Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Allegation That Plaintiff "Buried" Prior Art in IDS is Sufficient to State a Claim for Inequitable Conduct

The court denied plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings as to defendant's inequitable conduct claim based on the theory that plaintiff buried relevant prior art among 597 other prior art references. "Defendants have sufficiently alleged with particularity that [plaintiff's] prosecuting attorney . . . filed [two IDSes] in connection with the prosecution of the . . . patents that contained approximately 598 prior art references in which [plaintiff] failed to identify the relevant prior art pertaining to invalidity. . . . Further, [defendants] allege that the PTO examiner specifically requested a clarification or explanation of the prior art references, and thus sufficiently allege with particularity the materiality of submitting a 'mountain' of prior art. Last, Defendants sufficiently allege that [plaintiff] intended to deceive or mislead the PTO during the prosecution of the . . . patents because it submitted a mountain of largely irrelevant material to the PTO examiner and then failed to inform the PTO examiner which material was relevant, and, in the case of [one] patent, submitted no IDS at all."

CIVIX-DDI LLC v. National Association of Realtors et al., 1-05-cv-06869 (ILND February 1, 2010, Memorandum Opinion & Order) (St. Eve, J.)

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