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Drone Labs, LLC v. Dedrone Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 12, 2019

DRONE LABS, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
DEDRONE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS DOCKET NO. 45

          EDWARD M. CHEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Drone Labs, LLC has sued Defendant Dedrone Holdings, Inc. for patent infringement. The patent at issue is the ‘018 patent. Previously, the Court granted Dedrone's motion to dismiss the first amended complaint (“FAC”) but with leave to amend. Drone thereafter filed its second amended complaint (“SAC”) and Dedrone now moves to dismiss the SAC. According to Dedrone, Drone has failed to adequately plead direct patent infringement - i.e., Drone has not pled that the accused products meet all of the limitations of the relevant claims. See SAC ¶¶ 40-41 (alleging that Dedrone infringes on claim 1 of the ‘018 patent, the only independent claim, as well as claims 2-10, which are all dependent claims). Dedrone further argues that dismissal is warranted because the ‘018 patent does not cover patent eligible subject matter. Having considered the parties' briefs and accompanying submissions, as well as the oral argument of counsel, the Court hereby GRANTS Dedrone's motion.

         I. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The ‘018 patent is titled “System for identifying drones.” In the ‘018 specification, the abstract explains that the invention is “[a] system for identifying a drone . . . adapted to determine a base threat value for a drone” - ultimately, so that “the user can determine whether the drone is a friend or foe.” ‘018 patent, abstract. The full text of the abstract is as follows:

A system for identifying a drone is adapted to determine a base threat value for a drone. The system includes a scanning system, configured to obtain data that is stored in a pattern database. A timer that has a data structure for storing a counter initialized to a predetermined value, the time being operable to iteratively increment the counter if the counter value is less than a time increment. A microprocessor is programmed with instructions to receive information from the scanning system about the drone. Then, to store the information in a pattern database. After that, to determine a base threat value of the drone based on the information stored in the pattern database. Finally, to communicate the base threat value to a user so that the user can determine whether the drone is a friend or foe.

‘018 patent, abstract.

         The ‘018 patent has only one independent claim, i.e., claim 1. (The remaining claims, claims 2-10, are dependent claims.) Claim 1 reads as follows:

1. A system for identifying a drone is adapted to determine a base threat value for a drone; the system comprising:
a scanning system, wherein the scanning system obtains data that is then stored in a pattern database;
a timer; the timer having a data structure for storing a counter initialized to a predetermined value, the timer being operable to iteratively increment the counter if the counter value is less than a timer increment;
a microprocessor, programmed with instructions to:
receive information from the scanning system about the drone;
store the information in a pattern database;
determine a base threat value of the drone based on the information stored in ...

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