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In re Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 20, 2017

In re Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC,
v.
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Defendant. ARRIS GROUP INC., Plaintiff, UBEE INTERACTIVE, INC. Plaintiff,
v.
MOBILE TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Defendant. No. 16-md-02722-LPS-CJB

          Richard L. Renck, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Wilmington, DE L. Norwood Jameson, Matthew C. Gaudet, Alison H. Hutton, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Atlanta, GA Joseph A. Powers, DUANE MORRIS LLP, Philadelphia, PA Counsel for ARRIS Group Inc. and Ubee Interactive, Inc.

          Brian E. Farnan, Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE Henning Schmidt, Daniel R. Scardino, Drew Zerdecki, Kyle Harter, REED & SCARDINO LLP, Austin, TX Counsel for Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          STARIK, U.S. District Judge.

         ARRIS Group Inc. ("ARRIS") and Ubee Interactive, Inc. ("Ubee") (collectively, "DJ Plaintiffs") filed suits against Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC ("MTel" or "Patentee"). DJ Plaintiffs seek declaratory judgments that neither they nor the purchasers of their products infringe MTel's United States Patent Nos. 5, 590, 403; 5, 915, 210; and 5, 659, 891 (collectively, the "patents-in-suit" or "asserted patents"). (C.A. 16-259 D.I. 1; C.A. 16-260 D.I. 1) (the "Complaints")

         Before the Court are MTel's motions to dismiss DJ Plaintiffs' claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). (C.A. No. 16-259 D.I. 33; C.A. No. 16-260 D.I. 33) (the "Motions") For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny MTel's Motions.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         These cases are two of 14 actions in a multidistrict litigation centralized in the District of Delaware for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. On January 4, 2016, Patentee MTel filed seven suits in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (the "Eastern District of Texas"), each alleging infringement of the three patents-in-suit.[1] The seven actions were consolidated into one lead case on April 11, 2016. (C.A. No. 16-692 D.I. 30)

         On April 13, 2016, DJ Plaintiffs ARRIS Group Inc. and Ubee Interactive, Inc. filed separate actions against MTel in this Court, each seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement of the patents-in-suit. (C.A. No. 16-259 D.I. 1; C.A. No. 16-260 D.I. 1) On April 19, 2016, BHN filed a similar declaratory judgment action in this Court. (C.A. No. 16-277 D.I. 1)

         On May 3, 2016, MTel filed four additional lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas against four new defendants, alleging infringement of the same three patents.[2] Three of these cases were consolidated into one lead case on July 21, 2016 (C.A. No. 16-700 D.I. 6), and the fourth was added on July 29, 2016 (id. at D.I. 7). (Hereinafter, the Court refers to the 11 actions filed in the Eastern District of Texas as the "Texas Actions" and the defendants in those actions, collectively, as the "Texas Defendants.")

         DJ Plaintiffs and the Texas Defendants fall into two general categories. ARRIS, Ubee, Juniper, Ruckus, Aerohive, Brocade, HP, Firetide, and Xirrus are Wi-Fi equipment providers. Cox, BHN, Charter, and TWC are cable network operators.

         On August 5, 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("JPML") determined that centralization of the 14 actions involving MTtel was appropriate, and transferred the cases to this Court for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. (Case No. 16-md-2722 ("MDL") D.I. 1)

         B. Patents-in-Suit[3]

         The patents-in-suit generally relate to wireless telecommunications. The '403 patent is entitled "Method and System for Efficiently Providing Two Way Communication Between a Central Network and Mobile Unit." The claims of the '403 patent cover methods for wirelessly ...


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