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Gradient Enters., Inc. v. Skype Techs. S.A.

United States District Court, W.D. New York

March 25, 2013

GRADIENT ENTERPRISES, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
SKYPE TECHNOLOGIES S.A., et al., Defendants

For Gradient Enterprises, Inc., Plaintiff: Donald W. O'Brien, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, Rochester, NY; Dennis B. Danella, PRO HAC VICE, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, Rochester, NY.

For Skype Technologies S.A., Skype, Inc., Defendants: Michael B. Eisenberg, Stefan R. Stoyanov, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, New York, NY; Douglas E. Lumish, Parker C Ankrum, PRO HAC VICE, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP, Redwood Shores, CA.

For Skype, Inc., Skype Technologies S.A., Counter Claimants: Stefan R. Stoyanov, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, New York, NY; Douglas E. Lumish, Parker C Ankrum, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP, Redwood Shores, CA.

For Gradient Enterprises, Inc., Counter Defendant: Donald W. O'Brien, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, Rochester, NY; Dennis B. Danella, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP, Rochester, NY.

Page 448

DECISION AND ORDER

DAVID G. LARIMER, United States District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Gradient Enterprises, Inc. (" Gradient" ), a New York corporation, commenced this patent infringement action against defendant Skype Technologies S.A. (" Skype S.A." ) and Skype, Inc., which are, respectively, a foreign corporation based in Luxembourg and a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in California.

Gradient owns U.S. Patent No. 7,669,207 (" the patent" or " '207 patent" ), which was issued in 2010 for a " Method for Detecting, Reporting and Responding to Network Node--Level Events and a System Thereof." The claimed invention relates generally to technology concerning computer networks.

In the original complaint, Gradient pleaded three causes of action, for damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief, based on allegations of direct, induced and contributory infringement. In March 2012, the Court issued a decision and order, 848 F.Supp.2d 404, familiarity with which is assumed, granting defendants' motion to dismiss, on the ground that the complaint did not contain detailed enough allegations to state a facially valid claim. The Court dismissed the complaint without prejudice, and granted plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint that complies

Page 449

with federal pleading rules and standards. Id. at 410.

Plaintiff filed an amended complaint in April 2012 (Dkt. #38). The amended complaint asserts five causes of action, for: (1) direct infringement; (2) induced infringement; (3) contributory infringement; (4) injunctive relief; and (5) declaratory relief. The first three causes of action all seek money damages.

Defendants answered the complaint in April 2012 (Dkt. #41), asserting three counterclaims, seeking a judgment of (1) noninfringement; (2) invalidity of the patent; and (3) unenforceability on the grounds of laches and/or estoppel. Dkt. #41 ¶ ¶ 10-12. Gradient ...


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