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Robern, Inc. v. Glasscrafters, Inc.
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
206 F. Supp. 3d 1005 (2016)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 84 (Rule 84) stated that a claim was sufficiently pleaded if it met the requirements set forth in an applicable form contained in the Rules Appendix. Form 18 provided an example of a sufficiently pleaded claim in a direct patent-infringement case. Form 18 only required minimal assertions about the elements of an infringement claim. The United States Supreme Court held in 2007 that a plaintiff in any civil case must establish on the face of the pleading that the claim for relief is plausible. Circuits were split regarding whether the Supreme Court’s decision imposed the heightened plausibility pleading requirement on direct patent-infringement claims or whether the less burdensome requirements of Form 18 continued to control pursuant to Rule 84. Rule 84 and Form 18 were abrogated in 2015. In 2016 a Pennsylvania corporation, Robern, Inc. (plaintiff), filed a claim for direct patent infringement against Glasscrafters, Inc. (defendant). Robern created residential-storage products and owned several related patents, including United States Patent No. 6,092,884 (the 884 patent), which described a mirrored cabinet door. Glasscrafters competed with Robern in the cabinetry industry. Robern’s complaint complied with the requirements of Form 18 and listed which of Glasscrafters’ products were accused of infringing the 884 patent, but the complaint did not describe the method of infringement or assert facts related to any specific patent claims. Glasscrafters filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, arguing Robern did not satisfy the plausibility requirement.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Vazgnez, J.)
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