from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Indiana in No. 3:13-cv-00819-RLM-MGG, Senior
Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr.
Michael David Marston, Botkin & Hall, LLP, South Bend,
IN, argued for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by
Garrick Theodore Lankford.
M. Cislo, Cislo & Thomas LLP, Los Angeles, CA, argued for
defendant-appellee. Also represented by Chong Wook Pak, Mark
Lourie, Moore, and O'Malley, Circuit Judges.
LOURIE, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Industries, Inc. ("Lifetime") appeals from the
district court's final judgment granting Trim-Lok,
Inc.'s ("Trim-Lok") motion to dismiss
Lifetime's patent infringement complaint for failing to
adequately allege that Trim-Lok either directly or indirectly
infringed claims 1-6 of U.S. Patent 6, 966, 590 ("the
'590 patent"). See Lifetime Indus., Inc. v.
Trim-Lok, Inc., No. 3:13-cv-819, 2016 WL 5724451, at
*3-5 (N.D. Ind. Sept. 30, 2016)
("Opinion"). For the following reasons, we
owns the '590 patent, which generally describes a
two-part seal for use in a mobile living quarters (also
referred to as a "recreational vehicle" or
"RV") with a slide-out room. See '590
patent, col. 2 ll. 37-39. As the name implies, a slide-out
room is formed by extending a portion of the side wall of the
RV outward to create extra interior space. See, e.g.,
id. col. 2 ll. 37-51. Figure 1 of the '590 patent
shows an RV with the slide-out room extended: (IMAGE OMITTED)
Id. fig. 1. A seal is "commonly placed along
the interface between the slide-out room and the opening in
the side- wall of the mobile living quarters to prevent
water, debris, and excessive air drafts from entering the
interior of the mobile living quarters from the
outside." Id. col. 1 ll. 18- 23.
to the patent, prior art seals had to be separately mounted
to both the slide-out room and the wall of the RV, could not
be easily adapted to different RV models, or were difficult
to replace. Id. col. 1 ll. 36-38, 51-58. The
inventor explained that the claimed two-part seal could be
"easily adapted for installation on different slide-out
room configurations" and could be "easily assembled
and installed." Id. col. 2 ll. 12-18. Claim 1
1. A resilient seal used in combination with a mobile living
quarters having a slide-out room defining an interior space,
said mobile living quarters comprising a first sidewall
having an exterior side, said first sidewall defining an
opening through which said slide-out room is shifted between
open and closed positions relative the first sidewall, said
slide-out room including a second sidewall spaced from said
first sidewall and an end wall defining said interior space,
said end wall including a peripheral flange overlapping said
first sidewall when said slide-out room is in its said closed
position, said seal comprising a mounting portion attached to
said first sidewall along said opening and a separate bulb
portion, said bulb portion slidably connected to said
mounting portion for comp[r]essible contact with said flange
of said exterior wall when said slide-out room is in its said
Id. col. 4 ll. 7-22. Dependent claims 2-5 further
limit "the seal and mobile living quarters of claim 1,
" and independent claim 6 is directed to a "method
of attaching a seal to a mobile living quarters having a
slide-out room." Id. col. 4 ll. 23-64.
August 12, 2013, Lifetime sued Trim-Lok, alleging that
Trim-Lok both directly and indirectly infringed the '590
patent. See Joint Appendix ("J.A.") 1-4.
Trim-Lok moved to dismiss the original complaint on the basis
that Lifetime did not adequately identify the product or
products that allegedly infringed. J.A. 22-33. Lifetime thus
filed a first amended complaint ("FAC") in an
attempt to identify the accused products. J.A. 37-43.
Trim-Lok moved to dismiss the FAC on that same basis. J.A.
65- 84. The district court granted the motion, and also
granted Lifetime leave to file a second amended complaint
("SAC"). J.A. 180-87. Accordingly, Lifetime filed
an SAC. See J.A. 188-199.
SAC, Lifetime alleged that in the months before it filed the
original complaint, two of its engineers with knowledge of
the '590 patent and the Lifetime products that it covered
left Lifetime and began working for Trim-Lok. Lifetime
alleged that Andrew Busch ("Busch"), who
participated in the design of Lifetime's seals, left
Lifetime on or around March 1, 2013. J.A. 190-91 ¶ 17.
Lifetime also alleged that Daryl Torrey ("Torrey"),
who participated in the design of manufacturing equipment and
tooling for Lifetime's products, left Lifetime on or
around May 3, 2013. J.A. 191 ¶ 18. Lifetime alleged that
within one month of Busch and Torrey leaving Lifetime, they
began working at Trim-Lok. J.A. 190-91 ¶¶ 17-18.
further alleged that it learned that Trim-Lok, for the first
time, was offering for sale a two-part seal for an RV with a
slide-out room in June 2013, soon after Busch and Torrey
began working for Trim-Lok. J.A. 190 ¶ 16. Specifically,
Lifetime alleged that Ed Ksiezopolski
("Ksiezopolski"), a Lifetime representative,
discovered a two-part Trim-Lok seal installed on an RV with a
slide-out room at a plant run by Forest River, an RV
manufacturer, in Elkhart County, Indiana ("the Forest
River plant"). J.A. 190 ¶ 16.
Lifetime alleged that Trim-Lok either directly or indirectly
infringed the '590 patent by causing the two-part seal to
be installed on the RV at the Forest River plant. Supporting
its claim of direct infringement, Lifetime alleged that
"[a]t least one representative, agent, or employee
of" Trim-Lok visited the Forest River plant while
"acting on behalf of" Trim-Lok, and "directly
installed" Trim-Lok's two-part seal onto "an RV
having a slide-out room." J.A. 194 ¶ 33. Lifetime
alleged that the Trim-Lok agent installed the seal "for
the purpose of test fitting [the seal] on a Forest River RV .
. . and to solicit sales" of the seal to Forest River.
induced infringement, Lifetime alleged that Forest
River's "making, using, offering for sale and
selling of an RV having the Accused Product [i.e., the
two-part seal] constitutes infringement, " J.A. 195
¶ 40, that Trim-Lok "influenced Forest River"
to include the two-part seal in their RVs, "knowing that
such combination would fulfill all elements of at least one
claim of the '590 patent, " J.A. 195-96 ¶ 42,
and that "employees or representatives or agents of
[Trim-Lok] assisted in the installation, [or] directed the