United States District Court, D. Delaware
E. Farnan, Michael J. Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE
Daniel R. Scardino, Henning Schmidt, Drew Zerdecki, Kyle
Harter, REED & SCARDINO LLP, Austin, TX Counsel for
Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC.
A. Rovner, Jonathan A. Choa, POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON
LLP, Wilmington, DE Korula T. Cherian, RUYAKCHERIAN, LLP,
Berkeley, CA Ronald Wielkopolski, RUYAKCHERIAN, LLP,
Washington, DC Counsel for Ruckus Wireless, Inc.
U.S. District Judge:
before the Court is Ruckus Wireless, Inc's
("Ruckus" or "Defendant") motion to
dismiss for failure to state a claim, filed pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (D.I.
15) ("Motion") For the reasons
below, the Court will deny the Motion.
January 4, 2016, Plaintiff Mobile Telecommunications
Technologies, LLC ("MTel") filed seven suits in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas, each alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5, 590,
403 ("'403 patent"); 5, 915, 210
("'210 patent"); and 5, 659, 891
("'891 patent") (collectively, the
"patents-in-suit" or "asserted
patents"). The seven actions were consolidated
into one lead case on April 11, 2016. (C.A. No. 16-692 D.I.
April 13, 2016, declaratory judgment plaintiffs ARRIS Group
Inc. ("ARRIS") and Ubee Interactive Inc.
("Ubee") (collectively, "DJ Plaintiffs")
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)
3, 2016, MTel filed four additional lawsuits in the Eastern
District of Texas against four new defendants, alleging
infringement of the same three patents. 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).
Plaintiffs and the Texas Defendants fall into two general
categories. Ruckus, ARRIS, Ubee, Juniper, Aerohive, Brocade,
HP, Firetide, and Xirrus are Wi-Fi equipment providers. Cox,
BHN, Charter, and TWC are cable network operators.
August 5, 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation ("JPML") determined that centralization
of the 14 actions involving MTel was appropriate, and
transferred the cases to this Court for coordinated or
consolidated pretrial proceedings. (Case No. 16-ind-2722
("MDL") D.I. 1)
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 simulcasting information signals. ('403
patent at 33:11-30, 34:35-62)
'210 patent is entitled "Method and System for
Providing Multicarrier Simulcast Transmission." The
claims of the '210 patent cover systems for wirelessly
transmitting information via two sets of carrier signals in
simulcast. ('210 patent at 33:47-62, 34:44-64, 36:7-24)
'891 patent is entitled "Multicarrier Techniques in
Bandlimited Channels" and claims a system and methods
for transmitting wireless signals using specific frequency
spacing for carriers in a band-limited channel. ('891
patent at 6:4-44)
filed its Motion on September 1, 2016, seeking dismissal of
MTel's complaint under two legal theories: (1) failure to
mark, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 287, with respect to the
'210 patent; and (2) failure of the patents-in-suit to
claim patent-eligible subject matter, under 35 U.S.C. §
101. (D.I. 15; see also D.I. 16) On September 7,
2016, Brocade joined in Ruckus's Motion, incorporating
Ruckus's Motion, opening brief, and supporting papers
"in their entirety as if set forth herein." (MDL
D.I. 13) MTel filed an answering brief in opposition on
September 19, 2016, arguing that (1) there is no requirement
to mark when there is no product to mark and (2) the
patents-in-suit are not directed to patent-ineligible subject
matter. (D.I. 21) The parties completed briefing on September
29, 2016. (D.I. 23) On October 11, 2016, Juniper joined in
Ruckus's Motion. (MDL D.I. 36) The Court heard oral
argument on October 26, 2016. (MDL D.I. 71 (Transcript
Motion to Dismiss
a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) requires the Court to accept as true all material
allegations of the complaint. See Spruill v. Gittis,
372 F.3d 218, 223 (3d Cir. 2004). "The issue is not
whether a plaintiff will ultimately prevail but whether the
claimant is entitled to offer evidence to support the
claims." In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec.
Litig., 114 F, 3d 1410, 1420 (3d Cir. 1997) (internal
quotation marks omitted). Thus, the Court may grant such a
motion to dismiss only if, after "accepting all
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, and
viewing them in the light most favorable to plaintiff,
plaintiff is not entitled to relief." Maio v. Aetna,
Inc., 221 F.3d 472, 482 (3d Cir. 2000) (internal
quotation marks omitted).
"[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a civil plaintiff
must allege facts that 'raise a right to relief above the
speculative level on the assumption that the allegations in
the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).'"
Victaulic Co. v. Tieman, 499 F.3d 227, 234 (3d Cir.
2007) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible "when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). At bottom, "[t]he complaint
must state enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation
that discovery will reveal evidence of [each] necessary
element" of a plaintiffs claim. Wilkerson v. New
Media Tech. Charter Sch. Inc., 522 F.3d 315, 321 (3d
Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks omitted).
Court is not obligated to accept as true "bald
assertions, " Morse v. Lower Merion Sch. Dist,
132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997) (internal quotation marks
omitted), "unsupported conclusions and unwarranted
inferences, " Schuylkill Energy Res., Inc. v.
Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., 113 F.3d 405, 417
(3d Cir. 1997), or allegations that are "self-evidently
false, " Nami v. Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 69 (3d