The recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Exergen Corp. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 2006-1491, 2007-1180 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 4, 2009), will impose an increased standard of proof for claims of a lawyer’s “inequitable misconduct” in patent cases. Such claims, which hinge on the accusation that an attorney has intentionally deceived the PTO when presenting a patent application, have become increasingly common in patent cases, and are known to be frivolously tossed into pleadings, without the now requisite detail or particularity. Now, in order to raise this claim, an accusation of “inequitable misconduct” must be pled with particularity, akin to fraud pleading standards under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and “identify the specific who, what, when, where, and how” of the accused behavior. Id. at *21 (citing DiLeo v. Ernst & Young, 901 F.2d 624, 627 (7th Cir. 1990)). The ruling explains that pleadings must include sufficient facts to create an inference that the accused attorney “(1) knew of the withheld information or of the falsity of the material misrepresentation, and (2) withheld or misrepresented this information with a specific intent to deceive the PTO.” Id. at *24-25. This standard requires that anyone pleading the defense of inequitable misconduct must, at the pleading stage, have sufficiently detailed facts to support the claim. The Federal Circuit’s ruling is consistent with the American Bar Association House of Delegates’ recent adoption of resolutions imposing restrictions on similar misconduct claims.