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In re Bill of Lading Transmission and Processing System Patent Litigation

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-07-2012
Case #: 2010-1493, 2010-1494, 2010-1495, 2010-1496, 2011-1101, and 2011-1102
Newman, Prost, O'Malley

Patents: A complaint that meets the requirements of a relevant sample form in the Appendix to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure cannot be dismissed for failing to meet the requirements established under the Twombly line of cases.

Opinion (O’Malley): R+L Carriers, Inc. (R+L) appealed the dismissal of its amended complaints, alleging induced and contributory infringement of its method Patent (No. 6,401,078) by six defendants. The district court granted a joint 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, finding that R+L had failed to plausibly plead that any defendant had directly or indirectly infringed its patent for either claim. The Federal Circuit agreed with the district court that, because R+L had failed to plead facts supporting an inference that the products used or sold by the defendants had no substantial non-infringing use, the allegations of contributory infringement were properly dismissed. It disagreed, however, with the district court’s dismissal of the induced infringement claim. Citing FRCP Rule 84, which specifies that “the forms in the Appendix suffice under these rules and illustrate the simplicity and brevity that these rules contemplate,” and the 1946 Advisory Committee Notes to that rule, the appeals court stated that where the pleading requirements under Twombly conflicted with the Forms, the Forms controlled. Because R+L’s direct infringement complaint met the requirements of Form 18, the Appellate Court held that those allegations were sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. The Federal Circuit also found that because the district court failed to view the facts alleged by R+L in the light most favorable to it, as the non-moving party, the dismissal was in error.