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Unisone Strategic IP, Inc. v. Life Technologies Corporation

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

October 22, 2013

UNISONE STRATEGIC IP, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
LIFE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION; DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT LIFE TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF UNISONE STRATEGIC IP, INC.'S COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 10)

GONZALO P. CURIEL, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is defendant Life Technologies Corporation's ("Defendant") Motion to Dismiss plaintiff Unisone Strategic IP, Inc's ("Plaintiff") Complaint ("Motion to Dismiss"). (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff filed an opposition to the Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No. 17), and defendant filed a reply, (ECF No. 18). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED WITH LEAVE TO AMEND.

BACKGROUND

On June 3, 2013, Plaintiff filed its Complaint for patent infringement, alleging Defendant's software infringes U.S. Patent No. 6, 996, 538 ("the '538 patent"), of which Plaintiff alleges it is the sole owner by assignment. (ECF No. 1.) More specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendant's Supply Chain Management System ("SCMS") software infringes one or more claims of the '538 patent.[1] The '538 patent describes "[a] system and method which allows third-parties to monitor company inventory via the Internet and World Wide Web ("web") and automatically order needed items." Plaintiff alleges Defendant's SCMS software provides real-time tracking and management of inventory between Life Tech's customers and suppliers.

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

A motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a claim. Navarro v. Block , 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). In federal court, a pleading must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(2). A complaint is deficient if it fails to state a plausible claim for relief on its face. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that 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).

In resolving a 12(b)(6) motion, courts accept all well-pleaded allegations of material fact as true and construes them in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Wyler Summit P'ship v. Turner Broad. Sys., Inc. , 135 F.3d 658, 661 (9th Cir.1998). In addition to the complaint itself, a court "may consider certain materials-documents attached to the complaint, documents incorporated by reference in the complaint, or matters of judicial notice-without converting the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment." United States v. Ritchie , 342 F.3d 903, 907 (9th Cir. 2003).

Where a motion to dismiss is granted, "leave to amend should be granted unless the court determines that the allegation of other facts consistent with the challenged pleading could not possibly cure the deficiency.'" DeSoto v. Yellow Freight Sys., Inc. , 957 F.2d 655, 658 (9th Cir. 1992) (quoting Schreiber Distrib. Co. v. Serv-Well Furniture Co. , 806 F.2d 1393, 1401 (9th Cir. 1986)). In other words, where leave to amend would be futile, the Court may deny leave to amend. See Desoto , 957 F.2d at 658.

II. Analysis

Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's claims for induced, contributory, and willful infringement because Plaintiff has alleged no facts demonstrating Defendant "had the intent to cause infringement... or that [Defendant] willfully infringed the patent." (ECF No. 10-1.) Defendant asserts Plaintiff "does not even allege that [Defendant] had knowledge of the '538 patent." Defendant further argues Plaintiff's contributory infringement claim fails because Plaintiff has not alleged "the necessary facts detailing how [Defendant's] accused product is especially made or adapted for use in an infringement [of the '538 patent]."

A. Induced Infringement

"Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer." 35 U.S.C. ยง 271(b). To state a claim for induced infringement, a plaintiff must allege facts showing the alleged infringer (1) knew of the patent, (2) knowingly induced the infringing acts, and (3) possessed a specific intent to encourage another's infringement of the patent. DSU Med. Corp. v. JMS Co. , 471 F.3d 1293, 1304 ...


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