District Judge Valerie Caproni granted defendants CBS Corporation’s and CBS Interactive, Inc.’s motion under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss plaintiff Edwin Lyda’s Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim without leave to amend. Plaintiff owns U.S. Patent Nos. 7,434,243, entitled “Response Apparatus Method and System,” and 7,730,506, entitled “Method and Apparatus for Response System.” The patents contain method and system claims relating to the transmission of wireless signals from a user input device to a central receiver for use in television audience voting and polling.

Plaintiff asserted that defendants operate the television show “BIG BROTHER.” The show allows the television audience to influence aspects of the show by voting over the telephone, online, through a cell phone application, or by text messaging. Plaintiff alleged that defendants infringe its patents by operating the show and testing their text message vote receiving system using an independent contractor.

The court found that plaintiff’s references to the testing of “electrical systems,” the use of “computer processing systems,” the sending of “text messages,” the compiling of votes, and the use of “other electrical system functions” in the Complaint were simply too vague to conform even with the generous pleading standard set forth under Form 18. In effect, the court held that “Plaintiff fails to establish which of Defendants’ alleged practices constitutes infringement, and he fails to demonstrate any connection between the alleged infringing activities and his patent claims.”

Plaintiff had argued, in opposition to the motion to dismiss, that “Form 18 ‘effectively immunizes a claimant from attack regarding the sufficiency of the pleading’” (quoting K-Tech Telecomms., Inc. v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 714 F.3d 1277, 1283 (Fed. Cir. 2013)). The court, however, clarified that as the K-Tech court noted, “Rule 84, combined with guidance from the Advisory Committee Notes to the 1946 amendment of Rule 84, makes clear that a proper use of [Form 18]” is what immunizes a claimant from such attacks, and that plaintiff’s Amended Complaint does not make proper use of Form 18.

The court also held that because plaintiff had already amended his original complaint once after being notified of deficiencies by defendants, granting plaintiff leave to further amend his Amended Complaint would be inappropriate.

Case: Lyda v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 14-CV-6572 (VEC), Dkt. 28 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2015)