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vPersonalize Inc. v. Magnetize Consultants Ltd.

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

February 3, 2020, Decided; February 3, 2020, Filed

Case No.: 2:18-CV-01836-BJR

Opinion

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court on a Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendant Magnetize Consultants, Ltd., dba Kit Builder ("Kit Builder"). The First Amended Complaint ("FAC") filed by Plaintiff vPersonalize, Inc. ("vPersonalize") concerns U.S. Patent Nos. 9,345,280 ("the '280 Patent") and 9,661,886 ("the '886 Patent").1 See FAC, Dkt. No. 22. Counts I and III of the FAC allege direct and indirect infringement of the patents, Count IV invokes the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, and Count V claims Magnetize has violated the Washington Unfair Trade Practices Act. By this motion, Defendant seeks dismissal of all counts. Having reviewed the briefs filed in support of and opposition to the motion, the record, and the relevant case law, the Court rules as follows: [*2] 

II. BACKGROUND

At issue are two patents, both concerning methods of automating the design and manufacture of custom-printed apparel and accessories. All facts alleged by Plaintiff are taken as true for the purposes of this motion.

A. The '280 Patent

The '280 Patent is described as a method for "Using UV Unwrapping to Create Manufacturing Patterns for Custom Prints." '280 Patent, Title, Dkt. No. 22-1. The patent is "a method for automating the generation of manufacturing patterns for apparel and accessories, incorporating custom images or text designed by a user directly onto a computerized three-dimensional (3D) model." Id. at Abstract. The process describes the allegedly novel use of "UV unwrapping" and "UV mapping"—that is, in this context, a two-dimensional representation (or "map") of three-dimensional apparel (e.g., t-shirts, backpacks)—based on the shapes of traditional manufacturing patterns.2 In the words of the patent, the "invention outlines a method for automating the generation of manufacturing patterns directly from designs created on a 3D model by 1) making the UV map of the 3D model exactly match the manufacturing pattern in shape and scale (or size). 2) Placing various components in the UV map to facilitate [*3]  the desired image or text flow 3) Designing on the said model and using any UV unwrap method or image cutting method to get the manufacturing patterns with the exact art and text on each component." Id., Col. 1:40-46.

The following images from the patent help illustrate the concept of generating a UV map from a 3D model of a shirt, whereby the map is "a direct projection of the 3D model." Figure 1 depicts "A typical 3D model (101) and its UV map (102)":

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2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18491 *

vPersonalize Inc., Plaintiff, v. Magnetize Consultants Ltd. (dba Kit Builder), Defendant.

Prior History: vPersonalize Inc. v. Magnetize Consultants Ltd., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156158 (W.D. Wash., Sept. 12, 2019)

CORE TERMS

patent, infringement, manufacturing, patterns, garment, custom, transformations, map, abstract idea, apparel, height, width, trade secret, generation, alteration, inventive, designs, vPersonalize's, mathematical, allegations, unwrapping, argues, instructing, automating, technology, capturing, Counts, user, translation, factors