United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable Raner C. Collins, Chief United States District
before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary
judgment. Doc. 47 For the following reasons, this Court shall
grant the motion.
must grant summary judgment if the pleadings and supporting
documents, viewed in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, “show that there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled
to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
Substantive law determines which facts are material, and
“[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In
addition, the dispute must be genuine, that is, “the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248.
is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence
favoring the non-moving party; if the evidence is merely
colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment
may be granted. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-50.
However, because “[c]redibility determinations, the
weighing of evidence, and the drawing of inferences from the
facts are jury functions, not those of a judge . . . [t]he
evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all
justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor” at
the summary judgment stage. Id. at 255, 106 S.Ct.
April 1990, the parties signed an agreement formalizing the
division of income and expenses associated with the joint
development of a web shooting toy that simulated the
fictional superhero Spider-Man's ability to shoot spider
webs from his palm. Doc. 48-4. The parties dispute who
actually invented the toy, but the parties agree that Moros
would be listed as a co-inventor on the patent. Doc. 50 at 3.
August 1990, Plaintiff moved to Wisconsin. Doc. 49 at 5. In
1992, Defendants mailed Plaintiff a newspaper article that
stated Kimble “received a U.S. patent for his
invention, ” that Kimble and Grabb accrued nearly $10,
000 in expenses and that two companies were interested in
developing the toy. Doc. 48-10. The newspaper article was
also accompanied with a letter. Doc. 48-12. In the letter,
Kimble stated that he “had some initial success”
but needed help convincing Marvel and Toy Biz that there was
a market for the toy. Kimble requested that Moros make three
phone calls to the local paper, Marvel and Toy Biz.
receiving the letter, Moros made no attempt to either pay his
share of the expenses or inquire as to what Kimble meant by
having “had some initial success.”
1997, Toy Biz released the “Web-Blaster, ” a toy
that had similarities to the toy at issue in this case. Toy
Biz previously rejected the design Kimble and Grabb
submitted. In 2001, Kimble and Grabb reached a settlement
with Marvel, the owner of Toy Biz, stemming from the patent
infringement of the web shooter. In May 2016, Moros filed his
complaint, alleging, among other things, breach of contract,
breach of implied covenant of good faith and conversion. This
Court previously dismissed Moros's unjust enrichment
claim. Doc. 20.
alleges that his breach of contract claim survives the
limitations period because the discovery rule should be
applied to his complaint.
for a breach of contract has a limitations period of six
years. A.R.S. § 12-548. Generally, a cause of action
accrues and the statute of limitations begins to run when one
party is able to sue another. See Gust, Rosenf Gust,
Rosenfeld & Henderson v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am.,
182 Ariz. 586, 587, 898 P.2d 964, 965 (Ariz. 1995).
However, under the “discovery rule, ” when the
injury or the act causing the injury has been difficult for
the plaintiff to detect, the statute of limitations does not
begin to run until the plaintiff knows or with reasonable
diligence should know of the facts underlying the alleged
breach. The discovery rule is premised on the notion that
“it is unjust to deprive a plaintiff of a ...