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IP: “Form” over substance

Federal Circuit finds that Form 18 supercedes Twombly

Form 18 in the Appendix to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure should not be viewed as a special patent exemption from the pleading requirements of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, particularly when plaintiffs make multiple complex method-of-use claims against multiple defendants. More fundamentally, there is no logical basis for concluding that all other types of cases are subject to the pleading requirements of Twombly and Iqbal, but not patent cases.

In June 2012, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court decision dismissing various patent infringement complaints, and in so doing it opined that Form 18 supercedes Twombly (See In re Bill of Lading Transmission & Processing Sys. Patent Litig.) The complaints’ allegations in that case, however, went far beyond what was set forth in Form 18, and they satisfied Twombly:

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Thomas Rohback

Thomas Rohback is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer, and a partner at Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP. During one year, he tried three federal...

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