F2VS Technologies, LLC v. Aruba Networks, Inc.
MEMORANDUM ORDER: The Motion to Dismiss (12 in 17-cv-754-RGA) is GRANTED; The Motion to Dismiss (13 in 17-cv-756-RGA) is GRANTED; and Joinder (11 in 17-cv-1713-RGA) is DENIED. Signed by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 4/10/2018. Associated Cases: 1:17-cv-00754-RGA, 1:17-cv-00756-RGA, 1:17-cv-01713-RGA(nms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELA WARE
F2VS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC,
Civil Action No. 17-cv-0754-RGA
ARUBA NETWORKS, INC.,
F2VS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC,
Civil Action No. 17-cv-0756-RGA
RUCKUS WIRELESS, INC.,
F2VS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC,
Civil Action No. 17-cv-1713-RGA
DAINTREE NETWORKS, INC.,
Presently before the Court are Defendant Aruba Networks, Inc.'s motion to dismiss
Plaintiffs first amended complaint ("FAC") (C.A. No. 17-754, D.I. 12), Defendant Ruckus
Wireless, Inc.'s. motion to dismiss Plaintiffs FAC (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 13), and Defendant
Daintree's joinder in the motions to dismiss filed by Defendants Aruba and Ruckus. (C.A. No. 171713, D.I. 11). 1 The issues have been fully briefed. (D.I. 13, 14, 15; C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 14,
15, 17; C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11, 13, 14). For the reasons stated herein, Aruba's and Ruckus's
motions are GRANTED, and Daintree'sjoinder is DENIED.
On June 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed patent infringement actions against Defendants Aruba
Networks, Inc. (D.I. 1) and Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 1). On November 28,
2017, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant Daintree Networks, Inc. (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1).
Ruckus filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint on August 9, 2017 (C.A. No. 17756, D.I. 9), and Aruba filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiffs complaint on September 20, 2017.
(D.I. 8). Plaintiff filed a FAC against Ruckus on August 23, 2017 (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 12), and
filed a FAC against Aruba on October 4, 2017 (D.I. 11). Following service of Plaintiffs amended
complaints, Ruckus (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 13) and Aruba (D.I. 12) each filed motions to dismiss
Plaintiffs FACs. On February 8, 2018, Daintree filed ajoinder in Aruba's and Ruckus's motions
to dismiss. (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11).
Plaintiff accuses each Defendant of infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7,379,981 ("the '981
patent"); 8,700,749 ("the '749 patent"); and 8,855,019 ("the '019 patent") owned by Plaintiff.
(D.1.11,iJ l;C.A.No.17-756,D.I.12,iJ l;C.A.No.17-1713,D.I. l,iJ 1). Plaintiff asserts claims
of direct infringement and induced infringement. (E.g., D.I. 11,
D.I. 12, iJiJ 13-14; C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1, iJiJ 13-14).
All docket item references in this opinion are to C.A. No. 17-754 unless otherwise specified.
C.A. No. 17-756,
Rule 8 requires a complainant to provide "a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief .... " Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) allows the accused
party to bring a motion to dismiss the claim for failing to meet this standard. A Rule 12(b)(6)
motion may be granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and
viewing them in the light most favorable to the complainant, a court concludes that those
allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." Bell At!. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 558 (2007).
"Though 'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a complaint must do more than
simply provide 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action."' Davis v. Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). I am "not required to credit bald assertions or legal conclusions improperly
alleged in the complaint." In re Rockefeller Ctr. Props., Inc. Sec. Litig., 311F.3d198, 216 (3d
Cir. 2002). A complaint may not be dismissed, however, "for imperfect statement of the legal
theory supporting the claim asserted." See Johnson v. City ofShelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 346 (2014).
A plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has "substantive plausibility."
Id at 347. That plausibility must be found on the face of the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged." Id Deciding whether a claim is plausible will "be a context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id at 679.
A. Direct Infringement
The parties dispute whether Plaintiffs F AC against Aruba has adequately pled direct
infringement claims. (D.I. 13 at 14-16; D.I. 14 at 12-14). Plaintiff accuses several Aruba outdoor
and indoor wireless routers of infringing the claims, asserting that Aruba's mesh routers satisfy
the "gateway" limitation. (D.I. 11,
ilil 11, 13). The asserted claims, however, are directed to a
wireless network comprising a group of wireless network nodes and one or more gateways that
provide a communication access point between one or more of the nodes and an external network.
(E.g., '019 patent, claim 1). Though a router may be an essential part of a network, I do not think
it is plausible to claim that a router itself is a network. Therefore, router sales do not form the basis
for a cognizable direct infringement claim. It is possible, however, that a router may be used in a
network that infringes the asserted claims. But Plaintiff has failed to plead facts that would support
a plausible inference that Aruba or Aruba's customers have used any of the accused routers in a
network that infringes the asserted claims. Plaintiff alleges only that unidentified customers use
Aruba's products "in establishing and using mesh systems" without reciting facts to support the
allegation that a mesh system would infringe the asserted claims. (D.I. 11,
if 14). 2
I find this
insufficient to establish a direct infringement claim against Aruba or its customers.
Plaintiffs allegations against Ruckus are similar, accusing certain Ruckus access points of
meeting the "virtual nodes" and "gateway" limitations, and accusing certain Ruckus controllers of
meeting the "gateway" limitation. (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 12, if 13). Even assuming that Ruckus's
For factual support that Aruba's customers' use of the accused products is infringing, Plaintiff cites, in wholesale
fashion, Exhibits D, F, and G to the Aruba FAC. (D.1. 11, ~ 14). Together, these exhibits total roughly 75 pages.
