Hall v. Bed Bath & Beyond: Design Infringement Can Proceed
BB&B initially moved to dismiss Hall’s complaint in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) – failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. The district court granted the dismissal of the complaint. In part, the district court stated that Hall’s complaint failed to contain “any allegations to show what aspects of the Tote Towel merit design patent protection, or how each Defendant has infringed the protected patent claim.” Order at 15-16. The CAFC cited Phonometrics, Inc. v. Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc. as precedent for the requirements of patent infringement pleading. The five elements include (i) to allege ownership of the patent, (ii) name each defendant, (iii) cite the patent that is allegedly infringed, (iv) state the means by which the defendant allegedly infringes, and (v) point to the sections of the patent law invoked. The CAFC stated that Mr. Hall had presented a lengthy complaint outlining the merits of his case and, therefore, had satisfied the standards set forth in Phonometrics.