaintiff submits that this Court should
permit Ansell to file a Supplemental Complaint pursuant to
Rule 15(d). In response, Defendant contends that
Plaintiff's motion is futile. More specifically,
Defendant contends that “[Plaintiff's] complaint
will need to be dismissed because it alleges actions that
will be governed by Canadian law and the matter handled in
Canada.” Def.'s Br. Opp'n at 2, ECF No. 26.
Defendant further claims that “disposition by transfer
will moot any motions or proceeding and save the Court time
and avoid the cost of adjudicating papers on an academic
Rule of Civil Procedure 15 governs Plaintiff's motion for
leave to file a Supplemental Complaint. The relevant part of
the rule reads, “the court may, on just terms, permit
the party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any
transaction, occurrence or event that happened after the date
of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
to allow a party to file a supplemental pleading is within
the sound discretion of the district court. See
Owens-Illinois, Inc. v. Lake Shore Land Co., 610 F.2d
1185, 1189 (3d Cir. 1979). “An application for leave to
file a supplemental pleading . . . should be freely granted
when doing so will promote the economic and speedy
disposition of the entire controversy between the parties,
will not cause undue delay or trial inconvenience, and will
not prejudice the ...