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Energetiq Tech., Inc. v. ASML Neth. B.V.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 10, 2015

ENERGETIQ TECHNOLOGY, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ASML NETHERLANDS B. V., EXCELITAS TECHNOLOGIES CORP., and QIOPTIQ PHOTONICS GMBH & CO. KG, Defendants

Page 462

For Energetiq Technology, Inc., Plaintiff: Steven M. Bauer, LEAD ATTORNEY, S. James Boumil, III, Safraz W. Ishmael, Proskauer Rose, LLP,Boston, MA.

For ASML Netherlands B.V., Excelitas Technologies Corp., Qioptiq Photonics GmbH & Co. KG, Defendants: James M. Dowd, LEAD ATTORNEY, WilmerHale, Los Angeles, CA; Jonathan A. Cox, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP (Bos), Boston, MA; Shirley X. Cantin, WilmerHale, Boston, MA.

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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' RENEWED MOTION TO DISMISS, DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STAY, PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND THE COURT'S SCHEDULING ORDER

Leo T. Sorokin, United States District Judge.

Energetiq is a Massachusetts based company holding various patents on laser pumped light sources. Doc. No. 87 ¶ 5. For some number of years predating the events at issue in this litigation it has supplied lights to Defendant ASML BV, a Netherlands company. Doc. No. 60 ¶ 5. ASML BV employees visited Energetiq in Massachusetts multiple times in furtherance of that relationship. Doc. No. 60 ¶ ¶ 4-10.

In 2012, ASML BV explored the possibility of Energetiq supplying laser pumped lights for ASML BV's YieldStar 250 product used in the course of semiconductor manufacturing. Doc. No. 54 ¶ 6. Energetiq declined. Id. Subsequently, ASML BV hired Defendant Qioptiq to supply the needed light source for the YieldStar 250. Id. The parties call this light source the LS1. At about the same time, see Doc. No. 87 ¶ 25, in October 2013, Massachusetts-based Defendant Excelitas, a maker of lighting and sensor components, purchased Qioptiq, Doc. No. 87 ¶ 9. Then, in January 2014, ASML BV began importing the YieldStar 250 into the United States. Doc. No. 87 ¶ 26.

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Also in January 2014, Energetiq, Qioptiq, and ASML BV signed a non-disclosure agreement (" NDA" ) to facilitate the possibility of Energetiq supplying a laser pumped light source for Qioptiq to include in a module for use in ASML BV's YieldStar 350 product. Doc. No. 87 ¶ 32; Doc. No. 60 ¶ 33. Although the NDA provided that " Nothing in this Agreement prevents either party from independently pursuing or engaging others to pursue the same or similar business opportunities or technology development as long as such activities do not violate this Agreement," Doc. No. 75 at 5 ¶ 7.1, Energetiq alleges the parties understood the NDA did not contemplate that Qioptiq would compete with Energetiq for the development of a light source for the YieldStar 350, and that Energetiq would not have entered into the NDA otherwise. Doc. No. 87 ¶ 33. Energetiq further alleges that ASML BV told Energetiq that Qioptiq would not be a competitor, Doc. No. 87 ¶ 178, and represented the project as requiring Qioptiq to deliver a module which contained Energetiq's light source, thereby reassuring Energetiq that Qioptiq was not its competitor for this business. Doc. No. 87 ¶ 35.

During the course of this relationship Energetiq, in Massachusetts, and Qioptiq exchanged technical information through many telephone meetings, some of which included ASML BV. Doc. No. 60 ¶ 34. In addition, ASML BV personnel met with Energetiq in Massachusetts on multiple occasions. Doc. No. 60 ¶ ¶ 10, 12, 13. At the same time, unbeknownst to Energetiq, Qioptiq and Excelitas began developing their own light source, the so-called LS2, to sell to ASML BV in place of Energetiq's product. Doc. No. 87 ¶ ¶ 37, 38, 40. Eventually, Qioptiq started sending Energetiq a series of technical requirements Qioptiq knew to be " material and false," causing Energetiq to engineer its light source according to incorrect specifications. Doc. No. 87 ¶ ¶ 44-65.

In September 2014, ASML BV and Qioptiq told Energetiq that Qioptiq's LS2, rather than Energetiq's light source, would be used in the Qioptiq module for the YieldStar 350. Doc. No. 87 ¶ ¶ 74, 75. Based on information from Qioptiq, Energetiq believes the LS2 developed by Qioptiq is " substantially similar to the Qioptiq LS1." Doc. No. 87 ¶ 42; Doc. No. 14 ¶ 21. Subsequently, both ASML BV and Qioptiq separately requested that Energetiq license one or more of its laser pumped patents. Doc. No. 87 ¶ ¶ 82, 83. Energetiq declined.

Thereafter, Energetiq filed this action claiming that both LS1 and LS2 infringe its patents, and claiming violations of various state common law rights. It also filed a motion for preliminary injunction. Defendants opposed the motion and filed a motion to dismiss. In light of the filing of an amended complaint (supplying some additional factual allegations and adding some additional claims), the Court denied without prejudice the first motion to dismiss. The Court has retained the motion for preliminary injunction under advisement, though Energetiq has as much as conceded that some discovery is required before proceeding with the motion. Also pending now before the Court is a renewed motion to dismiss filed by the Defendants, competing submissions regarding the schedule to govern this case, and a motion to stay filed by the Defendants.

In reviewing the motion to dismiss, the Court accepts all of the allegations in the amended complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in Energetiq's favor. Langadinos v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68, 69 (1st Cir. 2000). The Court does not consider facts beyond the complaint

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in resolving the motion to dismiss,[1] though such facts from the parties' affidavits are considered for purposes of the personal jurisdiction analysis under the prima facie standard, see Deprenyl Animal Health, Inc. v. Univ. of Toronto Innovations Found., 297 F.3d 1343, 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2002), the motion to stay, and with respect to the scheduling order.

DISCUSSION

Defendants advance a plethora of grounds to dismiss Energetiq's amended complaint. The Court addresses each in turn.

1. Rule 15

Defendants complain that Plaintiff violated Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 by filing an amended complaint after the expiration of the various twenty-one day periods without obtaining either (a) leave of the Court; or (b) consent from the Defendants. Insofar as the Motion is predicated upon this theory, which is the only theory the Court discerns, it is DENIED. The Rule instructs the Court to " freely grant leave." There is no basis to deny such leave and, notably, the Defendants advance no such ground in any event. At this point, requiring Energetiq to file a motion for leave to amend -- which the Court, on the present record, would inevitably allow -- would only serve to unduly enhance delay and expense. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 1. Therefore, the Court construes the Defendants' motion to ...


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