United States District Court, D. Delaware
has filed a complaint alleging patent infringement and
willful infringement. (D.I.I). Defendant has filed a motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim. (D.I. 10). The
motion has been fully briefed. (D.I. 11, 15, 17). Defendant
alleges that the Complaint is insufficient because it
"fails to set forth a plausible explanation of how
[Defendant] allegedly practices any asserted claim of any
asserted patent." (D.I. 11 at 5).
reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept the
complaint's factual allegations as true. See Bell
Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007). Rule
8(a) requires "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."
Id. at 555. The factual allegations do not have to
be detailed, but they must provide more than labels,
conclusions, or a "formulaic recitation" of the
claim elements. Id. ("Factual allegations must
be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level... on the assumption that all the allegations in the
complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).").
Moreover, there must be sufficient factual matter to state a
facially plausible claim to relief. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The facial plausibility
standard is satisfied when the complaint's factual
content "allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Id. ("Where a complaint pleads
facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's
liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and
plausibility of entitlement to relief." (internal
quotation marks omitted)). The Third Circuit has stated
"that a court can consider a 'document integral to
or explicitly relied upon in the complaint'" without
converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary
judgment. In re Rockefeller Center Properties, Inc. Sec.
Litig., 184 F.3d 280, 287 (3d Cir. 1999) (quoting In
re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig, 114 F.3d 1410,
1426 (3d Cir.1997)).
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has addressed the
issue of the sufficiency of a patent infringement complaint
on multiple occasions. It seems apparent to me that the
Court's view is that very little is required in order to
plead a claim of patent infringement. For example, in
Disc Disease Solutions Inc. v. VGH Solutions, Inc.,
888 F.3d 1256 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Court reversed a district
court dismissal of a patent infringement complaint. In
relevant part, the Court of Appeals stated:
The district court determined that Disc Disease failed to
"explain how Defendants' products infringe on any of
Plaintiff s claims" because it "merely alleges that
certain of Defendants' products 'meet each and every
element of at least one claim' of Plaintiff s
patents." We disagree. Disc Disease's allegations
are sufficient under the plausibility standard of
Iqbal/Twombly. This case involves a simple
technology. The asserted patents, which were attached to the
complaint, consist of only four independent claims. The
complaint specifically identified the three accused
products-by name and by attaching photos of the product
packaging as exhibits-and alleged that the accused products
meet "each and every element of at least one claim of
the '113 [or '509] Patent, either literally or
equivalently." These disclosures and allegations are
enough to provide VGH Solutions fair notice of infringement
of the asserted patents. The district court, therefore, erred
in dismissing Disc Disease's complaint for failure to
state a claim.
Disc Disease Sols. Inc. v. VGH Sols., Inc., 888 F.3d
at 1260 (citations omitted).
case, the complaint alleges that a specifically-identified
product infringes each of the two patents, copies of which
are attached to the complaint. Specifically, the complaint
alleges that Defendants committed an infringing act-an
"offer to sell" by submitting a proposal in
response to Los Angeles County's Request for Proposals
for the VSAP program. (D.I. 1 ¶¶ 29, 31, 38, 39).
The complaint identifies the specific product accused of
infringement-the ballot marking device offered by Defendant
to Los Angeles County. (D.I. 1 ¶¶ 46, 47, 49).
Defendant argues that the relevant inquiry for direct
infringement by an "offer to sell" is the final
design as recognized by Plaintiffs complaint and pre-suit
communications. (D.I. 1 ¶ 43; D.I. 1-6 at 1-2). I
determine that Plaintiff has pleaded sufficient facts that
the final design would plausibly be infringing based upon Los
Angeles County's requested features.
not think meaningful distinctions can be made between
complaints on the basis of the number of independent claims,
number of accused products, or even the complexity of the
technology. On the basis of Disc Disease, I
think each count of the complaint states a claim for direct
Plaintiffs complaint sufficiently states a claim for willful
infringement. "A patent infringer's subjective
willfulness, whether intentional or knowing, may warrant
enhanced damages, without regard to whether his infringement
was objectively reckless." Halo Electronics, Inc. v.
Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1923, 1926 (2016);
see also WBIP, 829 F.3d 1317, 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2016)
("Knowledge of the patent alleged to be willfully
infringed continues to be a prerequisite to enhanced
following alleged facts are highly relevant. Plaintiffs
complaint alleges that Plaintiff gave Defendant notice of its
infringement of the patents-in-suit on February 23, 2018.
(D.I. 1 ¶ 38). After this notice, Defendant submitted a
proposal offering to sell an accused infringing product.
(Id. ¶ 39). On July 19, 2018, Plaintiff sent a
letter to Defendant, informing Defendant that the ballot
marking device it offered for sale infringed the
patents-in-suit. (Id. ¶ 48-49). Defendant has
continued with the VSAP proposal and development of a ballot
marking device for Los Angeles County. (Id.
¶¶ 61, 72). On these facts, it is plausible that
Defendant intentionally or knowingly infringed the
patent-in-suit. Plaintiff has therefore sufficiently alleged
that Defendant willfully infringed.
foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss (D.I. 10) is DENIED.
 My understanding is that the
sufficiency of each claim in a complaint is based on the
allegations of that particular claim. Thus, from a
sufficiency of the complaint basis, a complaint asserting two
patents with two independent claims in each patent requires
the same analysis as twenty patents with two independent
claims in each patent.
 If the products are identified, I do
not see any logical difference between the amount of notice
given if there is one product or one ...