Arunachalam v. Apple, Inc., 021320 FEDFED, 2019-1251

Docket Nº:2019-1251
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:LAKSHMI ARUNACHALAM, Plaintiff-Appellant v. APPLE, INC., SAMSUNG ELECTRONICSAMERICA, INC., FACEBOOK, INC., ALPHABETINC., MICROSOFT CORPORATION, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINESCORPORATION, SAP AMERICA, INC., JPMORGANCHASE & CO., FISERV, INC., WELLS FARGOBANK, N.A., CITIGROUP, INC., CITIBANK, N.A., FULTON FINANCIAL CORPORATION, ECLIPSEFOUNDATION,...
Attorney:Lakshmi Arunachalam, Menlo Park, CA, pro se. Brian E. Ferguson, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington, DC, for defendant-appellee Apple, Inc. Also represented by Robert T. Vlasis, III. Philip A. Irwin, Covington & Burling LLP, New York, NY, for defendant-appellee Samsung Electronics America, Inc...
Judge Panel:Before Lourie, Moore, and Chen, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:February 13, 2020
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

LAKSHMI ARUNACHALAM, Plaintiff-Appellant

v.

APPLE, INC., SAMSUNG ELECTRONICSAMERICA, INC., FACEBOOK, INC., ALPHABETINC., MICROSOFT CORPORATION, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINESCORPORATION, SAP AMERICA, INC., JPMORGANCHASE & CO., FISERV, INC., WELLS FARGOBANK, N.A., CITIGROUP, INC., CITIBANK, N.A., FULTON FINANCIAL CORPORATION, ECLIPSEFOUNDATION, INC., Defendants-Appellees

No. 2019-1251

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

February 13, 2020

This disposition is nonprecedential.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in No. 5:18-cv-01250-EJD, Judge Edward J. Davila.

Lakshmi Arunachalam, Menlo Park, CA, pro se.

Brian E. Ferguson, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Washington, DC, for defendant-appellee Apple, Inc. Also represented by Robert T. Vlasis, III.

Philip A. Irwin, Covington & Burling LLP, New York, NY, for defendant-appellee Samsung Electronics America, Inc.

Heidi Lyn Keefe, Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, CA, for defendant-appellee Facebook, Inc.

Ryan R. Smith, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, PC, Palo Alto, CA, for defendant-appellee Alphabet Inc.

Kristin L. Cleveland, Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, Portland, OR, for defendant-appellee Microsoft Corporation.

Kevin J. Culligan, Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC, New York, NY, for defendant-appellee International Business Machines Corporation. Also represented by Mark J. Abate, Goodwin Procter LLP, New York, NY.

Tharan Gregory Lanier, Jones Day, Palo Alto, CA, for defendant-appellee SAP America, Inc. Also represented by Joseph Beauchamp, Houston, TX.

Douglas R. Nemec, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, New York, NY, for defendant-appellee JPMor-gan Chase & Co. Also represented by Edward Tulin; James Y. Pak, Palo Alto, CA.

Ramsey M. Al-Salam, Perkins Coie, LLP, Seattle, WA, for defendant-appellee Fiserv, Inc.

David Spencer Bloch, Greenberg Traurig, LLP, San Francisco, CA, for defendants-appellees Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Fulton Financial Corporation.

Eric Sophir, Dentons U.S. LLP, Washington, DC, for defendants-appellees Citigroup, Inc., Citibank, N.A. Also represented by Nicholas Hunt Jackson.

Baldassare Vinti, Proskauer Rose LLP, New York, NY, for defendant-appellee Eclipse Foundation, Inc. Also represented by Fabio Enrique Tarud.

Before Lourie, Moore, and Chen, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

Dr. Lakshmi Arunachalam, proceeding pro se, appeals multiple decisions from Judge Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, including his dismissal of a patent infringement claim, dismissal of civil claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), dismissal of a claim of treason, and various other rulings. Dr. Arunachalam also challenges the decisions of other courts or other cases such as the denial of her writ for mandamus by the Ninth Circuit. For the reasons explained below, we affirm.

I. Procedural History

A. Complaint

Dr. Arunachalam filed an initial complaint (Complaint) on February 26, 2018. The Complaint was filed against thirteen named defendants, including Apple, Inc., Samsung Electronics America, International Business Machines Corporation, SAP America, Inc., and JPMorgan Chase & Co., as well as unnamed Does 1-100 (collectively, Defendants). The Complaint is over 140 pages long and identifies a host of accusations against not only the named parties, but also numerous others including judges and attorneys involved in Dr. Arunachalam's other cases. Despite the voluminous discussion and plethora of accusations, the Complaint only listed fourteen counts. The district court grouped these counts as a patent infringement claim (Count I), antitrust claims (Counts II and VIII-XIII), RICO Act claims (Count III), a trade secret misappropriation claim (Count IV), a claim of False Designation of Origin (Count V), claims of fraud regarding various Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) proceedings (Count VI), and claims of treason and obstruction of justice (Counts VII and XIV). Arunachalam v. Apple Inc., No. 5:18-cv-01250-EJD, 2018 WL 5023378, at *2-5 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 16, 2018). The patent infringement claim alleged that the Defendants had infringed Dr. Arunachalam's U.S. Patent No. 7, 930, 340 (the '340 patent).

B. Motion to Dismiss

The Defendants filed for, and were granted, a motion to dismiss the Complaint. The district court first dismissed the Complaint under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8 and 41(b), explaining that the Complaint "is confusing, disorganized, and contains legal terminology without setting forth facts showing that she is entitled to relief." Arunachalam, 2018 WL 5023378, at *2. Accordingly, the district court held that "dismissal [was] proper under Rule 8." Id.

However, the district court provided even further consideration and analyzed the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). In this analysis, the district court determined that Dr. Arunachalam failed to allege facts sufficient to support the patent infringement claim, antitrust claims, and false designation of origin claim. The district court also dismissed the RICO and fraud claims as barred by the four-year statute of limitations because "[t]he only purported evidence of the conspiracy is the 'Common Public License Agreement Version 0.5,' which is dated August 29, 2002, and publicly available code from 2002. Plaintiff either knew or should have known of this evidence as early as 2002." Id. at *4. The district court also dismissed Dr. Arunachalam's trade secret claim with prejudice because it was barred by the three-year statute of limitations and because Dr. Arunachalam failed to allege that a trade secret existed or that she had taken steps to keep it a secret. Id. Finally, the district court dismissed the claims of treason and obstruction of justice for lack of standing because there is no private cause of action for treason or obstruction of justice. Id. at *5.

The district court dismissed Dr. Arunachalam's patent infringement claim, antitrust claims, and false designation of origin claim without prejudice and dismissed her remaining claims with prejudice. The district court gave Dr. Arunachalam leave to file an amended complaint that amended the claims dismissed without prejudice in compliance with Rules 8 and 12 and that removed the claims dismissed with...

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