Takeaway: Plaintiffs of patent infringement cases should take careful notice of the allegations in their complaint. Be sure to raise enough factual allegations so the case will not be dismissed.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Bot M8 LLC v. Sony Corporation of America reaffirmed that infringement for patent cases need not be pleaded “on an element-by-element basis” and rejected the district court’s finding of any such blanket requirement.
The Court emphasized that “patentees need not prove their case at the pleading stage” and, thus, found that the district court had erred by misapplying Iqbal and Twombly. For a complaint to pass muster under Iqbal and Twombly, it must provide sufficient factual allegations to “articulate why it is plausible that the accused product infringes the patent claim.” Thus, “a patentee may subject its claims to early dismissal by pleading facts that are inconsistent with the requirements of its claims.”
The court ultimately determined that because Bot M8’s allegations conflicted with claim 1 of their own patent it was “not even possible, much less plausible” for Bot M8 to prevail because of the inconsistency between its allegations and its patent. Thus, by pleading “too much rather than too little,” Bot M8 “essentially pleaded itself out of court.”