United States District Court, D. Delaware
Farnan, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Michael Farnan,
FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Jeffrey Bragalone,
BRAGALONE CONROY P.C., Dallas, Texas; Johnathan Rastegar,
BRAGALONE CONROY P.C., Dallas, Texas; T. William Kennedy,
Jr., BRAGALONE CONROY P.C., Dallas, Texas Counsel for
Dallery Smith, II, MORRIS, NICHOS, ARSHT, & TUNNELL LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware; Lewis V. Popovski, PATTERSON BELKNAP
WEBB & TYLER LLP, New York, New York Counsel for
F. CONNOLLY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Interconnect Technologies LLC ("SIT") has filed a
three-count complaint against Sony Corporation, Sony Mobile
Communications AB, and Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc.
(collectively "Sony") for patent infringement. D.I.
1. Pending before me is Sony's Motion to Dismiss for
Failure to State a Claim under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). D.I. 11. For the reasons discussed below,
I will deny Sony's motion.
alleges in its complaint that, "by, among other things,
making, having made, using, offering for sale, selling,
and/or importing electronic devices with Universal Flash
Storage (UFS) that incorporate [claimed] fundamental
technologies, " Sony "has and continues to directly
and/or indirectly infringe (by inducing infringement) one or
more claims of three patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 627, 044
(the "# 044 patent"); 6, 463, 092 (the "#092
patent"); and 7, 158, 593 (the "#593 patent").
D.I. 1, ¶¶ 15, 30, 45. SIT alleges in particular
that Sony's Xperia XZ smartphone directly infringes claim
1 of the #044 patent, claim 1 of the #092 patent, and claim
34 of the #593 patent. D.I. 1, ¶¶ 16, 31, 46. Sony
seeks to dismiss the complaint in its entirety. D.I. 11 at 1.
Legal Standards for Stating A Claim
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, 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). Detailed factual allegations are not
required, but the complaint must include more than mere
"labels and conclusions" or "a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action."
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). The complaint must set forth enough facts, accepted
as true, to "state a claim to relief that is plausible
on its face." Id . at 570. A claim is facially
plausible "when the ... factual content... 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). Deciding whether a
claim is plausible is a "context-specific task that
requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial
experience and common sense." Id . at 679.
Legal Standards for Pleading Direct Infringement
for direct infringement arises when a party "without
authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented
invention, within the United States or imports into the
United States any patented invention during the term of the
patent." 35 U.S.C. § 271(a). To plead direct
infringement, a plaintiff must allege facts "that
plausibly indicate that the accused products contain each of
the limitations found in the claim." TMI Sols. LLC
v. Bath & Body Works Direct, Inc.,
2018 WL 4660370, at *9 (D. Del. Sept. 28, 2018). A plaintiff,
however, "need not prove its case at the pleading
stage." Nalco Co. v. Chem-Mod, LLC,
883 F.3d 1337, 1350 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted). The complaint need only
"place the potential infringer on notice of what
activity is being accused of infringement." Id
. at 1350 (internal quotation marks, alterations, and
Disc Disease Solutions Inc. v. VGH Solutions, Inc.,
888F.3d 1256, 1260 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Federal Circuit
provided further guidance on pleading infringement when a
case "involves a simple technology." The Court held
in Disc Disease that in such a case, a complaint is
"sufficient under the plausibility standard of
Iqbal/Twombly" if it (1) names products accused of
infringing the asserted patents, (2) includes photographs of
the packaging of the accused products, and (3) alleges that
the accused products meet every element of at least one claim
of the asserted patents. Id . The Court reasoned
that "[t]hese disclosures and allegations are enough to
provide [a defendant] fair notice of infringement of the
asserted patents." Id .
the complaint's three counts alleges infringement of a
different asserted patent. D.I. 1 at 3, 8, 12. Each count
identifies as an "example" of accused products
Sony's Xperia XZ smartphone. Id . ¶¶
15, 30, 45. And each count includes (1) an image of the
Xperia XZ, id. ¶¶ 17, 32, 47; (2) an image of a
Sony website showing that the Xperia XZ incorporates
Universal Flash Storage ("UFS") technology, id.
¶¶ 18, 33, 48; and (3) two images from a
third-party White Paper showing that UFS technology uses the
MIPIM-PHY protocol, an industry technical standard, id.
¶¶ 19, 34, 49. In paragraphs that follow the
images, each count describes ...