Judge Sleet denies motion to dismiss and for a more definite statement

In IControl Networks, Inc. v. Zonoff Inc., C.A. No. 15-1109-GMS (D. Del. June 6, 2016), defendant filed a motion to dismiss, contending that plaintiff’s complaint had failed to plausibly state a claim for willful infringement. The Court rejected this argument, noting that plaintiff’s “reliance upon ‘information and belief’ in its pleadings is not deficient given the further information here demanded by [defendant] lies uniquely within the control of the defendant” and that the complaint went “beyond mere legal conclusions and [made] sufficient factual allegations to state a claim.” Id. at 1-2 n.1 (citations and quotation marks omitted). Defendant also argued that plaintiff’s claim for pre-suit damages should be dismissed as not complying with the patent marking statute (35 U.S.C. § 287), but the Court rejected the premise that “the requirements of § 287 are equivalent to the Federal Circuit’s requirements of a ‘statement that the plaintiff has given the defendant notice’ in an infringement complaint. . . . the court sees no reason to dismiss claims for pre-suit damages at this stage.” Id. at 2 n.1 (citations omitted).

Finally, the Court rejected defendant’s argument that plaintiff’s indirect infringement allegations had to enumerate the specific patent claims asserted, citing the District’s Default Standard for Discovery that “contains a procedural mechanism for the identification of specific asserted claims, and the court sees no need to depart from that process here.” Id. Accordingly, the Court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and for a more definite statement.


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