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Lantiq Deutschland Gmbh v. Ralink Technology Corporation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA SAN JOSE DIVISION


May 1, 2012

LANTIQ DEUTSCHLAND GMBH,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
RALINK TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul S. Grewal United States Magistrate Judge

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE (Re: Docket No. 100)

Defendants Ralink Technology Corporation, a California corporation, and Ralink Technology Corporation, a Taiwanese corporation (collectively "Ralink"), move to strike Plaintiff 20 Lantiq Deutschland GMBH's ("Lantiq") Patent L.R. 3-1 disclosure of asserted claims and 21 infringement contentions. Lantiq opposes the motion. On May 1, 2012, the parties appeared for 22 hearing. Having reviewed the papers and considered the arguments of counsel, 23

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Ralink's motion to strike is GRANTED.

Ralink moves to strike Lantiq's Pat. L.R. 3-1 disclosure of asserted claims and infringement contentions on the grounds that they include reference to products made and sold by Ralink's 26 parent company, MediaTek, Inc. ("MediaTek"). At present, MediaTek is neither a party to the case 27 nor is it an "opposing party" within the meaning of Pat. L.R. 3-1.*fn1 In addition to 50 accused Ralink 2 products, Lantiq's infringement contentions also include 50 accused MediaTek products. Lantiq's 3 contentions allege that Ralink and MediaTek directly infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,351,799 (the "'799 4

MediaTek indirectly infringe both patents. Ralink complains that rather than specify the exact party 6 practicing each limitation as Pat. L.R. 3-1 requires, Lantiq has resorted to creating a fictitious non-7 party identified only as "MediaTek/Ralink." While Ralink acknowledges that it is a subsidiary of 8

Taiwanese government documents it has produced to Lantiq). Because MediaTek is not a party to 10 the case and Lantiq has not sought to "pierce the corporate veil," Ralink argues that Lantiq's Patent"), that Ralink infringes U.S. Patent No. 7,061,904 (the "'904 Patent"),*fn2 and that Ralink and 5

MediaTek, it stresses that the two companies are separate entities (as evidenced by certain 9 infringement contentions that reference "MediaTek/Ralink" should be struck. Finally, Ralink complains that Lantiq served purposefully vague contentions by grouping Ralink and MediaTek 13 products together in groups of representative products. Such contentions fail to provide Ralink with 14 adequate notice of any alleged infringement specific to its own products. 15

16 that there is no complication or delay attendant to including MediaTek products in Lantiq's 17 contentions. Regardless of whether MediaTek is a party in the case, Lantiq argues that the 18

MediaTek-branded products identified in its contentions nevertheless are relevant. MediaTek itself 19 acknowledges publicly that at least some MediaTek-branded products incorporate Ralink 20 technology. Lantiq also notes that it did move to add MediaTek as a party to the case. 21

22 amended complaint adding three MediaTek entities, including MediaTek USA and MediaTek 23 24

Lantiq responds that Ralink has been dilatory in bringing this motion in the first place and

On April 30, 2012, the presiding judge granted Lantiq's motion for leave to file a second

Wireless, Inc., as defendants in the case.*fn3 In light of this order, Ralink's motion to strike Lantiq's 2 contentions on the grounds that MediaTek is not a party appears to be moot. 3

The court nevertheless agrees that the contentions are vague and fall short of the 4 requirements set forth in Pat. L.R. 3-1, particularly with respect to the unspecific references to 5

"MediaTek/Ralink" products, the predicate acts for Lantiq's indirect infringement claims*fn4 and 6 where each limitation of each asserted claim is found within each accused MediaTek and Ralink 7 product. Now that MediaTek may be added as an opposing party, Lantiq should correct these 8 defects. Lantiq shall comply with this order no later than May 15, 2012. 9

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated:


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