Federal Circuit Held that Pleading Facially Inconsistent with Claim Does Not Satisfy the Pleading Requirement

In Bot M8 LLC v. Sony Corp. of Am., Case No. 20-2218 (Fed. Cir. July 13, 2021), the Federal Circuit held that a pleading by Bot M8 in its patent infringement case against Sony was facially inconsistent with the language of the asserted claim and did not meet the requisite standard for pleadings in Federal court. The case began when Bot M8 alleged in district court that Sony’s Playstation 4 and its network infringed various Bot M8 patents, including U.S. Patent No. 8,078,540 (the `540 patent) directed to a “game program” with “an authentication program for authenticating the game program.” In a case management conference that followed, the district court gave Bot M8, sua sponte, the option to file an amended complaint that specified “every element of every claim that [Bot M8 said] is infringed” or otherwise respond directly to a motion to dismiss. Bot M8 chose to file an amended complaint that included claim charts and element-by-element allegations, but Bot M8’s claims were ultimately dismissed by the district court. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed and reasoned that because the claim charts in Bot M8’s amended complaint indicated that the Playstation 4 authentication program is stored in its flash memory on the motherboard rather than together with the game program on a board separate from the motherboard, as required by the claim, its assertions were inconsistent with the requirements of the claim at issue. In this way, according to the Federal Circuit, it was impossible for Bot M8’s pleading with respect to the ‘540 Patent to be plausible. Further, in addition to the reiteration by the Federal Circuit that an element-by-element infringement analysis of the claims was not necessary for the pleadings, it was actually detrimental to Bot M8 in this case.

A link to the case is found here: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions-orders/20-2218.OPINION.7-13-2021_1803327.pdf