United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO STRIKE Re: Dkt. 45,
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court are defendant Apple's motions to strike
plaintiffs' (“Uniloc”) First Amended
Complaint (Dkt. 45) and to dismiss plaintiffs' Complaint
(Dkt. 57). The matter is fully briefed and suitable for
decision without oral argument. Accordingly, the hearing set
for these two motions on April 11, 2018 is VACATED. Having
read the parties' papers and carefully considered their
arguments and the relevant legal authority, and good cause
appearing, the court hereby rules as follows.
30, 2017, Uniloc filed its original Complaint in this action
in the Eastern District of Texas, asserting infringement of
patents. Dkt. 1. On August 11, 2017, Apple filed a motion to
dismiss Uniloc's Complaint. Dkt. 17. On August 22, 2017,
this action was consolidated with other cases in the Eastern
District of Texas, with the Lead Case determined to be Case
No. 2:17-cv-00470-JRG (now 18-cv-00362-PJH). Dkt. 23.
October 4, 2017, Uniloc and Apple filed a Joint Motion for
Entry of an Agreed Docket Control Order. Uniloc USA, Inc.
v. Apple Inc., Case No. 18-cv-00362-PJH (N.D. Cal.),
Dkt. 40. The court entered the Joint Agreed Docket Control
Order on October 5, 2017. Id., Dkt. 42. That Docket
Control Order controlled this case. It reflected that the
court consented to any pleading amendments through February
12, 2018, so long as the amendments did not assert new
patents. Id. at 3.
December 22, 2017, the Texas district court granted
Apple's motion to transfer the consolidated cases to the
Northern District of California. Dk. 32. On January 12, 2018,
this case was transferred to the Northern District of
California. Dkt. 32. On January 17, 2018, this case was
assigned to Magistrate Judge Laporte. Dkt. 34. On January 25,
2018, Magistrate Judge jurisdiction was declined. Dkt. 36. On
January 26, 2018, this case was reassigned to Judge Tigar.
Dkt. 38. Uniloc filed its Amended Complaint on January 30,
2018. Dkt. 40. On February 21, 2018, this case was related
with case 18-cv-00361, and on February 22, 2018, it was
reassigned to this court. Dkts. 49-50.
Motion to Strike
12(f) provides that the “court may strike from a
pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant,
immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12. The function of a motion to strike is to
“avoid the expenditure of time and money that must
arise from litigating spurious issues by dispensing with
those issues prior to trial.” Whittlestone, Inc. v.
Handi-Craft Co., 618 F.3d 970, 973 (9th Cir. 2010)
(citation and internal quotation marks omitted). To determine
whether to grant a motion to strike under Rule 12(f), the
court considers whether the matter the moving party seeks to
have stricken is (1) an insufficient defense; (2) redundant;
(3) immaterial; (4) impertinent; or (5) scandalous.
Id. at 973-74.
to strike are not favored and “should not be granted
unless it is clear that the matter to be stricken could have
no possible bearing on the subject matter of the
litigation.” Colaprico v. Sun Microsystem,
Inc., 758 F.Supp. 1335, 1339 (N.D. Cal. 1991). When a
court considers a motion to strike, it “must view the
pleadings in a light most favorable to the pleading
party.” In re 2TheMart.com, Inc. Sec. Litig.,
114 F.Supp. 2d 955, 965 (C.D. Cal. 2000).
moves to strike Uniloc's amended complaint based on
arguments that Uniloc violated Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 15. Rule 15 provides in relevant part that “A
party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course
within . . . 21 days after service of a responsive pleading
or 21 days after service of a motion under Rule 12(b), (e),
or (f), whichever is earlier . . . [or] with the opposing
party's written consent or the court's leave. The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)-(2). Apple argues that
Uniloc did not obtain Apple's consent nor the court's
leave to file an amended complaint after the 21-day deadline
had passed. Apple further argues that, even if the district
court in Texas granted Uniloc leave to file the amended
complaint, the schedule providing that leave became
inapplicable after the case was transferred. Dkt. 45 at 4.
argue that the court's October 5, 2017 order permitted
amended pleading through February 12, 2018, so long as Uniloc
did not assert additional patents. Dkt. 51 at 1-2. Uniloc
filed its amended pleadings ...