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Chief Judge Stark denies motion to dismiss claims for induced, contributory and willful infringement

Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark recently considered and denied Sunovion Pharmaceuticals’ motion to dismiss Cipla’s claims for indirect and willful infringement.  Cipla Ltd. v. Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., C.A. No. 15-424-LPS (D. Del. Mar. 30, 2016).  Regarding inducement, Judge Stark concluded that the complaint sufficiently stated a claim because it alleged facts giving rise to a reasonable inference that users of the accused product directly infringe the patent in suit, and that defendant’s induced third parties to infringe by alleging defendant sells the accused product who it reasonably infers will use the product.  Id. at 3-4.  Further, the complaint alleges that defendant “knew or should have known that its actions would induce actual infringement.”  Id. at 4.  “Because the patented compound is (allegedly) the only active ingredient in [the accused product], one can reasonably infer that any use of [the product] will constitute infringement.”  Id.  Regarding contributory infringement, Judge Stark concluded the complaint passed muster because it adequately alleged that defendant sold a product practicing the patent, that the product has no substantial non-infringing uses, and that defendant knew its product would infringe.  Judge Stark also concluded that plaintiff’s willfulness allegations were sufficient because the complaint alleged that defendant had knowledge of the patent in suit and manufactures a product that contains the patented compound.  Id. at 6.

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