United States District Court, D. Delaware
C. Grimm, Esq., MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP,
Wilmington, DE; Jeremy A. Tigan, Esq., MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT
& TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, DE; Ivor Elrifi, Esq., COOLEY
LLP, New York, NY; Jonathan Bach, Esq., COOLEY LLP, New York,
NY; Scott A. Sukenick, Esq., COOLEY LLP, New York, NY; Ellen
A. Scordino, Esq., COOLEY LLP, Boston, MA. Attorneys for
Pazuniak, Esq., O'KELLY & ERNST, LLC, Wilmington, DE;
Glen M. Diehl, Esq., DIEHL LAW LLC, Watchung, NJ. Attorneys
ANDREWS, U.S/DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss
Counterclaims (D.I. 67) and related briefing (D.I. 75, 78)
and Defendant's Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Pleading (D.I. 84) and related briefing (D.I. 85, 91, 94).
reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss
Counterclaims (D.I. 67) is GRANTED. Defendant's Motion
for Leave to File an Amended Pleading (D.I. 84) is GRANTED.
initiated this action on October 15, 2014 seeking injunctive
and declaratory relief related to the ownership and
assignment of certain intellectual property as well as
monetary damages for Defendant's alleged breaches of a
Termination Agreement. (D.I. 1). On March 3, 2016, almost a
full year after the deadline for amendments imposed by the
Court's scheduling order (D.I. 20, ¶2), Plaintiff,
with Defendant's consent, filed a First Amended Complaint
adding counts for conversion, unjust enrichment, and
additional counts related to breaches of various agreements
between the parties. (D.I. 62). Defendant filed an Answer to
the Amended Complaint and Counterclaims on April 4, 2016.
(D.I. 64). Plaintiff timely filed a Motion to Dismiss. (D.I.
67). On September 14, 2016, Defendant filed a Motion for
Leave to File an Amended Pleading, seeking to amend three of
his Affirmative Defenses. (D.I. 84).
Plaintiffs Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims
requires a complainant to provide "a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief" Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) allows
the accused party to bring a motion to dismiss the claim for
failing to meet this standard. A Rule 12(b)(6) motion may be
granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in
the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most
favorable to the complainant, a court concludes that those
allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to
relief." Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 558 (2007).
'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a
complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action.'" Davis v.
Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). I am
"not required to credit bald assertions or legal
conclusions improperly alleged in the complaint." In
re Rockefeller Ctr. Props., Inc. Sec. Litig., 311 F.3d
198, 216 (3d Cir. 2002). A complaint may not be dismissed,
however, "for imperfect statement of the legal theory
supporting the claim asserted." See Johnson v. City
of Shelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 346 (2014).
complainant must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim
has "substantive plausibility." Id. at
347. That plausibility must be found on the face of the
complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the
[complainant] pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the [accused] is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Id. Deciding
whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific
task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its
judicial experience and common sense." Id. at
order to survive this motion to dismiss Defendant's
counterclaims of inventorship and patent ownership, Defendant
must allege facts that would allow me to draw the reasonable
inference that Defendant contributed to the conception and
reduction to practice of the inventions. Defendant fails to
meet this standard. Defendant's counterclaims are simply
conclusory statements amounting to a recitation of the legal
requirements for patent inventorship and ownership and are
unsupported by any pleaded facts. In fact, Defendant points
to nothing in his pleading that provides support for his
"bald assertions." Instead, Defendant points to his
interrogatory responses, which constitute extraneous
information that I will not consider for the purposes of this
12(b)(6) motion. (D.I. 75 at 3).
I find that Defendant's pleading is insufficient, I will
not address Plaintiffs additional arguments. (D.I. 67 at
4-6). Defendant purports to request leave to amend in his
Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss. (D.I. 75 at 5). I
decline to rule on any Motion to Amend until I ...