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In re Papst Licensing GMBH & Co. KG Litigation

March 26, 2009

IN RE PAPST LICENSING GMBH & CO. KG LITIGATION
THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO:
PAPST
v.
KONICA MINOLTA HOLDINGS, INC. AND KONICA MINOLTA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS USA, D.D.C. 08-CV-1404 (N.D. ILL. NO. 08-CV-3606)



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rosemary M. Collyer United States District Judge

MDL Docket No. 1880

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Papst Licensing GMBH & Co. KG ("Papst") filed a complaint against Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. ("KMBUS") alleging that KMBUS infringed two patents owned by Papst, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,470,399 and 6,895,449 (the "Patents") by selling or importing digital cameras in the United States. KMBUS moves for judgment on the pleadings. Because KMBUS is not in the business of manufacturing or selling digital still cameras, Papst's Complaint will be dismissed

I. FACTS

Papst filed a Complaint against KMBUS alleging in pertinent part:

10. Upon information and belief the Konica-Minolta Defendants*fn1 have made, used, sold, or offered to sell to numerous customers in the United States or have imported into the United States digital cameras which infringe the Patents in Suit.

11. A reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery is likely to provide evidentiary support that the Konica-Minolta Defendants have actively induced others and/or contributed to the infringement of the Patents in Suit.

Compl. ¶¶ 10 & 11. The Complaint is bare bones; it does not alleges any facts in support of these allegations.

Contrary to Papst's allegation that KMBUS manufactured, sold, or imported digital cameras, KMBUS indicates that it has not ever made, sold, or imported digital still cameras; it sells business equipment. Jonathan M. Remshak, Senior Corporate Counsel of KMBUS, indicated in his Declaration:

2. KMBUS is in the business of selling business equipment, such as printers, copiers, fax machines, and software solutions.

3. KMBUS is not now, nor has it ever been, involved in the digital still camera ("DSC") business. KMBUS has never made, sold, or imported DSCs. KMBUS did not have control over or association with Konica Minolta's now-discontinued DSC business.

Decl. of Jonathan M. Remshak (Remshak Decl.) [Dkt. # 278] ¶¶ 2 & 3. Two different Konica corporate entities were responsible for manufacturing digital cameras and selling them in the United States: Konica Minolta Photo Imaging, Inc. ("KMPI") manufactured digital cameras and Konica Minolta Photo Imaging U.S.A., Inc. ("KMPUS") sold digital cameras in the United States. See KMHD's Reply [Dkt. # 236] at 1 n.1. Both KMPI and KMPUS left the digital camera business in April 2006. Id.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

KMBUS seeks dismissal pursuant to a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c). Rule 12(c) provides, "[a]fter the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay trial - a party may move for judgment on the pleadings." A motion for judgment on the pleadings is treated as one for summary judgment, however, where the moving party asks the court to take into consideration matters outside the pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d) (on a 12(c) motion, if matters outside the pleadings are presented and not excluded, a court must treat the motion as one for summary judgment under Rule 56); see also McGovern v. Martz, 182 F. Supp ...


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