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Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Toshiba Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

September 3, 2014


Brian Farnan, Esquire of Farnan LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Plaintiffs. Of John M. Desmarais, Esquire and Jon T. Hohenthaner, Esquire of Desmarais LLP.

Denise S. Kraft, Esquire and Brian A. Biggs, Esquire of DLA Piper LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendants. Of Mark D. Fowler, Esquire, Alan Limbach, Esquire, Timothy Lohse, Esquire, Aaron Wainscoat, Esquire, Carrie L. Williamson, Esquire, Saori Kaji, Esquire, Katherine Cheung, Esquire, Gerald T. Sekimura, Esquire, Brian K. Erickson, Esquire, Kevin C. Hamilton, Esquire, and Patrick Park, Esquire of DLA Piper LLP.

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ROBINSON, United States District Judge.


On March 20, 2013, plaintiffs Intellectual Ventures I, LLC (" IV I" ) and Intellectual Ventures II, LLC (" IV II" ) (collectively, " plaintiffs" ) filed suit in this district against defendants Toshiba Corporation (" Toshiba Corp." ), Toshiba America, Inc. (" TAI" ), Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (" TAEC" ), and Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. (" TAIS" ) (collectively, " defendants" ) alleging infringement of ten patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,500,819 (" the '819 patent" ), 5,568,431 (" the '431 patent" ), 5,600,606 (" the '606 patent" ), 5,687,132 (" the '132 patent" ), 5,701,270 (" the '270 patent" ), 5,829,016 (" the '016 patent" ), 6,058,045 (" the '045 patent" ), 5,938,742 (" the '742 patent" ), 7,836,371 (" the '371 patent" ), and 6,618,788 (" the '788 patent" ) (collectively, " the asserted patents" ). (D.l. 1)

IV I and IV II are limited liability companies organized and existing under the

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laws of the State of Delaware, with their principal place of business in Bellevue, Washington. ( Id. at ¶ ¶ 1-2) IV I owns the '045, '742, and '371 patents. ( Id. at ¶ 24) IV II owns the '819, '431, '606, '132, '270, '016, and '788 patents. ( Id. ¶ 25) Toshiba Corp. is a Japanese corporation with its principal place of business in Tokyo, Japan. TAI is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York, New York. TAEC and TAIS are California corporations with their principal places of business in Irvine, California. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 3-6) Defendants make, use, sell, offer for sale, and/or import flash memory products, USB host controller products, microcontroller products, and/or hard drive products. ( See id. at ¶ ¶ 7-8) Plaintiffs allege that these, among other products, infringe the asserted patents. ( See id.)

Presently before the court are defendants' motions: (1) to dismiss plaintiffs' claims of joint infringement and willful infringement or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement (D.l. 12); and (2) to sever the claims asserted by IV I from those asserted by IV II. (D.l. 28) The court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § § 1331 and 1338(a).


In reviewing a motion to dismiss filed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must accept the factual allegations of the non-moving party as true and draw all reasonable inferences in its favor. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). A complaint must contain " a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 545, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007) (interpreting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8) (internal quotations omitted). A complaint does not need detailed factual allegations; however, " a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his entitlement] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. (citation omitted). " When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1950, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). Such a determination is a context-specific task requiring the court " to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

At the pleading stage in a patent case, the information required by Form 18 has been deemed adequate notice to pass muster under Rule 8. See McZeal v. Sprint Nextel Corp., 501 F.3d 1354, 1357 (Fed. Cir. 2007). In this regard, Form 18 requires that the following information be provided in a complaint for direct infringement: (1) an allegation of jurisdiction; (2) a statement that plaintiff owns each patent at issue and, for each such patent, its number, date of issuance, and the general invention described therein; (3) for each defendant accused of infringement, identification of the accused product, process ...

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