Lighting Science Group Corporation v. Cree, Inc.
ORDER denying Defendant's 31 Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Claim of Willful Infringement. Signed by Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. on 7/22/2013. (RMN)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
LIGHTING SCIENCE GROUP
Case No. 6:13-cv-587-Orl-37GJK
This cause is before the Court on Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Claim
of Willful Infringement (Doc. 31), filed July 1, 2013, and Plaintiff’s Opposition to
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 36), filed July 17, 2012.
In this patent infringement action, Plaintiff is the holder of a patent claiming low
profile lights. Defendant is a competing manufacturer of such lights. Among other
things, the Amended Complaint alleges that one of Defendant’s products is sold in
direct competition to a product made by Plaintiff. (Doc. 25, ¶ 9.) The Amended
Complaint also alleges that Plaintiff’s product is identified on its internet website as a
commercial embodiment of the patent’s claims. (Id.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) provides that a complaint must contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” The
pleader must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “[D]etailed factual allegations” are
not required, but mere “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements
of a cause of action” are not enough. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). On a
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a court “accept[s] the
allegations in the complaint as true and constru[es] them in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff.” Hill v. White, 321 F.3d 1334, 1335 (11th Cir. 2003).
Defendant contends that the Amended Complaint does not allege sufficient facts
to support Plaintiff’s allegation that it willfully infringed the patent claims. Plaintiff rejects
this contention, arguing that the factual allegations of the Amended Complaint are
sufficient for one to infer that Defendant had knowledge of the patent.
The Federal Circuit has held that, because willfulness does not equate to fraud, a
patent holder need only satisfy the requirements of Rule 8(a)(2). Mitutoyo Corp. v.
Central Publishing, LLC, 499 F.3d 1284, 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Because the Amended
Complaint contains facts from which one can infer Defendant knew of the patent prior to
the filing of this action, and because one does not have to plead knowledge with
particularity, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b), the motion is due to be denied.
Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that Defendant’s Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Claim of Willful Infringement (Doc. 31) is DENIED.
DONE AND ORDERED in Chambers in Orlando, Florida, on July 22, 2013.
Counsel of Record
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