United States District Court, D. Delaware
before the Court are Defendant Aruba Networks, Inc.'s
motion to dismiss Plaintiffs first amended complaint
("FAC") (C.A. No. 17-754, D.I. 12), Defendant
Ruckus Wireless, Inc.'s. motion to dismiss Plaintiffs FAC
(C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 13), and Defendant Daintree's
joinder in the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Aruba
and Ruckus. (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. II). The issues have
been fully briefed. (D.I. 13, 14, 15; C.A. No. 17-756, D.I.
14, 15, 17; C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11, 13, 14). For the
reasons stated herein, Aruba's and Ruckus's motions
are GRANTED, and Daintree's joinder is
13, 2017, Plaintiff filed patent infringement actions against
Defendants Aruba Networks, Inc. (D.I. 1) and Ruckus Wireless,
Inc. (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 1). On November 28, 2017,
Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant Daintree Networks,
Inc. (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1).
filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint on August 9,
2017 (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 9), and Aruba filed a motion to
dismiss Plaintiffs complaint on September 20, 2017. (D.I. 8).
Plaintiff filed a FAC against Ruckus on August 23, 2017 (C.A.
No. 17-756, D.I. 12), and filed a FAC against Aruba on
October 4, 2017 (D.I. 11). Following service of Plaintiff s
amended complaints, Ruckus (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 13) and
Aruba (D.I. 12) each filed motions to dismiss Plaintiffs
FACs. On February 8, 2018, Daintree filed a joinder in
Aruba's and Ruckus's motions to dismiss. (C.A. No.
17-1713, D.I. 11).
accuses each Defendant of infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 379,
981 ("the '981 patent"); 8, 700, 749 ("the
'749 patent"); and 8, 855, 019 ("the '019
patent") owned by Plaintiff. (D.I. 11, ¶ 1; C.A.
No. 17-756, D.I. l2, ¶ 1; C.A.No. 17-1713, D.I. l,
¶ 1). Plaintiff asserts claims of direct infringement
and induced infringement. (E.g., D.I. 11,
¶¶ 13-14; C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 12, ¶¶
13-14; C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1, ¶¶ 13-14).
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 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'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).
plaintiff 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
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant 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
parties dispute whether Plaintiffs FAC against Aruba has
adequately pled direct infringement claims. (D.I. 13 at
14-16; D.I. 14 at 12-14). Plaintiff accuses several Aruba
outdoor and indoor wireless routers of infringing the claims,
asserting that Aruba's mesh routers satisfy the
"gateway" limitation. (D.I. 11, ¶¶ 11,
13). The asserted claims, however, are directed to a wireless
network comprising a group of wireless network nodes and one
or more gateways that provide a communication access point
between one or more of the nodes and an external network.
(E.g., '019 patent, claim 1). Though a router
may be an essential part of a network, I do not think it is
plausible to claim that a router itself is a network.
Therefore, router sales do not form the basis for a
cognizable direct infringement claim. It is possible,
however, that a router may be used in a network that
infringes the asserted claims. But Plaintiff has failed to
plead facts that would support a plausible inference that
Aruba or Aruba's customers have used any of the accused
routers in a network that infringes the asserted claims.
Plaintiff alleges only that unidentified customers use
Aruba's products "in establishing and using mesh
systems" without reciting facts to support the
allegation that a mesh system would infringe the asserted
claims. (D.I. 11, ¶ 14). I find this insufficient to
establish a direct infringement claim against Aruba or its
allegations against Ruckus are similar, accusing certain
Ruckus access points of meeting the "virtual nodes"
and "gateway" limitations, and accusing certain
Ruckus controllers of meeting the "gateway"
limitation. (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 12, ¶ 13). Even
assuming that Ruckus's controllers and access points can
be used to form a network, the sale of these components
individually does not plausibly amount to direct
infringement. Plaintiff has not pled sufficient facts to
support its claim that the accused products are used in a way
that would form an infringing network. Plaintiffs allegations
that specific Ruckus customers directly infringe contain no
explanation of why those customers infringe. (Id.
¶ 14 ("[C]ustomers that have purchased and/or used
the Accused Products, including the Snowbird Resort and
Baruch College, constitute direct infringers.")).
Plaintiffs allegation that Ruckus assists its customers in
using the accused products "in establishing and using
mesh systems" is insufficient to support a plausible
claim of direct infringement for the same reason discussed
with respect to Aruba.
Daintree argues that Plaintiff "makes substantially the
same allegations of direct and indirect infringement against
Daintree as against Aruba and Ruckus other than substituting
exemplary products of Daintree for those of Aruba and
Ruckus." (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11 at 1). Plaintiffs
complaint against Daintree is more similar to Plaintiffs FAC
against Ruckus than to Plaintiffs FAC against Aruba. As in
the Ruckus FAC, Plaintiff accuses specific Daintree products
(in Daintree's ControlScope Wireless Lighting Controls
Portfolio) of meeting both the "virtual nodes"
limitation (various wireless area controllers, wireless
adapters, and wireless sensors, and a wireless thermostat)
and the "gateway" limitation (certain wireless area
controllers). (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1, ¶¶ 11,
13). For the same reasons discussed with respect to Aruba and
Ruckus, Daintree's sales of these components individually
is insufficient to establish a claim for direct infringement
by Daintree. Unlike the Ruckus FAC, however, I find that
Plaintiffs complaint against Daintree pleads sufficient facts
to support its claim that Daintree customers use the accused
products in a way that infringes the claims. Plaintiffs
complaint against Daintree references a Daintree Networks
publication describing the National Bank of
Arizona's use of Daintree's ControlScope product line
to automate functions such as HVAC and lighting in the
bank's Prescott, Arizona location. (See Id.
¶ 14 n.l, ¶ 20 n.2, ¶ 26 n.3). Implementing
Daintree's ControlScope product line provided the
National Bank of Arizona the ability to monitor the lighting
and HVAC systems remotely and the ability to "take
action immediately based on the real time information and
reports." Case Study: National Bank of Arizona
Achieves Huge Energy Savings, Daintree Networks, 2
-of-Arizona.pdf. Therefore, I conclude that Plaintiff has
provided sufficient facts to support its claim that the
National Bank of Arizona, a Daintree customer, directly
infringes the asserted patent claims. ...