Friday, June 18, 2010

Failure to Allege Facts Showing Knowledge of Asserted Patent Sinks Willfulness Claim

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's willful infringement claim for failure to state a claim. "In this case, [plaintiff] alleges that [defendant] manufactures and sells the [accused product]. [Plaintiff] also alleges that '[u]pon information and belief' [defendant] had 'full knowledge of the existence of the [patent-in-suit]' and the sale of the infringing product is 'willful[] and deliberate[].' An allegation that 'upon information and belief' the defendant acted willfully is sufficient under [Ashcroft v. Iqbal, --- U.S. ----, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1943-44 (2009)] if the plaintiff 'lists supporting facts' to show that the defendant had the requisite knowledge. . . . [Plaintiff] alleges no facts whatsoever to support its allegation that [defendant] had knowledge of the [patent-in-suit] and deliberately infringed on it. Therefore, absent facts detailing [defendant's] knowledge, [plaintiff's] willful infringement claim is insufficient."

Trebor Industries, Inc. v. Regatta AS et al., 0-10-cv-60371 (FLSD June 14, 2010, Order) (Jordan, J.)

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