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WordLogic Corporation v. Fleksy, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

November 7, 2017

WORDLOGIC CORPORATION and 602531 BRITISH COLUMBIA, LTD., Plaintiffs,
v.
FLEKSY, INC. Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOAN H. LEFKOW U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         WordLogic Corporation and 602531 British Columbia, Ltd. filed suit against Fleksy, Inc., alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7, 681, 124 (the '124 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 8, 552, 984 (the '984 patent). Fleksy has moved to dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. 11.) For the reasons stated below, the motion is denied.[1]

         BACKGROUND[2]

         Since the late 1990s, WordLogic has been developing predictive text input technology. (Dkt. 1 ¶ 9.) One of WordLogic's products is iKnowU, a predictive keyboard application used with mobile devices. (Id. ¶ 11.) Based on the letters a user is typing, iKnowU predicts the next most likely letters, words, and phrases, allowing the user to complete the text she wishes to enter on the mobile device using fewer keystrokes. (Id.) iKnowU is covered by claims in the '124 and '984 patents. (Id.) 602531 British Columbia, a wholly owned subsidiary of WordLogic, is the assignee of those patents. (Dkt. 1 ¶ 3.)

         Fleksy[3] also makes and distributes a predictive keyboard application. (Id. ¶ 12.) The keyboard application includes an extension called “Predictions.” (Id. ¶ 15.) When Predictions is installed, it provides a user with suggestions to complete the text she is typing. Plaintiffs allege that this constitutes infringement of claim 19 of the '124 patent and claim 1 of the '984 patent. Fleksy has moved to dismiss, arguing that plaintiffs have not stated a claim and that the '124 patent is invalid and unenforceable because it is directed to an abstract idea that is not eligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges a complaint for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. In ruling on such a motion, the court accepts as true all well-pleaded facts in the plaintiff's complaint and draws all reasonable inferences from those facts in the plaintiff's favor Active Disposal, Inc. v. City of Darien, 635 F.3d 883, 886 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the complaint must not only provide the defendant with fair notice of a claim's basis but must also establish that the requested relief is plausible on its face. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The allegations in the complaint must be “enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. At the same time, the plaintiff need not plead legal theories; it is the facts that count. Hatmaker v. Mem'l Med. Ctr., 619 F.3d 741, 743 (7th Cir. 2010); see also Johnson v. City of Shelby, 574 U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 346, 346, 190 L.Ed.2d 309 (2014) (per curiam) (“Federal pleading rules call for ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing the pleader is entitled to relief'; they do not countenance dismissal of a complaint for imperfect statement of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.” (citations omitted)). Because subject matter eligibility is a question of law, See In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943, 951 (Fed. Cir. 2008), the issue may be decided on a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Content Extraction and Transmission LLC v. Wells Fargo Bank, Nat. Ass'n, 776 F.3d 1343, 1348 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

         ANALYSIS

         I. Plaintiffs Have Sufficiently Pleaded Their Claims

         Fleksy first argues that plaintiffs have not sufficiently pleaded each limitation of the allegedly infringing claims. The court addresses each in turn.[4]

         Claim 19 of the '124 patent recites

         19. A computer-readable medium comprising codes for directing a processing unit to process text entered into a personal computing device, by:

(a) receiving and displaying a partial text entry, comprising receiving at least part of the partial text entry via a keyboard, the partial text entry comprising at least a first character;
(b) in response to receipt of the first character of the partial text entry, obtaining a plurality of completion candidates from among a group of completion candidates, wherein each of the plurality of completion ...

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