Snap-On Inc. v. Robert Bosch, LLC, No. 09 C 6914, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. July 11, 2012) (Kocoras, J.).
Judge Kocoras denied defendants’ Beissbarth GmbH (“Beissbarth”) and Robert Bosch, GmbH’s (“Bosch Germany”) (collectively “German Defendants”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. As an initial matter, the court denied plaintiff Snap-On’s argument that the motion was an improper Rule 12(b) motion pursuant to Rule 12(g)(2) because the German Defendants previously filed a Rule 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Court ordered limited jurisdictional discovery prior to deciding that motion. That discovery had become “highly contested.” The German Defendants sought and received the Court’s leave to file this Rule 12(b)(6) motion because were the motion granted, it would have removed the need for that discovery. The Rule 12(b)(6) motion, therefore, was not filed for dilatory purposes and it promoted the policies behind Rule 12(g).
Of particular note, the Court held the following with respect to the Rule 12(b)(6) motion:
- General allegations that all defendants directly infringed were sufficient. Snap-On was not required to make separate infringement allegations as to each defendant by name.
- Snap-On’s claim that the German Defendants used the product in Illinois was sufficient to plead direct infringement.
- Snap-On was not estopped from pursuing inducement claims based upon Snap-On’s statements to the Court regarding claiming direct infringement against the German Defendants. Those statements were about direct infringement as opposed to joint infringement claims, and had no bearing upon indirect infringement claims.
- Snap-On’s allegations were sufficient to plead inducement. Snap-On alleged the German Defendants worked with defendant Robert Bosch USA to develop, price, and market the accused products and that Snap-On sent Bosch a warning letter prior to the US introduction of the accused product. Snap-On’s failure to use the words “induce” or “inducement” did not doom its claim because Snap-On still pled the elements of inducement.