A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Dismisses Contributory Patent Infringement Claim, But Declines to Dismiss Induced and Willful Infringement Claims

In a May 12, 2014 ruling, Judge Robert D. Sweet refused to dismiss the plaintiff’s induced patent infringement claim and claim for willful infringement, but did dismiss the contributory infringement claim under Rule 12(b)(6). With regard to the induced infringement, the Court wrote that the fact that the plaintiff and defendant are competitors in producing the goods covered by the patents-in-suit, that the plaintiff marked its goods with the pertinent patents, and that industry trade publications mentioned the existence of the plaintiff’s patents all gave rise to the inference that the defendant knew of the patents or turned a willful blind eye to their existence. Judge Sweet further ruled that that these same facts supported the plaintiff’s claim of willful infringement. The Court, however, dismissed the contributory infringement claim, noting that claims “of indirect infringement [necessary to support a contributory infringement claim] requires the application of Iqbal/Twombly plausibility standard,” and the “Complaint makes a barebones recitation that the [accused device] was ‘especially made or especially adapted’ for an infringing use and that it has ‘no substantial noninfringing uses.’”
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