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Anza Technology, Inc. v. Arris Group, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 5, 2017

ANZA TECHNOLOGY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ARRIS GROUP, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS (ECF No. 35)

          Hon. Roger T. Benitez United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Defendant ARRIS Group, Inc.'s (“ARRIS”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff Anza Technology, Inc.'s (“Anza”) Second Amended Complaint for patent infringement for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Mot., ECF No. 35.) ARRIS argues that the Second Amended Complaint does not plead sufficient facts to state a plausible claim for infringement. Anza opposes the motion. (Opp'n, ECF No. 36.) For the following reasons, the Court DENIES the Motion to Dismiss.

         BACKGROUND [1]

         I. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Anza Technology, Inc. “is a designer, manufacturer and seller of bonding tools, [electrostatic discharge] tools and other products directed to the manufacture and assembly of electronics, in particular the bonding of electrostatic-sensitive devices.” (SAC ¶ 6, ECF No. 32.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant's products infringe certain method claims in two patents, U.S. Patent No. 7, 124, 927 (“the '927 patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 7, 389, 905 (“the '905 patent”) (collectively, the “Asserted Patents”). Anza is owner, by assignment, of the entire right, title, and interest in and to both patents. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11.)

         The '927 patent is entitled “Flip Chip Bonding Tool and Ball Placement Capillary, ” and the allegedly infringed independent claim 16 is directed to a “method of utilizing a flip chip bonding tool and ball placement capillary in a microelectronic assembly.”[2] (Id. Ex. A.) The '905 patent is entitled the “Flip Chip Bonding Tool Tip.” (Id. Ex. B.) Plaintiff alleges infringement of independent claims 53 and 55, which are directed to a “method for using a flip chip bonding tool in microelectronic assembly” and a “method of using an electricaLy [sic] dissipative flip chip bonding tool lip [sic], having a resistance in the range of 102 and 1012 ohms, ” respectively.[3] (Id.)

         Defendant ARRIS Group, Inc. “designs, manufactures, assembles and/or imports products that depend on high density integrated circuit (‘IC') chips that are manufactured and mounted on printed circuit boards using a ‘flip chip' bonding process that require special electrostatic discharge (‘ESD') handling in the Accused Products' assembly process.” (Id. ¶ 8.) In other words, Defendant's products include components made by the patented method. The Defendant's Accused Products include but are not limited to:

its router, modem, transmitter, receiver, and transponder products and systems that utilize integrated circuit chips that were mounted on printed circuit boards using a ‘flip chip' bonding process and sold under the ‘ARRIS' brand or as manufactured and sold under other brands (the ‘Accused Products'). These products include, but are not limited to the following products and/or product families: Ruckus ZoneFlex, Ruckus Smartcell Gateway, and Touchstone Telephony Gateway wi-fi routers; Touchstone and SURFboard cable modems; C4 Cable Modem Termination Systems and associated modules, including, without limitation, C4-RCM-01000W, C4-SCM-02440/-02441/-03441, and FCM-30640W modules; E6000 Converged Edge Routers; the AT and PWRLink II family of transmitters; DR3021, DR3421 and RDR 4002 digital receivers; DX3515 digital transponders; and the Pace HLP4800 products with built in transmitters and receivers.

(Id. ¶ 9.) “The ICs of the Accused Products that are bonded according to the claimed methods include one or more of the following brands: Atheros, Broadcom, Celeno, Conexant, CSR, Envara, Intersil, Lantiq, Marvell, MediaTek, Ralink, Realtek Texas Instruments, Quantenna and/or Wilocity.” (Id. ¶14.)

         The complaint explains how the ICs of the Accused Products are assembled using the patented method. (Id. ¶¶ 15-21, 27-32.) Based on those allegations, Plaintiff alleges that the “Accused Products, alone or in combination with other products, directly or alternatively, under the doctrine of equivalents, infringe each of the limitations of independent claim 16 of the '927 patent [and independent claims 53 and 55 of the '905 patent] in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(g) when Defendant imports into the United States or offers to sell, sells, or uses within the United States a product which is made by the processes described.” (Id. ¶¶ 13, 25.)

         II. The Court's Prior Dismissal Order

         In its November 4, 2016 Order, the Court granted ARRIS's motion to dismiss, finding that the First Amended Complaint failed to plead facts that showed how the Accused Products plausibly infringe the Asserted Patents. The Court explained that it could not determine how Anza's allegations plausibly alleged infringement. The Court informed Anza that it needed to explain how ARRIS's products infringe the Asserted Patents so as to give ARRRIS notice of the infringement claims.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) must be granted where the pleadings fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Court evaluates whether a complaint supports a cognizable legal theory and states sufficient facts in light of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), which requires a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” A plaintiff must not merely allege conceivably unlawful conduct but rather 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 is facially plausible ‘when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'” Zixiang Li v. Kerry, 710 F.3d 995, 999 (9th Cir. 2013) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not ...


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