Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No Heightened Pleading Standard for System Claims

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's direct infringement claim for failure to state a claim. "[Defendant] asserts that [plaintiff's] complaint lacks factual allegations that [defendant] 'controls' or 'uses' all portions of the claimed invention or that [defendant] combines all claimed elements necessary to 'make' the system. [Defendant] further argues that while Form 18 is adequate in complaints of direct infringement of method patent claims, it does not satisfy the pleading standard for system patent claims. The sole case [defendant] cites to support a heightened pleading standard for systems claims is Centillion Data Systems, LLC v. Qwest Communications Int’l, Inc., 631 F.3d 1279 (Fed. Cir. 2011). However, in Centillion, the Federal Circuit was considering an appeal of summary judgment, not a motion to dismiss. Further, while Centillion did define the standard for what constitutes 'use' of a system claim, there is nothing therein to suggest the Federal Circuit intended to raise the pleading standard for system claims. Accordingly, this Court will not adopt the higher standards [defendant] advocates."

Uniloc USA, Inc. et al v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., 6-13-cv-00256 (TXED March 21, 2014, Order) (Davis, J.)

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