Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Motions to Dismiss Based on Failure to Identify Specific Infringing Products or to Assert Specific Claims Risk Rule 11 Sanctions

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and observed that Rule 11 applies to frivolous motions to dismiss as well as frivolous lawsuits. "[T]he complaint actually names one example infringing product. By naming at least one product, the complaint pleads more than what is required under the law. Additionally, as noted above, there is no requirement that the complaint specify which specific claims the plaintiff is asserting — despite [defendant's] statements otherwise. . . . [N]ot much is required to satisfy the pleading standards for patent infringement under Federal Circuit caselaw and . . . Form 18. Nevertheless, based on this Court's judicial experience, Rule 12(b)(6) motions are seemingly filed as a matter of course in patent infringement lawsuits in this Court. . . . The Court finds it appropriate, given the questionable arguments in [defendant's] motion and [its] heavy reliance on Rule 11, to remind and caution the parties that Rule 11 cuts both ways and that Rule 11 also applies to frivolous motions. The Court holds, however, that [defendant's] current motion does not warrant Rule 11 sanctions."

Atwater Partners of Texas LLC v. AT&T, Inc., et. al., 2-10-cv-00175 (TXED March 18, 2011, Order) (Ward, J.)

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