By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in EMC Corp., et al. v. Zerto, Inc., Civil Action No. 12-956-GMS (D.Del., July 31, 2014), the Court granted the motion of plaintiffs, EMC Corporation and EMC Israel Development Center, Ltd., to dismiss the counterclaims of defendant, Zerto, Inc., asserting invalidity of the five patents-in-suit. In their motion to dismiss, plaintiffs asserted that defendant’s counterclaims of invalidity should be dismissed because they failed to satisfy the Twombly/Iqbal pleading standard. Id. at 1. In response, defendant argued that its invalidity counterclaims were pled with the degree of particularity required in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Form 18, contained enough specificity to identify a plausible claim for relief, and put plaintiffs on notice of the invalidity allegations. Id. at 2.
The Court was not persuaded by defendant’s arguments. The Court explained that “the District of Delaware has not adopted local patent rules governing pleadings standards or service of factual contentions for invalidity counterclaims.” Id. at 3. In addition, “the Federal Circuit has explained that ‘Form 18 should be strictly construed as measuring only the sufficiency of allegations of direct infringement.’” Id. Thus, the Court recognized that the pleadings standards set forth in Twombly and Iqbal do apply to counterclaims of invalidity. Id. As a result, the Court concluded that defendant’s counterclaims of invalidity did not contain sufficient factual matter to satisfy the pleadings standards set forth in Twombly and Iqbal. Id. at 4.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.