United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION (DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
E. Hudson United States District Judge.
a patent infringement action involving what appears from the
face of the Complaint, and attached exhibits,  to be a series of
machine-to-machine communication platforms designed for
tracking and monitoring the location and status of widely
dispersed fleet vehicles and related mobile assets. The
lawsuit consists of five separate but interrelated patents.
These specific patents-in-suit include the following:
1. U.S. Patent No. 6, 292, 724 ("the '724
patent") (entitled "Method Of And System And
Apparatus For Remotely Monitoring The Location, Status,
Utilization And Condition Of Widely Geographically
[Dispersed] Fleets of Vehicular Construction Equipment And
The Like And Providing And Displaying Such Information")
(Compl. ¶ 21, ECFNo. 1);
2. U.S. Patent No. 6, 611, 686 ("the '686
Patent") (entitled "Tracking Control And Logistics
System And Method") (Compl. ¶ 27);
3. U.S. Patent No. 6, 651, 001 ("the '001
Patent") (entitled "Method Of And System And
Apparatus For Integrating Maintenance Vehicle And Service
Personnel Tracking Information With The Remote Monitoring Of
The Location, Status, Utilization And Condition Of Widely
Geographically Dispersed Fleets Of Vehicular Construction
Equipment And The Like To Be Maintained, And Providing And
Displaying Together Both Construction And Maintenance Vehicle
Information") (Compl. ¶ 38);
4. U.S. Patent No. 6, 735, 150 ("the '150
Patent") (entitled "Method Of And Apparatus For
Distinguishing Engine Idling And Working Hours") (Compl.
5. U.S. Patent No. 8, 855, 626 ("the '626
Patent") (entitled "Wireless Control For Creation
Of, And Command Response To, Standard Freight Shipment
Messages") (Compl. ¶ 51).
matter is presently before the Court on Defendant CalAmp
Corp.'s Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (ECF No. 16). Defendant
CalAmp Corp. ("CalAmp") challenges the sufficiency
of the Complaint on two fronts. First, CalAmp alleges that
the patents-in-suit are abstract ideas ineligible as a matter
of law to be patented. Secondly, CalAmp maintains that the
Complaint fails to state a plausible claim of patent
infringement. Both parties have filed memoranda of law and
supplemental authorities outlining their respective
stage of the proceedings, the Court's analysis is
informed and constrained by the four corners of the Complaint
and attached exhibits. As required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
the Court assumes that Plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations
are true and is required to review all facts in the light
most favorable to Orbcomm, Inc. ("Orbcomm").
T.G. Slater & Son, Inc. v. Donald P. and
Patricia A. Brennan LLC, 385 F.3d 836, 841 (4th Cir.
2004) (citing Mylan Labs. Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993)). Because the task at hand
involves a pre-claim construction black letter review of the
Complaint and patents-in-suit, oral argument would not aid in
the decisional process at this stage.
their atypical complexity, motions to dismiss patent
infringement complaints are governed by the same
well-recognized standards employed in any other civil case.
As the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
explained in Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin,
"[a] motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the
sufficiency of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve
contests surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir.
1992). The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "requires
only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to
'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is
and the grounds upon which it rests.'" BellAtl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47
(1957)). A complaint need not assert "detailed factual
allegations, " but must contain "more than labels
and conclusions" or a "formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action." Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citations omitted). Thus, the "[f]actual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level" id. (citation omitted),
to one that is "plausible on its face, "
id. at 570, rather than merely conceivable.
reviewing court must consider the well-pleaded allegations as
true and view the complaint in the light most favorable to
Plaintiff, legal conclusions enjoy no such deference.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
before turning to the sufficiency of the Complaint, CalAmp
urges the Court to find the patents-in-suit to be
conceptually ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Such
motions are appropriate at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage.
Content Extraction & Transmission LLC v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 776 F.3d 1343, 1349 (Fed.
Cir. 2014). Challenges to the validity of a patent face a
high hurdle. Noting nearly a century of seamless
jurisprudence, the United States Supreme Court in
Microsoft v. i4i Limited Partnership stated
that "there is a presumption of [patent] validity [that
is] not to be overthrown except by clear and cogent
evidence." 564 U.S. 91, 101 (2011) (citations omitted).
maintains that the patents at issue involve abstract ideas
such as gathering, storing, processing, formatting, and
transmitting data. According to CalAmp, Orbcomm attempts to
patent this ineligible subject matter by merely adding
conventional sensors, computers, and network equipment.
Succinctly, CalAmp contends that the patents involved in this
litigation are merely attempts to patent ineligible subject
matter, namely abstract ideas, through ineligible means,
namely adding a generic computer.
to CalAmp, "[n]one of Orbcomm's claims focuses on
improving GPS technology or on the chips inside the GPS
receivers; they merely use the GPS receiver as a black-box
generic device to implement the claimed abstract ideas."
(Def.'s Reply Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss at 7, ECF No. 22.)
Therefore, CalAmp seeks invalidation of all five patents
based on a facial challenge to the patents and accompanying
support their claim that the patents-in-suit are simply
abstract ideas built on conventional technology, CalAmp
relies on Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS
Banklnt'l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014). Section 101 of the
Patent Act describes the subject matter eligible for patent
protection. It provides: "[w]hoever invents or discovers
any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or
composition of matter, or any new or useful improvement
thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the
conditions and requirements of this title." Id.
at 2354 (citing 35 U.S.C. § 101).
Supreme Court in Alice explained that Section 101
had "an important implicit exception: Laws of nature,
natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not
patentable." Id. (citing Ass 'n for
Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.,
133 S.Ct. 2107, 2116 (2013)). It noted that "[l]aws of
nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are 'the
basic tools of scientific and technological work.'"
Alice, 134 S.Ct. at 2354 (citing Myriad,
133 S.Ct. at 2116).
Court further counseled in Alice that
"[monopolization of those tools through the grant of a
patent might tend to impede innovation more than it would
tend to promote it." Alice, 134 S.Ct. at 2354
(citing Mayo Collaborative Servs. v.Prometheus
Labs., Inc.,132 S.Ct. 1289, 1293 (2012)). The Court in
Alice, however, dispensed with the notion that a
patent is rendered ineligible "simply because it
involves an abstract concept." Id. (citing
Diamond v.Diehr,450 U.S. 175, 187
(1981)). "[Amplication[s] of such concepts 'to a new
and useful end, ' we have said, ...