Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 1 of 25
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
NORA LILY DWECK,4615 Oceanfront WalkMarina del Rey, California 90292,
v. I CIVIL ACTION NO.
MEREDITH E. PERRY,83 Berkley Avenue JURY TRIAL DEMANDEDBelle Mead, New Jersey 08502,
Plaintiff, Nora Lily Dweck, by counsel, as and for her Complaint, individually and
derivatively, against Defendant, Meredith Perry, states and alleges as follows:
THE PARTIES, JURISDICTION, AND VENUE
1. Plaintiff, Nora Lily Dweck (hereinafter "Dweck"), is an individual who is a
citizen of the State of California and who presently resides at 4615 Oceanfront Walk, Marina del
Rey, California 90292.
2. Defendant, Meredith E. Perry ("Perry") is an individual who, upon information
and belief, is a citizen and resident of the State of New Jersey and resides at 83 Berkley Avenue,
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502.
3. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1332, because
there is complete diversity of citizenship between the parties and the amount in controversy
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 2 of 25
4. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Perry pursuant to applicable
Pennsylvania law including, but not limited to, 42 Pa. C.S. 5322, in that, among other things,
Perry transacted business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, caused harm and injury by acts
and omissions in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and otherwise engaged in conduct while a
student at the University of Pennsylvania and thereafter which gives rise to personal jurisdiction
Venue is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1391(A)(2), because a
substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claims occurred in this district.
6. In or about September, 2006, Dweck enrolled in and became a full-time student at
the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Except for a leave of absence, she
remained as a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania until her graduation in May,
7. In or about September, 2007, Perry enrolled in and became a full-time student at
the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Perry remained and continued as
a full-time student at the University of Pennsylvania until her graduation in May, 2011.
8. While at the University of Pennsylvania, Dweck and Perry met each other, were
in the same comedy troupe known as Bloomers and for a period of time beginning in or about
August 2010, were roommates, and became close personal friends.
9. For several years and, most particularly in 2010, after they became roommates,
and the first part of 2011, Dweck and Perry spent extensive time together sharing creative ideas
and encouraging each other to come forth with creative ideas.
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 3 of 25
10. At some time in 2010 during her senior year at the University of Pennsylvania,
Perry had an idea for creating a different kind of laptop charger.
11. Consistent with past and ongoing practices, Perry discussed her idea for a wireless
charger with Dweck, just as they had routinely discussed their respective thoughts and ideas with
one another on numerous occasions previously. They sought to encourage one another and to
use their collective energies, intelligence, wisdom, and abilities to expand upon their respective
thoughts and ideas and to endeavor to create a useful product.
12. After discussing Perry's initial thoughts regarding a potential wireless charger,
Dweck and Perry collaborated, brainstormed, and pooled their intellectual and other resources,
and worked cooperatively together to see whether the idea could be developed into a marketable
concept and product. They named the concept and the nascent product that they were working
on collectively "uBeam."
13. The uBeam product and concept was generated and evolved through Dweck's and
Perry's collective and collaborative efforts. They initially proceeded as equals, as partners in the
process. They held themselves out to others at least during the first five months of 2011 as
equals and partners in the process with respect to uBeam.
14. Dweck and Perry developed a concept of a uBeam "charge system." That charge
system would have two components the uBeam Charge Station, which is an apparatus which is
plugged into a wall socket and emits energy; and the uBeam Battery Adapter, which is plugged
into electronic devices and receives and absorbs energy from the Charge Station.
15. The uBeam Charge Station is, by way of analogy, like a speaker in a stereo
system except, instead of emitting audio, it emits ultrasound. Ultrasound is a form of sound
which can ultimately be converted into usable electrical energy. There is potential for ultrasound
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 4 of 25
to be converted into usable energy with the help of an energy converter sometimes referred to or
known as a transducer.
16. The uBeam product potentially represents a substantial improvement and
advancement for the electronic industry. The uBeam product, if developed as envisioned by
Dweck and Perry working together, provides a remote charging modality as an alternative to
electronic charging modalities typically used now plugging electronic equipment into a
charger, plugged into an outlet. Perry and Dweck also thought of multiple applications
including, for example, medical applications, for uBeam which were to be included within and
protected by patent and included use of infrasound as a possible alternative to ultrasound.
17. The uBeam product and approach has the potential to revolutionize the electronics
18. The uBeam product and approach has the potential to be worth substantial
amounts, likely in the tens of millions of dollars.
19. In addition to the work which they did collaboratively and for their benefit
collectively in terms of developing the uBeam product and concept, Dweck and Perry also
collaborated to develop a marketing strategy. That marketing strategy included, among other
things, the concept of having both industrial and individual use models of their uBeam product.
The industrial model would be intended for robust usage and commercial and public areas,
whether coffee shops, book stores, train stations, airports, universities, apartment complexes, or
otherwise. The personal model would be intended for single-person use in homes, offices, or
20. At the University of Pennsylvania there was in 2011, and had been during a
number of prior years, a competition or contest known as PennVention. That is a program or
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 5 of 25
competition which is and has been held annually by the Weiss Tech House, which is a hub of
technological innovation at the University of Pennsylvania. The Weiss Tech House encourages
and supports students in the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative
21. Each year, PennVention accepts applications/proposals from those who want to
participate in the program and have innovative inventions, technologies or services which they
want considered during the competition. Entrants must be interested in and intending to start a
business for their service or technology.
22. Dweck and Perry entered the PennVention competition to be held in April, 2011.
They submitted uBeam for evaluation and consideration during the PennVention competition.
That submission was made by them as partners, jointly presenting uBeam.
23. Prior to the PeimVention Final Competition, Dweck and Perry each spent
considerable time and energy with respect to various aspects of uBeam including research,
development, and creation of business and marketing analyses and proposals or plans. They
each benefited from the work of the other and collaborated in their efforts.
