The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Judge
Present: The Honorable A. HOWARD MATZ, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Stephen Montes Not Reported
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys NOT Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys NOT Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS (No Proceedings Held)
Defendants Salesforce.com, Inc. and Dimdim, Inc., (collectively, "Salesforce") have moved to be dismissed for misjoinder pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 21.*fn1 For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Salesforce's motion for dismissal.
On March 22, 2011, Plaintiff Richard A. Williamson filed this case, which alleges that Salesforce and twelve other defendants infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,155,840 ("the '840 patent"). The '840 patent pertains to remote meeting technology. It describes a "System And Method For Distributed Learning," which provides "training through the use of multiple streaming video feeds and data sharing over a network . . . ." Plaintiff contends that Salesforce infringes the '840 patent with two specified products: (1) Salesforce's old, remote meeting technology ("legacy software"), and (2) a service integrating Salesforce's cloud computing platform with Defendant Adobe System Inc.'s ("Adobe") remote meeting software ("the integrated service"). See Compl. ¶ 43; Pl.'s Opp'n 11, Dkt. 204.
1. Salesforce's Legacy Software
Plaintiff alleges that Salesforce's legacy software, which includes web meeting and virtual classroom capabilities, violates the '840 patent. (Compl. ¶ 43.) From December 2008 until its acquisition by Salesforce.com, Inc. in January 2011, Dimdim sold the legacy software. (Corrected Mot. to Dismiss 2.) Salesforce claims that it no longer sells the legacy software to new customers and has not done so since the acquisition of Dimdim on January 6, 2011. (Corrected Mot. to Dismiss 2.) While there is no dispute that Salesforce.com, Inc. could have successor liability for Dimdim, Inc.'s conduct, Plaintiff has made no contention that any other Defendant has been involved in any stage of the development or distribution of the legacy software. Thus, Plaintiff's claims with regard to the legacy software are confined to Salesforce and have no bearing on the liability of any other Defendant.
2. The Adobe--Salesforce Integrated Service
Plaintiff mentioned the integrated service for the first time in his opposition to this motion. The opposition is not clear about what the integrated service actually is or how it functions. As best as the Court can understand, the integrated service consists of two combined parts: (1) Salesforce's platform, which Plaintiff does not claim to be infringing, and (2) Adobe Connect, a product made and sold by Adobe, which Plaintiff does claim to be infringingthe '840 patent. (Compl. ¶ 42.) Envisiontel, a third party, stitched together these two parts to form the integrated service. (Pl.'s Opp'n 4; Defs.' Reply 14.). Plaintiff argues that the integrated service infringes the '840 patent because Adobe Connect is part of it (Pl.'s Opp'n 4) and that Salesforce infringes "by facilitating the use of Adobe Connect within Salesforce.com." (Pl's Opp'n 11.) Plaintiff admits, however, that Adobe, and not Salesforce, is the seller. (Pl.'s Opp'n 4.)
Prior to his opposition to this motion, Plaintiff made no mention of the integrated service or of a connection between Salesforce and any other Defendant. During discovery, in an interrogatory, Defendant asked Plaintiff to list his contentions regarding infringement of the'840 patent by each accused Salesforce product. (Decl. of Aden M. Allen Ex. 2, at 2.) In response Plaintiff mentioned only the legacy product but did not mention Adobe or the integrated service.*fn2 (Defs.' Reply 10.) Salesforce further contends that during the meet and confer process for this motion, Plaintiff never mentioned any connection between Salesforce and any other Defendant. (Defs.' Reply 11.) Moreover, Plaintiff has made no assertion that Salesforce and Adobe ...