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Diamondback Industries, Inc. v. Repeat Precision, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

November 7, 2019

DIAMONDBACK INDUSTRIES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
REPEAT PRECISION, LLC, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          JOHN MCBRYDE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Came on for consideration the partial motion to dismiss by defendants, Kingdom Downhole Tools, LLC, Trea H. Baker, and Justice Baker. The court, having considered the motion, the response, the reply, the record, and applicable authorities, finds that such motion should be denied.

         I.

         Background

         On August 26, 2019, plaintiff, Diamondback Industries, Inc., filed its first amended complaint, wherein it asserted, inter alia, claims of patent infringement and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), 17 U.S.C. § 1202(b), against defendants. Doc.[1] 65 at 22-23. On September 6, 2019, defendants filed the partial motion to dismiss plaintiff's first amended complaint, arguing for the dismissal of the DMCA claim for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and of the patent infringement claim for failure to join a necessary-party. Doc. 69. On November 6, 2019, defendants withdrew the motion as to the patent infringement claim. Doc. 82.

         II.

         Grounds of the Motion

         Defendants assert that plaintiff's DMCA cause of action should be dismissed for failure to state a claim for which relief may be granted because copyright registration, which plaintiff admits it lacks, is a prerequisite for bringing suit under the DMCA. DOC 69 at 9; Doc . 74 at 12 .

         III.

         Legal Standards

         Rule 8(a)(2} of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides, in a general way, the applicable standard of pleading. It requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief," Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), "in order to give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal quotation marks and ellipsis omitted) . Although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, the "showing" contemplated by Rule 8 requires the plaintiff to do more than simply allege legal conclusions or recite the elements of. a cause of action. Id. at 555 & n.3. Thus, while a court must accept all of the factual allegations in the complaint as true, it need not credit bare legal conclusions that are unsupported by any factual underpinnings. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009) ("While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.")

         Moreover, to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief may be granted, the facts pleaded must allow the court to infer that the plaintiff's right to relief is plausible. Id., at 678. To allege a plausible right to relief, the facts pleaded must suggest liability; allegations that are merely consistent with unlawful conduct are insufficient. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 566-69. "Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief . . . [is] a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. A court may dismiss a claim where a plaintiff fails to meet a prerequisite to filing suit. See, e.g., Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, 139 S.Ct. 881, 892 (2019) .

         IV.

...


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