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Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Technology Berhad

United States District Court, N.D. California

May 1, 2015

JOHNSTECH INTERNATIONAL CORP., Plaintiff,
v.
JF TECHNOLOGY BERHAD, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS Re: Dkt. Nos. 30, 57.

JAMES DONATO, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

In this patent infringement case, Defendants JF Technology Berhad ("JF Technology"), JF Microtechnology SDN BHD ("JF Microtechnology"), and JFoong Technologies SDN BHD ("JFoong") have filed two motions to dismiss. The first asks the Court to dismiss the claims for inducement of patent infringement and willful patent infringement, which the Court grants in part and denies in part. The second motion asks the Court to dismiss JF Technology for lack of personal jurisdiction, and is granted.

DISCUSSION

Defendants filed motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal jurisdiction and Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim.

I. PERSONAL JURISDICTION

Defendants do not dispute that the Court has personal jurisdiction over JF Microtechnology but contend it lacks personal jurisdiction over JFoong and JF Technology. The Court previously granted defendants' motion to dismiss JFoong for lack of personal jurisdiction. Dkt. No. 45. The Court also granted Johnstech's request to conduct jurisdictional discovery. Id. Johnstech did so, and has filed a renewed motion asking the Court to find that JF Technology is the alter ego of JF Microtechnology. Dkt. No. 57. Under Doe v. Unocal Corp., 248 F.3d 915, 926 (9th Cir. 2011), Johnstech has not met its burden of making out a prima facie case that "there is such unity of interest and ownership that the separate personalities [of the two entities] no longer exist and... that failure to disregard [their separate identities] would result in fraud or injustice." The jurisdictional facts Johnstech proffers are weak on their own and a far cry from the much more fulsome record in Unocal that the Ninth Circuit found insufficient. The motion to dismiss JF Technology for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted.

II. FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

A. Legal Standard

A complaint may be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) when it fails to meet Rule 8(a)'s requirement to make "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." To avoid dismissal under Rules 8(a) and 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). "A claim has facial plausibility when the pleaded factual content 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) (citing Twombly at 556). "[F]or a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief." Moss v. U.S. Secret Service, 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 677).

If the Court dismisses a complaint, it "should grant leave to amend even if no request to amend the pleading was made, unless it determines that the pleading could not possibly be cured by the allegation of other facts." Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1130 (9th Cir. 2000) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

B. Inducement of Infringement

Defendants ask the Court to dismiss plaintiff's allegations of indirect infringement. Whoever "actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer." 35 U.S.C. ยง 271(b). "[I]nducement requires that the alleged infringer knowingly induced infringement and possessed specific intent to encourage another's infringement." DSU Med. Corp. v. JMS Co., 471 F.3d 1293, 1306 (Fed. Cir. 2006). To survive defendants' motion to dismiss, plaintiff's amended complaint "must contain facts plausibly showing that [defendants] specifically intended their customers to infringe the [866] patent and knew that the customer's acts constitute infringement." In re Bill of Lading Transmission, 681 F.3d 1323, 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2012). Defendants argue that Johnstech has not pled facts showing the necessary specific intent for infringement by inducement.

Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint ("FAC") states that defendants, with actual knowledge ...


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