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Judge Andrews dismisses amended complaint under Iqbal/Twombly in lieu of Rule 84

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In Raindance Technologies, Inc. v. 10X Genomics, Inc., C.A. No. 15-152-RGA (D. Del. Mar. 4, 2016), Judge Richard G. Andrews dismissed Plaintiffs’ amended complaint for patent infringement under the heightened pleading standard of Iqbal/Twombly–as opposed to the standard under Rule 84–despite the fact that the amended complaint was filed before December 1, 2015. Judge Andrews granted Plaintiffs leave to replead, explaining that while “Plaintiffs have not plausibly alleged any infringement, . . . Plaintiffs might very well be able to do so, particularly if they have analyzed [Defendant’s] products and not just its website.” Id. at 5. Explaining his application of Iqbal/Twombly, Judge Andrews noted the following:

Effective December 1, 2015, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 84 and the Appendix of Forms were “abrogated.” Under existing standards, that is, Iqbal and Twombly, it is clear to me that Plaintiffs have not plausibly alleged indirect infringement on Counts I and III (and, I expect, on Counts IV through VII, although in the interest of conserving resources, I am not going to decide that now). Further, I believe that I have discretion whether or not to apply the post-December 1, 2015 direct infringement pleading standard to the amended complaint, and I believe that it would be in the interest of justice to do so. I also note, to foreclose future unnecessary argument, that for indirect infringement, Defendant’s knowledge of the patents is established at least as of the filing of the lawsuit.

Id. at 4-5. More specifically, in dismissing Count I, Judge Andrews noted that “[t]here is nothing in the complaint (at least so far as I can see) that hints at the role of pressure in Defendant’s products,” as required by the claim language. Id. at 3. (emphasis added). As to Count III, Judge Andrews explained that “[i]t is not obvious to me that what Plaintiffs describe is an ‘autocatalytic reaction,’” as stated in the claim language. Id. at 4 (emphasis added). Judge Andrews explained that “[t]he requirements of the next to last element might be met, but involves quite a bit of supposition.” Id.

Finally, Judge Andrews explained that “I have not reviewed as closely the asserted patents of Counts IV through VII. I do not think I need to do so. Plaintiff makes no attempt to relate any their factual assertions with any of the asserted claims. Since it is clear to me that Plaintiff is going to need to file another amended complaint, it ought to do so before I spend any more time reviewing its current defective complaint.” Id. at 4 (emphasis added).

 

 

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