By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in IP Communication Solutions, LLC v. Viber Media (USA) Inc., Civil Action No. 16-134-GMS (D.Del. April 5, 2017), the Court granted in part Defendant’s motion to dismiss complaint for failure to state a claim. Specifically, the Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss as to Plaintiff’s claim of induced infringement but denied Defendant’s motion as to Plaintiff’s claim of direct infringement. Id. at *7 and 9.
In denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss as to Plaintiff’s claim of direct infringement, the Court concluded that Plaintiff had met its burden under Twombly/Iqbal. Id. at *4. The Court distinguished this case from the cases cited by Defendant and concluded that Plaintiff’s claim chart plausibly alleged how Defendant’s network-based system provides VoIP services in a way that meets all of the claim limitations of the patent-in-suit. Id. at *6. Thus, the Court noted that it was unclear how, in this circumstance, Plaintiff could have been any more specific about what aspects of Defendant’s technology infringe the identified claim limitations of the patent-in-suit. Id.
In granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss as to Plaintiff’s claim of induced infringement, the Court concluded that Plaintiff failed to provide facts that would allow the Court to reasonably infer that Defendant had the specific intent to induce infringement. Id. at *7. In other words, the complaint failed to allege facts supporting how Defendant specifically instructed or directed customers to use Defendant’s application and corresponding server system in a manner that would infringe the patent-in-suit. Id. at *8. Thus, Plaintiff did not meet its pleading burden with respect to its claim for induced infringement. Id. at *8-9.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.
The general takeaway is that Form 18 no longer provides the proper measure for the sufficiency of a complaint that alleges infringement. Plaintiffs in infringement action need to be mindful to plead enough specific facts in their claims to meet the requirements of Twombly/Iqbal.