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Bel Fuse Inc. v. Molex Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 16, 2014

BEL FUSE INC., ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
MOLEX INCORPORATED, Defendant

Page 558

Appearances: Andrew P. Nemiroff, Esq., David Benjamin Sunshine, Esq., COZEN O'CONNOR, New York, NY, Attorneys for Plaintiffs Bel Fuse Inc., Bel Fuse LTD., Bel Fuse (Macau Commercial Offshore) LTD., Bel Connector Inc., and Bel Transformer Inc.

David E. De Lorenzi, Esq., Charles H. Chevalier, Esq., GIBBONS PC, Newark, NJ, Attorneys for Defendant Molex Incorporated.

OPINION

Page 559

HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court upon Defendant's motion to dismiss claims of patent infringement in Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). [Docket Item 15.]

Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' allegations are so overbroad they do not state a plausible claim of direct or induced infringement as needed to satisfy minimal pleading standards. Defendant also argues that Plaintiffs fail to plead the required elements to state a claim for contributory infringement.

For the reasons discussed below, the Court will deny Defendant's motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint alleges that magnetic jacks manufactured, used, offered for sale, sold or imported by Defendant infringe three separate patents owned by Plaintiffs: U.S. Patent No. 7,123,117 (the " '117 patent" ); U.S. Patent No. 5,736,910 (the " '910 patent" ); and U.S. Patent No. 6,840,817 (the " '817 patent" ) (collectively, the " patents-in-suit" ). (Am. Compl. [Docket Item 11] ¶ ¶ 10-13.) The three patents-in-suit involve connectors that link computers to other computers or networks, and each patent is directed to a different connector technology.

Patent '117 includes 13 claims and the first claim is

[a] magnetic interface circuit which comprises:
a transformer having a first winding connected to a first circuit and second winding connected to a second circuit each of the first and second windings having two output ports and at least one of the windings having a center tap port; and
a 3-wire common mode choke having a center winding and two outer windings, the center winding being connected to the center tap of the at least one winding and the outer windings being respectively connected to the output ports of the, at least one winding.

(Am. Compl. Ex. A at col. 7, 29-40.)

Patent '910 includes 22 claims and describes " [a] modular jack connector mounted on a main printed circuit board and having a receptacle into which a modular plug of an electronic component is inserted." (Am. Compl. Ex. B at 1.) The first claim is

[a] modular connector for mounting on a main printed circuit board and for receiving a plug, comprising

Page 560

a housing,
a first set of contacts, arranged in said housing each adapted to engage one of the contacts of the plug,
a second set of contacts at least partially arranged in said housing and adapted to engage the main printed circuit board,
a contact coupling printed circuit board for electrically coupling said first and second set of contacts, said contact coupling printed circuit board providing a signal path between respective ones of the first and second sets of contacts,
a capacitor comprising a flexible laminate assembly including first and second flexible conductive sheet members and an intermediate insulative material, said first conductive sheet member being electrically coupled to said contact coupling printed circuit board, and
a metallic shield at least partially surrounding said housing for connecting to a grounding region on the main printed circuit board, said second conductive sheet member being electrically coupled to said metallic shield to ...

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