United States District Court, D. Delaware
before me is a Motion to Dismiss U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 701, 344
(the '"344 patent"), 6, 714, 966 (the
'"966 patent"), and 6, 829, 634 (the
'"634 patent") by Defendants Activision
Blizzard, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Take-Two Interactive
Software, Inc., Rockstar Games, Inc., and 2K Sports, Inc.
(collectively, "Defendants"). (C.A. No. 16-453,
D.I. 21; C.A. No. 16-454, D.I. 22; C.A. No. 16-455, D.I.
I have considered the parties' briefing. (D.I. 22; D.I.
28; D.I. 33). Defendants contend that all claims of the
'344 and '966 patents, and claims 1-18 of the
'634 patents (collectively, the "Broadcast
Claims") are invalid for lack of patent-eligible subject
matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. (D.I. 21). I held oral
argument on July 10, 2017. (D.I. 235 ("Tr.")).
briefing does not dispute that Claim 1 from each of the
'344, '966, and '634 patents is representative.
(See D.I. 28 at 9 n.4). Claim 1 of the '344
1. A computer network for providing a game environment for a
plurality of participants, each participant having
connections to at least three neighbor participants, wherein
an originating participant sends data to the other
participants by sending the data through each of its
connections to its neighbor participants and wherein each
participant sends data that it receives from a neighbor
participant to its other neighbor participants, further
wherein the network is m-regular, where m is the exact number
of neighbor participants of each participant and further
wherein the number of participants is at least two greater
than m thus resulting in a non-complete graph.
(D.I. 1-1, Exh. 1 ('344 patent), claim 1). Claim 1 of the
'344 patent, for the purposes of this motion, is
substantially similar to the language in claim 1 of the
'966 and '634 patents. (Compare '344
patent, claim 1, with D.I. 1-1, Exh. 2 ('966
patent), claim 1 and D.I. 1-2, Exh. 4 ('634 patent),
Broadcast Claims generally relate to a "broadcast
channel for a subset of  computers of an underlying
network." ('344 patent, 1:27-29). Prior
communication techniques were not "particularly well
suited to the simultaneous sharing of information among
computers that are widely distributed." ('344
patent, 1:33-39). Prior communication techniques
interconnected all participants using point-to-point
connections, and thus, did not "scale well" as J
the number of participants grew. ('344 patent, 1: 44-49).
Broadcast Claims overlay the underlying network system with a
certain graph of point-to-point connections between host
computers (or "nodes") through which a broadcast
channel is implemented. ('344 patent, 4:23-26). This
graph is a non-complete, m-regular network. A non-complete,
m-regular network is a network where each node is connected
to the same number of other nodes, or "m" number of
other nodes, and where each node is not connected to all
other nodes. (See '344 patent, 4:26-47). Figure
1 of the '344 patent illustrates an example of a
non-complete, m-regular network, where m is four.
patent, fig. 1). This graph is implemented at the application
level using an underlying network system (like the Internet).
('344 patent, 4:14-19). The Broadcast Claims meet the
need for "a reliable communications network that is
suitable for the simultaneous sharing of information among a
large number of the processes that are widely
distributed." ('344 patent, 2:38-42).
Motion to Dismiss
requires a complainant to provide "a short and plain
statement of the claim I 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 Rule12(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 Atl. 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 7Hosp., 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-