Patent News

Nov. 3, 2015 New pleading standards introduce wrinkle in patent reform debate, by Michael Rosen

This post originally appeared in on November 3, 2015.

As the legislative patent reform debate remains stalled, new judicially created rules governing certain aspects of patent litigation are set to take effect in a month, thus potentially providing a further reason for reform to stay stuck in neutral.

How much detail should patent-holders’ complaints include?

Recall that one of the first topics addressed by the earliest drafts of the Innovation Act – the vehicle enacted in late 2013 by the House of Representatives and currently under (re)consideration by the same chamber, after it perished in the Senate during the previous term – concerned the “pleadings standard” for patent cases. This standard establishes the level of specificity with which the patent-holder must state, or “plead,” her complaint.

Under current law, patent pleading standards are fairly lax. The patent-holder must recite the number of the patent, affirm that she indeed owns it, name the company/ies or individual/s she accuses of infringing it, identify the product or method infringing the patent, state that she believes the infringement has damaged her, and recite a jurisdictional basis.