United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
VICTORIA E. TOUSSAINT-HILL, Plaintiff,
DOUG MCMILLON, individually and CEO for Walmart; ROBERT SWAN, CFO and Interim CEO Intel Technologies; and BRYAN KRZANICH, Former CEO Intel Technologies, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
TERENCE C. KERN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are (1) Defendants Robert Swan's and Brian
Krzanich's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint or, in the
alternative, Motion to Transfer Venue (Doc. 36) and (2)
Defendants Doug McMillon's and Walmart Inc.'s Motion
to Dismiss Amended Complaint (Doc. 37). For the foregoing
reasons, Defendants Swan's and Krzanich's motion is
GRANTED as to dismissal and
DENIED as to transfer. Defendants
McMillon's and Walmart's motion is
Background and Factual Allegations
Victoria E. Toussaint-Hill filed this action on July 16,
2018, and filed an Amended Complaint on September 28, 2018.
(Doc. 30.) She alleges that in 2015, she notified her
supporters on Facebook and Twitter that she had conceived and
created a concept for an automated self-lifting shopping
cart. On June 24, 2016, she applied to be a contestant on the
television show America's Greatest Makers, on which
Defendant Krzanich (“Krzanich”) was a judge. On
July 19, 2016, she submitted a Unilateral Nondisclosure
Agreement (“NDA”) between herself and Olivia
Stafford, Casting Producer for America's Greatest Makers
and Intel. Despite this NDA, Defendant Intel Technologies
(“Intel”) leaked information about her product to
Defendant Walmart, Inc. (“Walmart”), who applied
for a patent for a similar product on September 16, 2016.
Plaintiff also alleges that both Walmart and Intel have been
“unduly enriched at Plaintiffs [sic] request” by
this conduct. Finally, Plaintiff filed a provisional patent
on her product on April 17, 2017.
is a pro se litigant; accordingly, the Court will
construe her allegations liberally. See Hall v.
Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991).
Accordingly, if the Court can reasonably read the Amended
Complaint to demonstrate a case of actual controversy within
the meaning of the Declaratory Judgment Act, standing, or
personal jurisdiction, it should do so “despite the
plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authorities,
[her] confusion of various legal theories, [her] poor syntax
and sentence structure, or [her] unfamiliarity with pleading
requirements.” Id. However, the Court may not
assume the role of advocate for pro se litigants.
See id. Accordingly, the Court will not supply
additional factual allegations to round out the
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint or construct a legal theory
on Plaintiff's behalf. Whitney v. New Mexico,
113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997).
preliminary matter, the Court must determine who is named in
the Amended Complaint. Rule 10 requires that “[t]he
title of the Complaint must name all the Parties.” The
Amended Complaint names “Doug McMillon, individually
and CEO for Walmart; Bryan Krzanich, CFO and Interim CEO
Intel Technologies; and Robert Swan, Former CEO Intel
Technologies.” In light of Plaintiff's
responsibilities under Rule 10 and the Court's obligation
to construe a pro se Complaint liberally, the Court
construes the Amended Complaint to name Robert Swan
(“Swan”), Krzanich, and Doug McMillon
(“McMillon”) individually, as well as naming both
Walmart and Intel.
on the allegations in the Amended Complaint, the Court
construes Plaintiff's causes of action as follows:
1. Common law Breach of Contract, against Swan, Krzanich, and
2. Common law Unjust Enrichment, against Walmart and McMillon
3. Declaratory Judgment that Walmart's patent is invalid
4. Declaratory Judgment that Plaintiff is the sole inventor
of the product on which Walmart has sought a patent
“Case of Actual Controversy”
and Walmart contend that Plaintiff does not satisfy the
Declaratory Judgment Act's “case or
controversy” requirement for a claim of a Declaration
of Patent Invalidity. The Declaratory Judgment Act limits the
Court's ability to declare the rights and other legal
relations of interested parties seeking such a declaration to
“a case of actual controversy within its
jurisdiction.” 28 U.S.C. § 2201. Such an actual
controversy exists where “the facts alleged, under all
the circumstances, show that there is a substantial
controversy, between parties having adverse legal interests,
of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant the issuance
of a declaratory judgment.” MedImmune, Inc. v.
Genentech, Inc., 549 U.S. 118, 127 (2007). As the party
seeking a declaratory judgment, Plaintiff has the burden of
establishing that a case of actual controversy existed at the
time the action was filed. See AIDS Healthcare Found.,
Inc. v. Gilead Scis., Inc., 890 F.3d 986, 990-91 (Fed.
Cir. 2018). ...