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Judge Robinson dismisses claims of willful patent infringement because complaint did not plead pre-filing conduct

Judge Sue L. Robinson recently granted defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims of willful patent infringement in Rothschild Mobile Imaging Innovations, LLC v. Mitek Systems, Inc., et al., C.A. No. 14-617-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 30, 2015).  Plaintiff’s complaint alleged knowledge of the patents-in-suit as of the filing of the lawsuit.  Id. at 4.  However, under In re Seagate Tech., LLC, 497 F.3d 1360, 1374 (Fed. Cir. 2007), “a willfulness claim asserted in the original complaint must necessarily be grounded exclusively in the accused infringer’s pre-filing conduct.”  Id. at 4.   Therefore, Judge Robinson concluded that “the mere notice of infringement gleaned from the complaint does not pass muster for a willfulness claim under Rule 8”; and that the complaint did not plead facts establishing “objective recklessness of the infringement risk.”  Id. at 4-5.

 

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