United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE DEFENDANT’S
MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. 5)
LAWRENCE J. O’NEILL UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT TO PARTIES AND
in the Eastern District of California carry the heaviest
caseloads in the nation, and this Court is unable to devote
inordinate time and resources to individual cases and
matters. Given the shortage of district judges and staff,
this Court addresses only the arguments, evidence, and
matters necessary to reach the decision in this order. The
parties and counsel are encouraged to contact the offices of
United States Senators Feinstein and Boxer to address this
Court’s inability to accommodate the parties and this
action. The parties are required to reconsider consent to
conduct all further proceedings before a Magistrate Judge,
whose schedules are far more realistic and accommodating to
parties than that of U.S. Chief District Judge Lawrence J.
O'Neill, who must prioritize criminal and older civil
trials set before Chief Judge O'Neill trail until he
becomes available and are subject to suspension mid-trial to
accommodate criminal matters. Civil trials are no longer
reset to a later date if Chief Judge O'Neill is
unavailable on the original date set for trial. Moreover,
this Court's Fresno Division randomly and without advance
notice reassigns civil actions to U.S. District Judges
throughout the nation to serve as visiting judges. In the
absence of Magistrate Judge consent, this action is subject
to reassignment to a U.S. District Judge from inside or
outside the Eastern District of California.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL
Mike Murphy’s Enterprises, Inc. (“MMEI”)
owns United States Patent No. 6, 234, 099 (“the
‘099 Patent”), which MMEI claims Defendant
Fineline Industries, LLC (“Fineline”) has
infringed. Doc. 1, Complaint (“Compl.”), at 5.
MMEI claims Fineline makes boats, known as the
“Supreme” and “Centurion” models,
that “come within the scope of at least one claim of
the ‘099 Patent, and/or that comes within a range of
equivalents of at least one claim of the ‘099 Patent,
and/or contribut[e] to the infringing activities of others in
the form of their use of the Supreme and/or Centurion boats
having systems within the scope of at least one claim of the
‘099 Patent.” Id. at ¶ 16. Because
MMEI asserts this conduct infringes the ‘099 Patent,
MMEI brings one claim for patent infringement under 35 U.S.C.
§§ 271 et seq. Id. at 5-6.
moves to dismiss the claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for
failure to state a claim. Doc. 5. Fineline asserts
MMEI’s complaint fails to provide any facts as to how
Fineline has allegedly infringed the ‘099 Patent.
See Doc. 5-1 at 3.
STANDARD OF DECISION
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) is a challenge to the sufficiency of the allegations
set forth in the complaint. A 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper
where there is either a “lack of a cognizable legal
theory” or “the absence of sufficient facts
alleged under a cognizable legal theory.” Balisteri
v. Pacifica Police Dept., 901 F.2d 696, 699 (9th Cir.
1990). In considering a motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim, the court generally accepts as true the
allegations in the complaint, construes the pleading in the
light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and
resolves all doubts in the pleader’s favor. Lazy Y.
Ranch LTD v. Behrens, 546 F.3d 580, 588 (9th Cir. 2008).
survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the plaintiff 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 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).
“The plausibility standard is not akin to a
‘probability requirement, ’ but it asks for more
than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556). “While a complaint attacked by a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations, a Plaintiff’s obligation to provide the
‘grounds’ of his ‘entitlement to
relief’ requires more than labels and conclusions, and
a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(internal citations omitted). Thus, “bare
assertions...amount[ing] to nothing more than a
‘formulaic recitation of the elements’...are not
entitled to be assumed true.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 681. “[T]o be entitled to the presumption of truth,
allegations in a complaint...may not simply recite the
elements of a cause of action, but must contain sufficient
allegations of underlying facts to give fair notice and to
enable the opposing party to defend itself
effectively.” Starr v. Baca, 652 F.3d 1202,
1216 (9th Cir. 2011). In practice, “a complaint...must
contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting
all the material elements necessary to sustain recovery under
some viable legal theory.” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 562; see also Starr, 652 F.3d at 1216 (“the
factual allegations that are taken as true must plausibly
suggest an entitlement to relief”).
complaint is woefully insufficient to state a claim for
patent infringement. MMEI provides no facts to explain in any
detail how Fineline allegedly infringed the ‘099
Patent. MMEI simply alleges that Fineline’s products
did so without any explanation. “Merely naming a
product and providing a conclusory statement that it
infringes a patent is insufficient to meet the
‘plausibility’ standard set forth in
Twombly and Iqbal.” Medsquire LLC
v. Spring Med. Sys., Inc., No. 2:11-cv-4504-JHN-PLA,
2011 WL 4101093, at *3 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 31, 2011).
MMEI’s patent infringement claim therefore fails.
MMEI’s opposition-the substance of which is two
paragraphs long and makes no argument beyond stating in a
wholly conclusory manner that MMEI has stated a patent
infringement claim-does not alter this conclusion.
CONCLUSION AND ORDER
foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS WITH LEAVE TO AMEND
Fineline’s motion to dismiss (Doc. 5). MMEI shall file
any amended complaint on or before September 4, 2016. This
Court is giving MMEI one time to file an adequate amended
pleading. Failure to read the law that is cited ...