Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Re Seagate Does Not Dictate Standard For Pleading Willful Infringement Claim

Defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiffs' willful infringement claim for failure to state a claim was denied. "The defendants argue that the court should dismiss the plaintiffs’ willful infringement claim because the plaintiffs fail to allege 'objective recklessness' as required by [In Re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2007)]. Specifically, the defendants state that '[t]he Amended Complaint does not state even a single fact that suggests "an objectively high likelihood that [the defendants’ alleged] actions constituted infringement of a valid patent" and that [the defendants] knew or should have known of this objectively defined risk, both of which are necessary elements of a willful infringement claim. . . . Although the defendants properly assert that Seagate sets forth the standard for establishing willful infringement, the defendants fail to recognize that Seagate is not controlling for purposes of pleading under Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). . . . Ultimately, the plaintiffs’ allegation that the defendants were aware of the plaintiffs’ five patents that the defendants allegedly had infringed and continued to infringe upon, is sufficient. . . ."

Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, et. al. v. Hitachi Ltd., et. al., 2-09-cv-00948 (WIED February 14, 2011, Order) (Callahan, M.J.)

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