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TruePosition, Inc. v. LM Ericsson Telephone Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

October 9, 2013

TRUEPOSITION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
LM ERICSSON TELEPHONE COMPANY (TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON), QUALCOMM, INC., ALCATEL-LUCENT USA, INC., EUROPEAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS STANDARDS INSTITUTE, and THIRD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT a/k/a 3GPP, Defendants

Page 463

For TRUEPOSITION, INC., Plaintiff: JOHN G. HARKINS, JR., LEAD ATTORNEY, HARKINS CUNNINGHAM, PHILADELPHIA, PA; NNEKA I. UKPAI, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, AYMERIC DUMAS-EYMARD, DAVID GOLDEN, DOUGLAS ROSENTHAL, SETH GREENSTEIN, PRO HAC VICE, CONSTANTINE CANNON LLP, WASHINGTON, DC; ALYSIA SOLOW, GORDON SCHNELL, TALINE SAHAKIAN, PRO HAC VICE, CONSTANTINE CANNON LLP, NEW YORK, NY; COLLEEN HEALY SIMPSON, EVELYN ROSE MARIE PROTANO, HARKINS CUNNINGHAM LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

For THIRD GENERATION PARTNERSHIP PROJECT, also known as 3GPP, Defendant: RICHARD S. TAFFET, LEAD ATTORNEY, DEREK CARE, WILLIAM S. CRAVENS, BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP, WASHINGTON, DC; STEPHEN W. ARMSTRONG, MONTGOMERY MCCRACKEN WALKER & RHOADS LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

For LM ERICSSON TELEPHONE COMPANY, (TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON), Defendant: STEVEN E. BIZAR, LEAD ATTORNEY, BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY P.C., PHILADELPHIA, PA; ARMAN Y. ORUC, CONOR A. REIDY, PRO HAC VICE, SIMPSON THAHER & BARTLETT LLP, WASHINGTON, DC; KEVIN J. ARQUIT, PERI L. ZELIG, PRO HAC VICE, SIMPSON THATCHER & BARTLETT LLP, NEW YORK, NY.

For QUALCOMM INC., Defendant: ROBERT N. FELTOON, LEAD ATTORNEY, CONRAD O'BRIEN, PHILADELPHIA, PA; GARY A. BORNSTEIN, PRO HAC VICE, ROGER G. BROOKS, CRAVATH, SWAINE AND MOORE, NEW YORK, NY.

For ALCATEL-LUCENT USA INC., Defendant: A. STEPHEN HUT, JR., ALI M. STOEPPELWERTH, BRIAN M. BOYNTON, PRO HAC VICE, WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE & DORR LLP, WASHINGTON, DC; FRANCIS P. NEWELL, PETER MICHAEL RYAN, COZEN O'CONNOR, PHILADELPHIA, PA.

OPINION

ROBERT F. KELLY, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Page 464

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is TruePosition, Inc.'s (" TruePosition" ) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Concerning Counterclaims and Certain Affirmative Defenses of Defendant Third Generation Partnership Project (" 3GPP" ), and 3GPP's Opposition to Plaintiff TruePosition, Inc.'s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, as well as TruePosition's Reply thereto. For the reasons provided below, the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings will be granted.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

This action stems from the alleged anticompetitive conduct of major players in the international telecommunications market within the context of a Standard-Setting

Page 465

Organization (" SSO" ). Am. Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-9. TruePosition describes itself as a " leading innovator in developing and marketing high accuracy location products that operate over cellular telecommunications networks." Id. ¶ 3. TruePosition alleges that LM Ericsson Telephone Company (Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson), Qualcomm, Inc. and Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. abused their positions of authority within 3GPP by violating its rules and procedures in order to conspire to exclude TruePosition's positioning technology, [2] Uplink Technology (" UTDOA" ), from the newest and most advanced 4th generation (" 4G" ) global standard for mobile telecommunications technologies, known as Long Term Evolution (" LTE" ). Id. at ¶ 1. This global standard is created by 3GPP, a SSO, which " establishes global standards for mobile communications technologies, including mobile phone location technologies." [3] Id. TruePosition states that " inclusion in the 3GPP standard is vital to commercial success" because " [e]xclusion from the standard guarantees commercial failure and, in most instances, absolute foreclosure from the market." Id. ¶ 4.

TruePosition filed an action against all of the Defendants alleging violations of federal antitrust law, specifically Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. [4] Id. ¶ ¶ 139-153. 3GPP filed an Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims against TruePositon. (Doc. No. 157) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c), TruePosition filed a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings seeking the dismissal of 3GPP's counterclaims and certain affirmative defenses. (Doc. No. 186.) 3GPP filed a response opposing TruePosition's Motion, and TruePositon filed a Reply Brief. (Doc. Nos. 196, 198.) For the reasons set forth below, we grant TruePosition's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Knepper v. Rite Aid Corp., 675 F.3d 249

Rosenau v. Unifund Corp., 539 F.3d 218 Sikirica v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 214 Revell v. Port

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Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 598 F.3d 128, 134 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Turbe v. Gov't of the V.I., 938 F.2d 427, 428 (3d Cir. 1991)). " The only notable difference between these two standards is that the court, for a motion on the pleadings, reviews not only the complaint but also the answer and written instruments attached to the pleadings." Brautigam v. Fraley, 684 F.Supp.2d 589, 591-92 (M.D. Pa. 2010); see also Phillips v. Transunion, LLC, No. 12-1058, 2012 WL 1439088, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 25, 2012).

A complaint may be dismissed for " failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When reviewing a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 220 (3d Cir. 2011) (citing In re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., 618 F.3d 300, 314 (3d Cir. 2010)). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires " only 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief' in order to 'give the defendant fair notice of what the . ...


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