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Videx, Inc. v. Triteq Lock and Security, LLC

United States District Court, D. Oregon

May 8, 2014

VIDEX, INC., an Oregon Civ. corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
TRITEQ LOCK AND SECURITY, LLC, ROYAL VENDORS, INC., CRANE MERCHANDISING SYSTEMS, INC., dba DIXIE-NARCO, INC., and SANDENVENDO AMERICA, INC., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANN AIKEN, District Judge.

Plaintiff alleges claims of direct and indirect infringement against defendants under 35 U.S.C. ยง 271. Defendants now move to dismiss plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim or to strike certain claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b) (6) and (f). The motion to dismiss is granted.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff is an Oregon corporation in the business of designing and manufacturing electronic access control products. Plaintiff is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 6, 564, 600 (the 600 Patent), which is directed to an electronic access control device. These devices are installed in doors, safes, vending machines and other storage containers.

Defendant TriTeq Lock and Security, LLC (TriTeq) is in the business of making, using and selling electronic access control devices. TriTeq's customers include defendants Royal Vendors, Inc., Crane Merchandising Systems, Inc., dba Dixe-Narco, Inc., and Sandenvendo America, Inc. (the customer defendants). The customer defendants manufacture and/or distribute vending machines.

On November 29, 2011, plaintiff filed suit against TriTeq alleging direct infringement of the 600 Patent. Plaintiff alleged that several of TriTeq's devices practice the technology claimed in the 600 Patent. See Compl. at 3. Plaintiff subsequently amended its complaint to add claims of direct infringement against the customer defendants arising from their sales of vending machines that incorporate the allegedly infringing TriTeq products. First Am. Compl. at 4-6. Plaintiff later added claims of indirect infringement against TriTeq based on its sales of allegedly infringing products and components to the customer defendants. Second Am. Compl. at 5-6.

In early 2013, TriTeq successfully sought reexamination of the 600 Patent before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). See Docs. 86, 102. The 600 Patent claims subject to reexamination were the same patent claims asserted by plaintiff in this litigation. Pursuant to a joint stipulation, the case was stayed during the reexamination.

On October 21, 2013' the PTO issued a reexamination certificate for the 600 Patent; the reexamination resulted in the cancellation of two original independent claims, amendment of seven claims, and issuance of ninety-two new claims. Joint Status Report at 2 (Oct. 22, 2013) (doc. 115). As a result, defendants maintain that "all of the allegedly infringed claims of the original patentin-in-suit no longer exist in any substantially identical form[, and] there can be no infringement or damages related to any product sales, use or manufacturing activity occurring before the Reexamination Certificate was issued." Id . at 3.

On November 15, 2013, the parties filed a Joint Status Report and provided their respective positions on how the case should proceed. Plaintiff requested an additional three-week stay of the case to continue settlement discussions. Defendants renewed "their request for this Court to require Plaintiff to file an Amended Complaint, if it has a reasonable basis to do so, to provide fair notice to the Defendants of what its new infringement claims are, if any." Joint Status Report at 3 (Nov. 15, 2013) (doc. 117). Plaintiff was ordered to file an amended complaint, and the case was not stayed.

On December 20, 2013, plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint, and all defendants move to dismiss plaintiff's claims for failure to state a claim or to strike certain claims.

STANDARD

A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted is a purely procedural question not pertaining to patent law." McZeal v. Sprint Nextel Corp. , 501 F.3d 1354, 1355-56 (Fed. Cir. 2007). Thus, district courts should apply nthe law of the regional circuit" when resolving a motion to dismiss. Id . at 1356 (citation omitted).

In the Ninth Circuit, a complaint is construed in favor of the plaintiff, and its factual allegations are taken as true. Daniels-Hall v. Nat'l Educ. Ass'n , 629 F.3d 992, 998 (9th Cir. 2010). However, the court need not accept as true "allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences." Id . Rather, "for a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the non-conclusory factual content, ' and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief." Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv. , 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, ...


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