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Oakwood Laboratories, LLC v. Thanoo

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 23, 2019

OAKWOOD LABS., LLC, Plaintiff,
THANOO, et al., Defendants.


          PETER G. SHERIDAN, U.S.D.J.

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs Third Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 71). This Court has previously dismissed iterations of Plaintiff s complaint three times without prejudice. (See ECF Nos. 34, 46, 67).

         This Court has provided Plaintiff with several opportunities to amend its Complaint to allege more facts regarding Defendants' alleged misappropriation and use of Plaintiff's trade secrets, but, yet again, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim. For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is granted and Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.


         This Court's prior opinions have discussed the underlying facts and procedural history in detail and will be adopted here. (See ECF Nos. 34, 46, 67). In addition, because many of the facts in Plaintiff's First and Second Amended Complaints mirror those of its Third Amended Complaint, this Court will only discuss the new facts that Plaintiff asserts in its Third Amended Complaint.

         On a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court is required to accept as true all allegations in the Complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and to view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 230 (3d Cir. 2008). "To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Ail. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The Third Circuit has set forth a three-part analysis for determining whether a complaint may survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim:

First, the court must "tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim." Second, the court should identify allegations that, "because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Finally, "where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief."

Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010).

         "This means that [the] inquiry is normally broken into three parts: (1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the inquiry are sufficiently alleged." Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011). While a court will accept well-pleaded allegations as true for the purposes of the motion, it will not accept bald assertions, unsupported conclusions, unwarranted inferences, or sweeping legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; see also Morse v. Lower Merion School District, 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). A complaint should be dismissed only if the well-pleaded alleged facts, taken as true, fail to state a claim. See In re Warfarin Sodium, 214 F.3d 395, 397-98 (3d Cir. 2000). The question is whether the claimant can prove any set of facts consistent with his or her allegations that will entitle him or her to relief, not whether that person will ultimately prevail. Semerenko v. Cendant Corp., 223 F.3d 165, 173 (3d Cir.), cert, denied, 531 U.S. 1149 (2001).

         Furthermore, "[t]he pleader is required to 'set forth sufficient information to outline the elements of his claim or to permit inferences to be drawn that these elements exist."" Kost v. Kozakewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993) (quoting 5A Wright & Miller, Fed. Practice & Procedure: Civil 2d § 1357 at 340). "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do, .... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level, ... on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact), ...." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (internal citations and quotations omitted).


         In this case, Defendants argue that the Third Amended Complaint has not offered any new factual allegations which would demonstrate that they allegedly used or misappropriated Oakwood's trade secrets and what the purported trade secrets were. (Defs.' Br. in Support of Mot. to Dismiss, 8, ECF No. 71-1). Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has failed to specify what detriment it has allegedly suffered. (Id.). In response, Plaintiff argues that it has sufficiently identified its trade secrets and has sufficiently plead Defendants' misappropriation and use of Oakwood's trade secrets. (See Pl.'s Opp'n Br., 20-31, ECF No. 74).

         Although Plaintiffs Third Complaint is more compelling than its previous ones, this Court nonetheless finds that Plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged new factual allegations to support its claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and tortious interference with a contract. Accordingly, Defendant's motion to dismiss is granted.

         Counts I and II - ...

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