By Memorandum Order entered in IPVenture Inc. v. Lenovo Group, Limited, et al., Civil Action No. 11-588-RGA (D.Del., January 8, 2013), the Honorable Richard G. Andrews granted in substantial part the motions of defendant Dell and other defendants seeking the dismissal of the claims of indirect infringement and willfulness asserted in the Second Amended Complaint of plaintiff IPVenture Inc. (“IPVenture”).
A complete copy of the Memorandum Order is attached.
In short, in its Second Amended Complaint, IPVenture asserted that defendants were infringing four patents – all of which concern thermal and power management for computer systems. Although the Second Amended Complaint is 81 pages long, its allegations are in material respects, the same as to all defendants. The Court had previously dismissed similar claims of indirect infringement and willfulness in IPVenture’s First Amended Complaint without prejudice.
Defendants’ asserted four grounds of dismissal in their motions to dismiss: (1) the indirect infringement claims did not properly allege direct infringement by defendants’ customers; (2) the indirect infringement claims did not properly allege defendants’ intent that their customers infringe the patents and knew that their customers actions would constitute infringement; (3) contributory infringement was not properly alleged; and (4) the allegations of willfulness were not sufficient. Id. at 3.
Upon evaluation of defendants’ motions and the factual allegations contained in the Second Amended Complaint, the Court noted that, although the Complaint nearly doubled in size, almost nothing of substance was added. Id. at 5. The Court rejected defendants’ first asserted basis for dismissal noting that the allegations of direct infringement as to defendants’ customer do not have to identify specific customers. Id. at 4. The Court accepted defendants’ remaining bases for dismissal finding insufficient factual allegations of the required knowledge of defendants prior to the filing of the lawsuit and/or that defendants acted in an improper manner despite any required knowledge. Id. at 4-5. Given that the Court had previously dismissed the claims of indirect infringement and willfulness without prejudice, this time the Court dismissed the claims of indirect infringement (except those as to post-filing of Complaint) and willfulness as to three of the asserted patents (except those as to post-filing of Complaint) with prejudice. Id. at 5.