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Judge Burke recommends denial of motions to dismiss direct infringement allegations

Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke recently considered motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim filed by defendants in three of eight related cases brought by Custom Media Technologies. Custom Media Technologies LLC v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al., C.A. Nos. 13-1420-LPS-CJB , 13-1425-LPS-CJB, 13-1426-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Feb. 10, 2014). Defendants moved to dismiss Charter’s claims of direct infringement, arguing that Claim 1 of the patent-in-suit relates to “‘customizing and distributing presentations for user sites[,]’ and not to ‘DVR technology [accused of infringement], which allows television viewers to watch and record television programming.'” Id. at 4. Although Charter’s pleading was only required to meet the minimal requirements of Form 18, defendants argued that the Federal Rules, including Form 18, was not satisified, equating the situation at hand to a “a plaintiff stat[ing] that its patent covered an electric motor and that the defendent infringed because he sells cakes.” Id. at 5. Judge Burke disagreed. “Plaintiff has accused a general category of products and services (here, ‘DVR devices and DVR service’ provided to cable television customers) of infringement. No more specificity . . . is required by Form 18.” Id. Moreover, Form 18 only requires a “basic description” of the patentee’s invention, “so long as there is a plausible basis to believe that the nature of what the patent covers might be infringed by the accused products.” Id. Although Charter’s allegations were “admittedly sparse,” they were plausible. “[T]he Court cannot say that it is implausible, for example, that Defendants’ DVR devices and services work in conjunction with thei cable television services to perform the steps of the method in Claim 1[.]” Id. at 6.

Custom Media Technologies LLC v. Charter Communications, Inc., C.A. No. 13-1420-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Feb. 10, 2…

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