Eclipse IP LLC ("Eclipse") filed several patent infringement actions against a number of defendants, in which it alleged indirect infringement (both inducing and contributory) as well as willfulness. The district court sua sponte issued an order regarding the indirect infringement claims as well as the willfulness allegations.
The district court analyzed the recent Federal Circuit decision that addressed the knowledge requirements for indirect infringement claims. "As discussed in length in the recent decision in Labyrinth Optical Technologies, LLC v. Fujitsu America, Inc., the Federal Circuit has recently resolved whether a defendant must have this knowledge before litigation begins. 8:13-cv-00030-AG-MLG (C.D. Cal. Aug. 21, 2013), ECF No. 33. In In re Bill of Lading Transmission & Processing System Patent Litigation, the Federal Circuit held that the plaintiff had met the knowledge requirement to bring an indirect infringement claim when it provided notice of the patent via service of the original complaint. 681 F.3d 1323, 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2012); accord Labyrinth, 8:13-cv-00030-AG-MLG, slip op. at 8-9 (analyzing Bill of Lading's treatment of this issue in detail and holding patent-holder sufficiently alleged defendant's knowledge in amended complaint based on service of original complaint); Eon Corp. IP Holdings, LLC v. Sensus USA, Inc., No. C-12-1011 EMC, 2012 WL 4514138, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 1, 2012) (holding that in Bill of Lading, post-complaint knowledge is sufficient). Thus, to meet this knowledge requirement in pleading indirect infringement, Plaintiff need not necessarily allege Defendants' pre-suit knowledge of the patents. However, what knowledge Plaintiff does allege must still be plausible."