In 2021, Canadian company Attabotics sued URBX, asserting infringement of two patents relating to robotic food storage and shipping. URBX moved to dismiss, saying that the factual allegations of the complaint demonstrate noninfringement.
She granted URBX’s motion with respect to a number of claims of the first patent when Attabotics responded that it was not alleging infringement of those claims, and allowed four claims to proceed to claim construction based on URBX’s stated belief that claim construction on those claims would aid in resolution of its motion.
With respect to the second patent, URBX asserted that the Complaint admits that URBX’s system utilizes two distinct types of robots to cooperatively retrieve and deliver items, while the claims require a fleet of identical vehicles, making infringement impossible. Judge Burroughs noted that a complaint is subject to dismissal if its factual allegations make infringement impossible, but that dismissal is only appropriate where the claim language expressly creates a limitation that is on its face at odds with the accused technology or where there is no dispute as to the definition of a relevant claim term. URBX’s argument relies on the meaning of “one or more storage/retrieval vehicles” and “plurality of vehicles,” where the body of the claims use the terms “the” and “said” before instances of “storage retrieval vehicles.” URBX says that this necessarily means that all of the vehicles must be identical. Attabotics in turn asserts that the claims as a whole do not require all vehicles be identical. Judge Burroughs noted that the Deferal Circuit has cautioned against dismissal where claim construction is at issue (and against construing claims at the motion to dismiss stage). Accordingly, she denied the motion with respect to the second patent.
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