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Industrial Technology Research Institute v. Lg Electronics, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

February 5, 2015

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant,
v.
LG ELECTRONICS, INC., and LG ELECTRONICS U.S.A., INC., Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs. and LG DISPLAY CO., LTD., Intervenor.

ORDER: (1) DENYING INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR WANT OF SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION; (2) VACATING HEARING DATE [ECF No. 143]

GONZALO P. CURIEL, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is Plaintiff Industrial Technology Research Institute's ("ITRI") Motion to Dismiss for Want of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. (ECF No. 143.) Intervenor LG Display Co., Ltd. ("LGD") opposes. (ECF No. 171.)

The parties have fully briefed the motions. (ECF Nos. 143, 171, 179.) The Court finds the motion suitable for disposition without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Upon review of the moving papers, admissible evidence, and applicable law, the Court DENIES ITRI's Motion to Dismiss for Want of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

II. BACKGROUND

On August 29, 2013, ITRI filed a complaint against LG Electronics, Inc. and LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc. (collectively, "LGE") alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6, 163, 355 (the "355 patent"). (ECF No. 1.) On June 26, 2014, ITRI filed a First Amended Complaint (the "FAC"). (ECF No. 35.) On July 14, 2014, LGE filed an answer to the FAC, including three counterclaims under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02 for declaratory judgments of: (1) invalidity, (2) unenforceability, and (3) non-infringement. (ECF No. 37 ¶ 40.)

On July 29, 2014, LGD filed a motion to intervene as supplier to LGE. (ECF No. 47.) On October 17, 2014, the Court granted LGD's motion to intervene as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a)(2). (ECF No. 101.) On October 21, 2014, LGD filed its complaint in intervention alleging two causes of action: (1) a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of the '355 patent, and (2) a declaratory judgment of unenforceability of the '355 patent. (ECF No. 108.)

On December 3, 2014, ITRI filed this motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 143.) On January 9, 2015, LGD filed an opposition to ITRI's motion. (ECF No. 171.) On January 23, 2015, ITRI filed a reply to LGD's opposition. (ECF No. 179.)

III. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows courts to dismiss based on "lack of subject matter jurisdiction." FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(1). Jurisdictional attacks under Rule 12(b)(1) are either "facial" or "factual." White v. Lee, 227 F.3d 1214, 1242 (9th Cir. 2000). "In a facial attack, the challenger asserts that the allegations contained in a complaint are insufficient on their face to invoke federal jurisdiction. By contrast, in a factual attack, the challenger disputes the truth of the allegations that, by themselves, would otherwise invoke federal jurisdiction." Safe Air for Everyone v. Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039 (9th Cir.2004).

"Article III of the Constitution confines the federal courts to adjudicating actual cases' and controversies.'" Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 750 (1984). Such cases and controversies are identified by the doctrine of standing. Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560. There are three requirements to Article III standing: (1) "injury in fact, " (2) causation, and (3) redressability. Id. at 560-61. The Declaratory Judgment Act allows plaintiffs to file causes of action where an "actual controversy" exists, 28 U.S.C. § 2201(a), which is identical to an Article III case or controversy. Aetna Life Ins. Co. of Hartford, Conn. v. Haworth, 300 U.S. 227, 239-41 (1937).

IV. DISCUSSION

There are two requirements for a party seeking to intervene to assert a cause of action: (1) it must have met the requirements to intervene, and (2) it must have standing to assert its cause of action. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 24; Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560 (1992). The parties dispute whether there exists a third requirement: an independent jurisdictional basis. ( Compare ECF No. 179, at 1 with ECF No. 171, at 5-6.) The ...


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