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Ryoo Dental, Inc. v. Han

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 9, 2015

Ryoo Dental, Inc.,
v.
Thomas D. Han DMD et al.

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

JOSEPHINE L. STATON, District Judge.

PROCEEDINGS: (IN CHAMBERS) ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Doc. 19)

Before the Court is Defendant Thomas D. Han, DMD's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. (Mot., Doc. 19.) Plaintiff Ryoo Dental, Inc. opposed, and Han replied. (Opp., Doc. 22; Reply, Doc. 24.) Having read and considered the papers and taken the matter under submission, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

I. INTRODUCTION

The First Amended Complaint alleges the following facts:

Plaintiff Ryoo Dental, Inc. comprises the dental practice of Victor Ryoo. (FAC, Doc. 17, ¶¶ 5, 10.) Ryoo's services include "general dentistry, dental implant therapy, teeth whitening, veneer application, and Invisalign treatment." (Id. ¶10.)

Ryoo created a website to market, promote, advertise, exploit, and solicit its dental services and products to consumers. (Id. ¶¶ 12-13.) To promote the website, Ryoo spent considerable sums on "search engine optimization fees, photographing, editing, and updating content and maintaining its webpage." (Id. ¶ 14.)

Around May 2012, Ryoo learned its website had lost its first page search ranking on Google. (FAC ¶ 20.) Ryoo hired a search engine optimization firm to remedy this. (Id. ¶ 22.) The firm informed Ryoo that Defendant Thomas D. Han, DMD, an Anaheim dentist, had copied content from Ryoo's website and placed it on his own website. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 23.) The firm further informed Ryoo that Google's algorithm was designed to "penalize" plagiarized websites and had lowered Ryoo's search ranking because of Han's copying. (Id. ¶ 23.) In addition, Ryoo alleges Han received "direct and indirect profits that [he] would not have realized but for" copying Ryoo's website. (Id. ¶ 36.)

On February 24, 2015, Ryoo filed a Complaint against Han in this Court. (Compl., Doc. 1.)

On May 8, 2015, Ryoo filed the operative First Amended Complaint, asserting claims against Han for (1) copyright infringement in violation of 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., (2) conversion, (3) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, (4) false advertising in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500 et seq., (5) unfair competition in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., (6) unjust enrichment, and (7) accounting. (FAC ¶¶ 41-84.)

Han now moves to dismiss Ryoo's state-law claims on the grounds that they are preempted by the federal Copyright Act. (Mot.) Han also moves to dismiss Ryoo's request for attorneys' fees and punitive damages. (Id.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD

When evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all allegations of material facts that are in the complaint and must construe all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Moyo v. Gomez, 40 F.3d 982, 984 (9th Cir. 1994). Dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim is not proper where a plaintiff has alleged "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 complaint must (1) "contain sufficient allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to enable the opposing party to defend itself effectively, " and (2) "plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief, such that it is not unfair to require the opposing party to be subjected to the expense of discovery and continued litigation." Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202, 1216 (9th Cir. 2011). "Although for the purposes of a motion to dismiss [the Court] must take all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, [it] [is] not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

In considering a motion to dismiss, the Court is limited to the allegations on the face of the complaint (including documents attached thereto), matters which are properly judicially noticeable, and "documents whose contents are alleged in a complaint and whose authenticity no party questions, but which are not physically attached to the pleading." Branch v. Tunnell, 14 F.3d 449, 453-54 (9th Cir. ...


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