PRAGMATUS TELECOM, LLC v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY Civil Action No. 12-92-RGA.
PRAGMATUS TELECOM, LLC, Plaintiff, v. FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.
United States District Court, D. Delaware.
July 5, 2012.
RICHARD G. ANDREWS, District Judge.
Before the Court is a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. (D.I. 14). The motion seeks dismissal of all claims of direct and indirect infringement.
The Plaintiff in its First Amended Complaint (D.I. 12) asserts that three patents are infringed, all of which are captioned similarly: "Method and System for Coordinating Data and Voice Communications via Customer Contact Channel Changing System [Using Voice Over IP]." The amended complaint is 6 pages long.
The relevant facts alleged in the amended complaint are: Pragmatus owns the three patents. (D.I. 12, ¶¶ 1, 10). The patents "relate to automated call distribution centers. [O]ne or more servers provides network service to a customer, including a remote help option selectable by the customer (e.g., "click to chat"). Upon selection of the remote help option, a help request is sent to a call center identifying a way in which the customer can be reached. The customer can then be contacted and the help request handled correctly and efficiently." (Id., ¶ 9). The accused "systems include, for example, Ford Motor's live chat and related customer service communication channels." (Id., ¶ 11). Ford Motor has knowledge of the patents since January 27, 2012, when the original complaint in this case was filed. (Id., ¶ 13). Ford Motor's customers "that engage Ford's live chat and related customer service functionality provided on its web site(s) [two of which are identified by URL] and in its contact center(s) are encouraged to infringe." (Id., ¶ 14). In addition to the facts, there are boilerplate allegations regarding direct, (and, less obviously) induced and contributory infringement, allegations of jurisdiction, and a request for damages and an injunction.
The minimal allegations set forth in the counts against the defendant are all that are required to satisfy Form 18 and to state a claim of direct infringement. See In re Bill of Lading Transmission and Processing System Patent Litigation, 681 F.3d 1323, ___, 2012 WL 2044605, *7 (Fed. Cir. June 7, 2012) ("whether [a complaint] adequately pleads direct infringement is to be measured by the specificity required by Form 18.").
The allegations are insufficient to state a claim for indirect infringement. See generally id. The allegation of contributory infringement states, in relevant part, that the defendant "contributorily infringe[s] the patents by knowingly making, providing, and/or distributing" infringing systems "including the functionality discussed herein." (Id., ¶ 15). There is no allegation that the defendant "offers to sell or sells . . . or imports" the functionality or anything else. See 35 U.S.C. § 271(c). It seems pretty apparent that the Plaintiff has no basis to make such an allegation against Ford. The allegations about the infringing systems "constitut[ing] a material part of the claimed inventions and are not staple articles of commerce suitable for substantial non-infringing use" are supported by no facts. (Id., ¶ 15). In regard to both forms of indirect infringement, there are no allegations of direct infringement
Thus, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED this
1. The Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is
- No Cases Found