Rule 8 requires that the complaint on its face must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. S(a). A plaintiff may not rely on exhibits attached to the complaint as a
substitute for pleading facts sufficient to demonstrate its entitlement to relief. I will not parse through Plaintiffs
roughly 75 pages of exhibits to determine if there are facts stated therein that may support the claims in Plaintiffs
controllers and access points can be used to form a network, the sale of these components
individually does not plausibly amount to direct infringement. Plaintiff has not pled sufficient
facts to support its claim that the accused products are used in a way that would form an infringing
Plaintiffs allegations that specific Ruckus customers directly infringe contain no
explanation of why those customers infringe. (Id.
14 ("[C]ustomers that have purchased and/or
used the Accused Products, including the Snowbird Resort and Baruch College, constitute direct
infringers.")). Plaintiffs allegation that Ruckus assists its customers in using the accused products
"in establishing and using mesh systems" is insufficient to support a plausible claim of direct
infringement for the same reason discussed with respect to Aruba.
Defendant Daintree argues that Plaintiff"makes substantially the same allegations of direct
and indirect infringement against Daintree as against Aruba and Ruckus other than substituting
exemplary products of Daintree for those of Aruba and Ruckus." (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11 at
1). Plaintiffs complaint against Daintree is more similar to Plaintiffs FAC against Ruckus than
to Plaintiffs FAC against Aruba. As in the Ruckus F AC, Plaintiff accuses specific Daintree
products (in Daintree' s ControlScope Wireless Lighting Controls Portfolio) of meeting both the
"virtual nodes" limitation (various wireless area controllers, wireless adapters, and wireless
sensors, and a wireless thermostat) and the "gateway" limitation (certain wireless area controllers).
(C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 1, ~~ 11, 13). For the same reasons discussed with respect to Aruba and
Ruckus, Daintree' s sales of these components individually is insufficient to establish a claim for
direct infringement by Daintree.
Unlike the Ruckus FAC, however, I find that Plaintiffs
complaint against Daintree pleads sufficient facts to support its claim that Daintree customers use
the accused products in a way that infringes the claims. Plaintiffs complaint against Daintree
references a Daintree Networks publication3 describing the National Bank of Arizona's use of
Daintree's ControlScope product line to automate functions such as HVAC and lighting in the
bank's Prescott, Arizona location. (See
20 n.2, ~ 26 n.3). Implementing Daintree's
ControlScope product line provided the National Bank of Arizona the ability to monitor the
lighting and HV AC systems remotely and the ability to "take action immediately based on the real
time information and reports." Case Study: National Bank of Arizona Achieves Huge Energy
.currentbyge .com/files/documents/document_file/Case-Study-Daintree-N etworks-N ational-Bank
-of-Arizona.pdf. Therefore, I conclude that Plaintiff has provided sufficient facts to support its
claim that the National Bank of Arizona, a Daintree customer, directly infringes the asserted patent
claims. The Daintree publication also touts the "fast installation" of the ControlScope system,
noting that, "[t]he installation at the three thousand square foot Prescott facility [of the National
Bank of Arizona] was completed in less than two days." Id I conclude that this provides factual
support for Plaintiffs claim that Daintree uses a system that directly infringes the asserted claims
because it makes plausible the assertion that Daintree is involved in installing ControlScope
systems for its customers.
Therefore, I will dismiss without prejudice Plaintiffs direct infringement claims against
Aruba and Ruckus, but not against Daintree.
B. Indirect Infringement
Under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), "whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be
liable as an infringer." In order to plead induced infringement, the patentee "must show direct
Though it is not attached as an exhibit to Plaintiffs complaint against Daintree, the complaint cites this two-page
Daintree case study to support each of its induced infringement claims. I thus find it appropriate to consider this case
study in deciding Daintree's joinder in Aruba's and Ruckus's motions to dismiss.
infringement, and that the alleged infringer knowingly induced infringement and possessed
specific intent to encourage another's infringement." Toshiba Corp. v. Imation Corp., 681 F.3d
1358, 1363 (Fed. Cir. 2012). To survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a plaintiff must
plead facts "plausibly showing that [the defendant] specifically intended [a third party] to infringe
[the asserted patents] and knew that the [third party's] acts constituted infringement." In re Bill of
Lading, 681F.3d1323, 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2012).
Since Plaintiff has failed to adequately plead a direct infringement claim in its FACs
against Aruba and Ruckus, Plaintiffs induced infringement claims against these Defendants are
not plausible. Plaintiff has failed to provide any facts supporting its direct infringement claims
against third parties ("customers" in the Aruba FAC, and "Snowbird Resort" and "Baruch College"
in the Ruckus FAC). Accordingly, I will dismiss Plaintiffs induced infringement claims against
Aruba and Ruckus without prejudice.
By contrast, Plaintiffs complaint against Daintree plausibly alleges that Daintree's
customers, including the National Bank of Arizona, directly infringe the asserted claims. (C.A.
No. 17-1713, D.I. 1,
The complaint further asserts that Daintree had knowledge of the
asserted patents and its customers' infringement as of the date the complaint was served. (Id).
According to the complaint, Daintree induces infringement by its customers (such as the National
Bank of Arizona) because Daintree provides the accused products to its customers and provides
support for the accused products, despite its knowledge of the asserted patents. (Id). I find this
sufficient to establish a plausible claim for induced infringement against Daintree.
For the reasons stated above, Aruba's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs FAC (D.I. 12) and
Ruckus's motion to dismiss Plaintiffs FAC (C.A. No. 17-756, D.I. 13) are GRANTED with leave
to replead. Plaintiff has three weeks to file second amended complaints against Aruba and Ruckus.
I DENY Daintree's joinder (C.A. No. 17-1713, D.I. 11) in the motions to dismiss filed by Aruba
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/0 day of April, 2018.
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