U.S. Ethernet Innovations, LLC v. Samsung, et al., 6:12cv398 (2/6/13)
Judge: John Love
Holding: Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Claims for Failure to State a Claim and for Improper Joinder Recommended Denied
A defendant in this case filed a motion seeking two things: (1) dismissal of the plaintiff's claims for failure to state a claim because it claimed the plaintiff's allegation that the product at issue used Samsung's "System-on-Chips" was false; and (2) dismissal of the case for improper joinder under the AIA.
As to the first issue, the defendant attached a declaration attesting to the falsity of the allegation at issue, but Judge Love declined to inquire into the truth of the allegations at the pleadings stage, citing caselaw to the effect that "“the allegations in the complaint must be liberally construed in favor of the plaintiff, and all facts pleaded in the complaint must be taken as true" and held that the plaintiff's allegations formed the basis of a claim that was "plausible on its face."
As to the second issue, the defendant asserted that joinder was not proper because the two defendants named in the suit were competitors, citing a 2012 Florida case, Motorola Mobility. Judge Love distonguished the case because that case involved "similar products," while in this case the same product was at issue (a product by defendant 1 that incorporates defendant 2's chip) thus satisfying the "same product" prong of the AIA's joinder provision. The Court noted that the joinder issue was resolved on the pleadings because it was part of a motion to dismiss and stated that "[s]hould facts arise under discovery that would re-urge the Court's calculation of joinder" the defendant could present those to the Court at the proper time.