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Dodots Licensing Solutions LLC v. Lenovo Holding Company, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

July 12, 2019

DODOTS LICENSING SOLUTIONS LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LENOVO HOLDING COMPANY, INC., LENOVO UNITED STATES INC, and MOTOROLA MOBILITY LLC, Defendants.

          Brian E. Farnan, Michael J. Farnan, Farnan LLP, Wilmington, DE; Perry Goldberg, Progress LLP, Los Angeles, CA - attorneys for Plaintiff

          Frederick L. Cottrell, III, Renee M. Mosley, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., Wilmington, DE; Charanjit Brahma, Anup M. Shah, Oscar A. Figueroa, Troutman Sanders LLP, San Francisco, CA-attorneys for Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Presently before the Court is Defendants Lenovo (United States) Inc.'s, Lenovo Holding Co., Inc.'s, and Motorola Mobility LLC's (collectively, "Defendants" or "Lenovo") partial motion to dismiss (D.I. 33) the Second Amended Complaint (D.I. 30) for failure to state a claim on the grounds that Plaintiff DoDots Licensing Solutions LLC ("Plaintiff) does not plausibly allege induced infringement of the asserted patents. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS-IN-PART and DENIES-IN-PART Defendants' motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is the second time that the Court is addressing the sufficiency of Plaintiffs infringement allegations. On December 19, 2018, the Court granted-in-part and denied-in-part Defendants' partial motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), finding that Plaintiff failed to plausibly allege various theories of direct and indirect infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 9, 369, 545 ("the '545 Patent"), 8, 020, 083 ("the '083 Patent") and 8, 510, 407 ("the '407 Patent") (collectively, "the Patents-in-Suit"). (See D.I. 28 & 29).[1] Although Plaintiff had adequately pleaded direct infringement of the '083 and '407 Patents, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs claim of direct infringement of the '545 Patent based on any activity other than Defendants' use of the accused products.[2] (See D.I. 28 at 4-6). As to indirect infringement, the Court dismissed the claims of induced infringement for each of the Patents-in-Suit because Plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that Defendants possessed the requisite knowledge of infringement or the specific intent to induce infringement. (Id. at 8-9).

         On January 9, 2019, and in response to the Court's order dismissing certain claims of direct and indirect infringement, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint, which continues to allege that Defendants directly and indirectly infringe various claims of the Patents-in-Suit. (See D.I. 30). As to direct infringement, Plaintiff now alleges only that Defendants infringe the '545 Patent by using the accused products (see D.I. 30 ¶ 32), and the allegations of direct infringement of the '083 and '407 Patents remain the same. As to induced infringement, the Second Amended Complaint includes additional allegations regarding Defendants' purported knowledge of infringement and specific intent to induce infringement. (Compare D.I. 30 ¶ 29, with D.I. 15 ¶ 29). On January 28, 2019, Defendants filed the present motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), claiming that the Second Amended Complaint still fails to plausibly allege induced infringement of any of the three Patents-in-Suit. (See D.I. 33 & 34).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         In ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court must accept all well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Mayer v. Belichick, 605 F.3d 223, 229 (3d Cir. 2010); see also Phillips v. Crtty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232-33 (3d Cir. 2008). "[A] court need not 'accept as true allegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice or by exhibit,' such as the claims and the patent specification." Secured Mail Sols, LLC v. Universal Wilde, Inc., 873 F.3d 905, 913 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (quoting Anderson v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., 570 Fed.Appx. 927, 931 (Fed. Cir. 2014)). Nor is the Court required to accept as true bald assertions, unsupported conclusions or unwarranted inferences. See TriPlay, Inc. v. WhatsApp Inc., No. 13-1703-LPS-CJB, 2018 WL 1479027, at *3 (D. Del. Mar. 27, 2018). Dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is only appropriate if a complaint does not contain "sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp, v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); see also Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). This plausibility standard obligates a plaintiff to provide "more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Instead, the pleadings must provide sufficient factual allegations to allow the Court to "draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged," Iqbal, 506 U.S. at 678.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiffs Claims of Post-Suit Induced Infringement

         As with the prior pleading, the Second Amended Complaint includes allegations that Defendants indirectly infringe "one or more claims" of each of the Patents-in-Suit. (See D.I. 30 ¶¶ 32, 38, 44; see also D.I. 15 ¶¶ 32, 38, 44 (First Amended Complaint)). As to induced infringement, Plaintiff now alleges:

As alleged below, Defendants induce infringement of the Patents-in-Suit by their customers, and intend to do so, through their marketing materials, brochures, product manuals, and other materials such as their website, https://www.lenovoappexplorer.com/enus/, with knowledge of the Patents-in-Suit and their customers' infringement of them. Lenovo actively markets its "Lenovo App Explorer," which it touts at the Lenovo App Explorer website as a "one stop shop to discover, evaluate, choose and install apps." Lenovo also states at that website that Lenovo gives users a selection of the "most popular" apps, which shows that Lenovo not only knows its customers are using the apps but Lenovo encourages the use by providing the selection of popular apps directly to the customers. For the same reasons that Lenovo knows its own use infringes the patents-in-suit, Lenovo also knows that its customers' use likewise infringes the patents-in-suit. Lenovo has been aware of all three patents-in-suit since at least the filing of the First Amended Complaint in this action, yet continues its own infringing activity as well as its inducement of infringement by its customers. On information and belief, Lenovo in fact has been aware of all three patents-in-suit even before the filing the First Amended Complaint, at least from shortly after the filing of the original Complaint.

(D.I, 30 ΒΆ 29). The Second Amended Complaint does not include any other theories of indirect infringement liability and there are no further ...


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