24. With respect particularly to the PennVention competition, Dweck and Perry each
spent a considerable amount of time and energy, using their abilities, collaborating and preparing
for the presentation to be made. Among other things, they co-authored a business plan which
they submitted in an early phase or round of the competition. They also co-authored and jointly
prepared their PennVention PowerPoint presentations. They held themselves out to those
viewing the competition and evaluating the competitors and products as a collaborative team, as
equal partners in the process with respect to uBeam. During the competition, they announced
publicly that they were the "BeamTeam" and that their product was uBeam.
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 6 of 25
25. As a result of their joint effort in developing and presenting uBeam in the
PennVention competition, Dweck and Perry won the $5,000.00 First Prize. They also jointly, as
a team, received four other awards: the Tapper Innovation Connect Award, with each of them
receiving a round-trip plane ticket to London, hotel accommodations for two nights, $1,000 for
expenses, and a private meeting to discuss their invention and product with the Chief
Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Open Innovation at Unilever Plc.; the $3,000
Design for Manufacturing Award, awarded by Warminster-based design Circle, Inc.; the QVC
Consumer Innovation Award, which included $1,500 in cash and a one-hour meeting with a
buyer from the West Chester-based shopping network; and the $500 Audience Choice Award,
given out based on a vote by the guests present for the contest finals at the Weiss Tech House.
26. Dweck and Perry received those awards and accepted them jointly. They
received them as a team, each as a partner with the other.
27. As a result of and from their success in the PennVention competition, the uBeam
product began receiving publicity in the media. There were favorable articles in the local press,
as well as favorable comments on the internet. They and uBeam were also the subject of one or
more radio features.
28. Dweck and Perry, as a team, were pleased to receive the positive feedback as it
appeared through such publications.
29. Dweck and Perry were the co-founders of uBeam the product, the strategy, the
innovative technology, and the opportunity. They held themselves out to others as co-founders.
They also held themselves out as equal participants in the project and equal participants availing
themselves of the opportunity before them.
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 7 of 25
30. Dweck and Perry, collectively, recognized that they needed to take appropriate
steps to protect the intellectual property rights relating to uBeam and any derivatives from it.
With Perry's knowledge, and agreement, Dweck spent substantial time in that endeavor. Among
other things, Dweck located and hired an attorney specializing in intellectual property rights and
obtaining protections for such rights. Through Dweck's and Perry's efforts, patent counsel was
engaged and a provisional patent application for the uBeam product was prepared.
31. In accordance with their discussions and agreements, Dweck and Perry,
collectively, took steps to protect the uBeam technology.
32. They submitted a provisional patent application. Perry signed the provisional
patent application for their uBeam product which they had presented at PennVention. Perry
signed the provisional patent application on behalf of Dweck and Perry ostensibly to protect their
shared and collective interests in uBeam.
33. In the context of preparation and submission of the provisional patent application,
Dweck and Perry discussed the assignment of the provisional patent and all right, title, and
interest in uBeam and the technology to an entity which Perry and Dweck would jointly own. In
May 2011, Perry represented, warranted and assured Dweck that that would be done. They
agreed that the patent would be assigned and transferred to their jointly owned entity.
34. Counsel provided the patent documents to Perry for signature to cause the
assignment to be made. In late May, 2010, Perry assured Dweck that the rights to the patent had
been so assigned. Perry told Dweck that she (Perry) had gone to a notary who had notarized the
patent assignment documents and that she (Perry) had in turn, sent the signed assignment
documents to their patent counsel.
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 8 of 25
35. In that same time frame, Dweck took the lead for herself and her partner, Perry, in
developing a website for uBeam. She acquired domain names, including uBeam.com, and
uBeam.org. She hired and paid others who worked with her to develop a website, uBeam.com.
36. Initially, Dweck and Perry had used uBeam.org as their website, as someone else
owned uBeam.com. Through Dweck's efforts, they were able to acquire the uBeam.com website
and thereafter to use it.
37. The uBeam.com website was designed, developed, and launched. Perry was
consulted with, agreed to, and provided input with respect to the website and the information and
materials to be included on it. Dweck and Perry both provided, approved, and endorsed the
content and appearance of the uBeam.com website as published.
38. The uBeam.com website identifies Dweck and Perry as co-founders ofuBeam.
The website includes, among other things, the following statement regarding the co-founders:
"they have filed a provisional patent, are securing angel money, and finding the right
manufacturers to bring uBeam to market. They have created a small-scale proof of concept
model, but need better equipment for the actual prototype. Perry and Dweck are in the R&D
phase right now, and anticipate a finalized product by Fall 2011."
39. On the website, there is a photograph of Dweck and Perry together. The caption
to that photograph states "Meredith Perry (left) and Nora Dweck, with their invention, uBeam."
40. The website and statements and representations on it have been available to the
public for months. Dweck and Perry individually and jointly published materials on the website
fully expecting others to view and rely on information on that website. Among other things,
Perry viewed the website as an appropriate tool to promote Dweck and Perry's effort and
opportunity with respect to the uBeam product.
Case 2:11-cv-07057-SD Document 1 Filed 11/10/11 Page 9 of 25
41. Dweck also created, with the assistance of others, the uBeam logo and uBeam
business cards for herself and for Ms. Perry, as well as a pamphlet which could be distributed,
among other places, at the "All Things Digital" Conference.
42. Dweck and Perry were invited to attend a prestigious conference featuring
innovative technologies known as the "All Things Digital" Conference to be held in Palos,
Verdes, California, that is often times referred to as the "D Conference." At the D Conference,
Dweck and Perry collectively and collaboratively were to have the opportunity to ma...