United States District Court, D. Delaware
FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V., Plaintiff,
SIRIUS XM RADIO INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
F. Bataillon Senior United States District Judge.
matter is before the court on Siriuis XM Radio's motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim, D.I. 10; motion to
stay pending resolution of the motion to dismiss, D.I. 17;
motion to stay pending inter partes review of the
patents-in-suit by the patent trial and appeals board, D.I.
131; the report and recommendation, D.I. 146; and objections
to the report and recommendation, D.I. 154. In the
alternative, plaintiff asks this court to dismiss without
prejudice or to allow it to amend its complaint.
standard of review is governed by 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b). The
district court “shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings
or recommendations to which objection is made” and
“may also receive further evidence or recommit the
matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Similarly, Rule 72(b)(3) requires
de novo review of any recommendation that is dispositive of a
claim or defense of a party.
Supreme Court has construed the statutory grant of authority
conferred on magistrate judges under 28 U.S.C. § 636 to
mean that nondispositive pretrial matters are governed by
§ 636(b)(1)(A) and dispositive matters are covered by
§ 636(b)(1)(B). Gomez v. United
States, 490 U.S. 858, 873-74 (1989); see also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). Under subparagraph (B), a district
court may refer a dispositive motion to a magistrate judge
“to conduct hearings, including evidentiary hearings,
and to submit to a judge of the court proposed findings of
fact and recommendations for the disposition.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); see EEOC v. City of
Long Branch, 866 F.3d 93, 99-100 (3d Cir. 2017). The
product of a magistrate judge, following a referral of a
dispositive matter, is often called a “report and
recommendation.” Id.“Parties ‘may
serve and file specific written objections to the proposed
findings and recommendations' within 14 days of being
served with a copy of the magistrate judge's report and
recommendation.” Id. (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
a party objects timely to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation, the district court must ‘make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.'” EEOC, 866 F.3d at 99 (quoting 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)).
the Federal Rules, a complaint must contain “a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The rules
require a “‘showing,' rather than a blanket
assertion, of entitlement to relief.” Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 n.3. (2007) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). “Specific facts are not
necessary; the statement need only ‘give the defendant
fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555). In order to survive a motion to dismiss under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the plaintiff's obligation to
provide the grounds for his entitlement to relief
necessitates that the complaint contain “more than
labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
factual allegations of a complaint are assumed true and
construed in favor of the plaintiff, “even if it
strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable and ‘that a recovery is very remote and
unlikely.'” Id. (quoting Scheuer v.
Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974)). “On the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact), ” the allegations in the
complaint must “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555-56. In other words, the complaint must plead
“enough facts to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 547. “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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (stating that the plausibility standard does not
require a probability but asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.).
is based on the principles that (1) the tenet that a court
must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a
complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions and (2) only a
complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a
motion to dismiss. Id. at 678-79. Determining
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is
“a context-specific task” that requires the court
“to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. at 679. Accordingly, under
Twombly, a court considering a motion to dismiss may
begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth. Id. Although legal conclusions “can
provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported
by factual allegations.” Id. When there are
well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their
veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief. Id.
the court must find “enough factual matter (taken as
true) to suggest” that “discovery will reveal
evidence” of the elements of the claim.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Dura Pharms., Inc. v.
Broudo, 544 U.S. 336, 347 (2005) (explaining that
something beyond a faint hope that the discovery process
might lead eventually to some plausible cause of action must
be alleged). When the allegations in a complaint, however
true, could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief, the
complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Twombly, 550 U.S. at
558; Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679.
the method used to transmit data which splits components and
sends them over separate carrier signals. Plaintiff developed
patented technology related to multicarrier modulation for
use in satellite radio broadcasting. On March 4, 1998,
Fraunhofer entered into an exclusive license agreement with
WorldSpace International Network Inc.
(“WorldSpace”) to license all patents for MCM
technologies (the “MCM License”). Fraunhofer
subsequently obtained U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 314, 289
(“the '289 patent”), 6, 931, 084 (“the
'1084 patent”), 6, 993, 084 (“the '3084
patent”), and 7, 061, 997 (“the '997
patent”) (collectively, the
“patents-in-suit”), which relate to MCM
technologies and are covered by the MCM License. Later,
WorldSpace gave a sublicense to XM Satellite, and XM used the
license technology to assist in the development of the XM
DARS system. XM then merged in 2008 with Sirius.
WorldSpace filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A settlement
agreement was approved between WorldSpace, Fraunhofer, ...