Sedona Conference proposes heightened pleading standards in patent litigation

For many years, Form 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provided a very basic format for pleading claims of direct patent infringement. The bright line standard provided by Form 18 largely avoided controversy over the level of detail required to plead a claim for patent infringement. The Federal Judicial Conference, however, repealed Form 18 effective December 1, 2015, opening the possibility for disputes over how much more information is required to plead claims for direct patent infringement under the Supreme Court’s Iqbal and Twombly decisions.

This Chapter on Heightened Pleading Standards provides guidance as to the level of detail to be now included with the pleadings, both from the perspective of the minimum requirements set by Iqbal/Twombly as applied to patent infringement suits, and also from the perspective of what additional information should be further encouraged from both parties to promote the efficient administration and resolution of patent disputes. All parties and the courts have an interest in avoiding extensive satellite litigation regarding the sufficiency of the pleadings, and, if adopted, the Principles and Best Practice recommendations presented in this Chapter will help streamline the pleadings process in patent cases.

Please review and send comments on this Chapter on Heightened Pleading Standards to by August 15, 2016. This is an essential part of the process in making our Sedona commentaries true consensus and non-partisan documents representative of the viewpoints of all stakeholders in patent litigation today, so please lend us your time and expertise!

For more information on the proposed pleading standards, you may contact DiMuroGinsberg lawyer, Cecil Key, a member of The Sedona WG10 Heightened Pleading Standards team, at