Zoom Video Communications Inc. said that the complaint filed by Cyph Inc. accusing Zoom of infringing its encryption patents is impermissibly vague, according to a motion to dismiss filed on Monday in the District of Colorado.
Cyph, a self-described “small company” headquartered in Delaware, filed suit against Zoom in November, claiming that the defendants’ products infringe six patents related to methods of data encryption. The complaint says that Cyph has developed “the best solution” for providing End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) for secure communications, allowing uncensored communications and information exchanges.
According to the filing, “[c]ompanies like Zoom could not have provided E2EE technologies without practicing CYPH’s inventions as recited in the claims of the Asserted Patents.” The complaint states claims for indirect and direct infringement and seeks damages, including damages for willful infringement.
In its motion to dismiss, Zoom argues that Cyph’s allegations fall short of federal pleading requirements. “Cyph asserts that a wide swath of Zoom products infringes its encryption patents, yet the complaint merely parrots the language of the patent claims and cites to broad and generic portions of Zoom documents,” the motion says.
Specifically, Zoom contends the complaint fails to specify which of its products infringe the patents and how they do so. In addition, Zoom contends that Cyph cannot state a claim for direct infringement because, as the plaintiff supposedly acknowledges, claimed steps are carried out not by Zoom itself, but by end-users.
Prior to its motion to dismiss, Zoom also filed a motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of California. On Monday, Cyph refuted arguments made in that motion, contending that the case should remain in its current district. Zoom “has not shown in any convincing manner that the interest of justice and the degree of their expected inconvenience in this Court strongly favors transfer to the Northern District of California,” Cyph said.
A discovery scheduling conference is planned for January 19 before Judge Raymond P. Moore in Denver, Colorado.
“Unfortunately, rather than confronting the issues of infringement directly, Zoom has chosen to employ questionable statistics and misdirection to address the matters raised in the complaint,” the plaintiff said in a statement. “Cyph’s choice to bring suit in the District of Colorado is appropriate under the law since Zoom has a significant presence in Denver with discoverable resources (including cryptography experts and security engineers employed in the District) relevant to Cyph’s complaint and the District of Colorado is convenient for all parties. Furthermore, in seeking to dismiss Cyph’s claims, Zoom’s Motion intentionally conflates and obscures issues of infringement against Zoom’s infrastructure (i.e., the E2EE infrastructure necessary for secure communications, thereby allowing uncensored communications and information exchanges) with end-user products.”
Zoom has not yet responded to Law Street Media’s request for comment.