Lenovo Holding Co. Inc. and Motorola Mobility LLC must fend off allegations that some of their tablets and smartphones infringe patented user interface technology owned by a patent licensing company.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware Dec. 19 declined to grant Lenovo and Motorola’s partial motion to dismiss DoDots Licensing Solutions LLC’s complaint. The device makers had argued DoDots failed to state how their devices, including the Lenovo Yoga book tablet and Motorola Z phones, directly infringed U.S. Patent No. 9,369,545.

The Delaware court’s opinion illustrates when the use of a product accused of infringement is sufficiently alleged in an infringement complaint. The device makers must show they don’t infringe DoDot’s ‘545 graphical user interface patent and two other patents that DoDots added to its lawsuit.

Liability for direct infringement arises under federal patent law when a party, without authorization, “makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the U.S. or imports into the U.S. any patented invention during the term of the patent.” The Delaware court found that DoDots adequately alleged direct infringement only based on the device makers’ use of their accused products.

The court said that DoDots went through the scope of the patent’s first claim to state how using Lenovo’s Yoga Book in conjunction with some applications, such as weather and podcast apps, would result in the tablet carrying out all steps claimed in the patent.

Lenovo “specifically identifies a number of Defendants’ products that allegedly infringe the asserted claims of the ‘545 Patent when used in combination with certain applications,” Judge Maryellen Noreika said in her opinion.

DoDots also claimed that Lenovo and Motorola were liable for inducement, a form of indirect infringement, for all three patents. But the court agreed with the device makers that the complaint failed to allege they knew about any infringement before DoDots sued them.

The court granted DoDot’s request to amend its complaint to address inadequate pleadings for induced infringement.

Farnan LLP represented DoDots. Richards Layton & Finger PA and Troutman Sanders LLP represented Lenovo and Motorola.

The case is DoDots Licensing Sols. LLC v. Lenovo Holding Co., D. Del., C.A. No. 18-098 (MN), opinion on partial motion to dismiss 12/19/18.