The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL CONTI
I. BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION
Defendant has asserted a compulsory counter-claim arising under California's broad unfair competition statute set forth in Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq. The gravamen of defendants' counterclaim is that MAI has deceived its customers through misleading contractual language concerning its policies for licensing diagnostic software to independent service organizations.
This matter is before the court on MAI's motion to dismiss defendant's counterclaim. Having reviewed the arguments of counsel, the court dismisses defendant's state law counterclaim for lack of standing.
A. Dismissal For Failure To State A Claim
A complaint should not be dismissed under F.R.C.P. Rule 12(b)(6) "unless it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957); Wool v. Tandem Computers Inc., 818 F.2d 1433, 1439 (9th Cir. 1987).
A complaint may be dismissed as a matter of law for two reasons: (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory or; (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable theory. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); Robertson v. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc., 749 F.2d 530, 533-34 (9th Cir. 1984). When reviewing a motion to dismiss, all the allegations of material fact are taken as true and construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Abramson v. Brownstein, 897 F.2d 389 (9th Cir. 1990). However, legal conclusions, deductions or opinions couched as factual allegations are not entitled to a presumption of truthfulness. Jones v. Comm. Redevelopment Agency, 733 F.2d 646 (9th Cir. 1984). Failure to properly allege standing is a ground for dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6). Western Mining Council v. Watt, 643 F.2d 618 (9th. Cir. 1980).
Standing is a threshold requirement in every federal case. Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 498, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975). As an aspect of justiciability, the standing question is whether the plaintiff has alleged such a personal stake in the controversy as to warrant his invocation of federal court jurisdiction. Id. The plaintiff must have suffered "some threatened or actual injury resulting from the putatively illegal action." Id. The standing inquiry involves both constitutional and prudential limitations. McMichael v. County of Napa, 709 F.2d 1268, 1269 (9th Cir. 1983).
The "three separate but interrelated components" of Article III standing are: (1) a distinct and palpable injury to the plaintiff; (2) a fairly traceable causal connection between the injury and challenged conduct; and (3) a substantial likelihood that the relief requested will prevent or redress the injury. Id. These constitutional limitations may be summarized as the requirements of injury, causation and redressability.
The three prudential limitations are as follows: (1) the plaintiff must assert his own rights and not rest his claim to relief on the legal rights or interests of third parties; (2) the plaintiff's injury, although cognizable under Article III, must not be "shared in equal measure by all or a large class of citizens" so as to represent only a "generalized grievance"; and (3) the plaintiff's interest must arguably fall within the zone of interests intended to be protected by the statute at issue. Id.