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Brandywine Commun. Tech., Inc. v. T-Mobile USA, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 10-24-2012
Case #:  6:12–cv–272–Orl–36DAB
Honeywell
Full Text Opinion: http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=13531948415531330017

Patents: Where knowledge is an essential element of a patent infringement claim, the defendant must have been aware of the patent's existence before litigation was instigated in order for that element to be satisfied.

Opinion (Honeywell): Brandywine filed a complaint against 24 companies, claiming they had induced infringement, contributorily infringed, willfully infringed, and jointly infringed its ‘922 and ‘717 patents. The court severed the case into separate actions, and T-Mobile moved to dismiss. The court held that the defendant must have had knowledge of the patents before litigation was initiated for the requirement to be met. Brandywine’s complaint failed to allege T-Mobile knew the patents existed prior to the suit, and its argument that T-Mobile was made aware of the patents’ existence by the original suit (before severance) was rejected. To prove T-Mobile’s infringement, Brandywine needed to have plead facts showing T-Mobile intended that its customers infringe the patents, knew that their actions constituted infringement, or had pre-suit knowledge of the patents. Brandywine’s contributory and willful infringement claims failed along similar lines. In addition to Brandywine’s failure to identify the specific, infringing products, its argument that the contracts between Brandywine and its phone providers were sufficient to established T-Mobile’s control was rejected. Accordingly, all of Brandywine’s claims were DISMISSED.