Thursday, June 21, 2012

Inequitable Conduct Pleading Alleging False Statement by an Individual or “One or More” Unidentified Individuals is Insufficient to State a Claim

The court granted plaintiff's motion to dismiss defendant's inequitable conduct claims for failure to state a claim because the allegations concerning the identity of the person allegedly making false statements were too vague. "[Defendant's] allegations that [a certain individual] was [plaintiff's] 'officer or employee' and that he 'knew or should have known' of the prior sales and prior art fall short of concretely alleging that he actually knew of the invalidating information. These scant allegations are further diluted by the qualifiers that either [he], or 'one or more' of the other inventors, knew about the prior sales and art and their materiality. . . . Dropping [one individual's] name in the scrum of '[plaintiff's] personnel including at least [that individual] or one or more of the other individuals listed as an inventor' fails to meet the pleading standard for 'who' deceived the PTO."

XpertUniverse Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., 1-09-cv-00157 (DED June 19, 2012, Order) (Andrews, J.).

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