A Double Standard For Pleading Patent Infringement

Firm Thought Leadership

In its recent decision in Bill of Lading, a panel of the Federal Circuit clarified that the standard for pleading indirect infringement (i.e., inducement and contributory infringement) is different than the standard for pleading direct infringement. A pleading for a claim of direct infringement need not allege a specific claim of the patent that is infringed or how or why the accused products infringe, and in some cases may identify the accused products categorically, rather than specifically (e.g., by name or model number). In contrast, a pleading for a claim of indirect infringement must adhere to a more rigorous standard, and allege enough facts to plausibly support liability.


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