Digest of Anderson v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., No. 2014-1117 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014) (nonprecedential). On appeal from W.D. Wash. Before Prost, Clevenger and Chen. Per curiam.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed district court’s dismissal of her complaint for failure to state a claim of infringement of the asserted patent. CAFC affirmed.

  • Evidence: The district court did not err in taking into account evidence not attached to the pleadings, including the asserted patent, defendant’s published patent application, and photographs of accused products that were attached to defendant’s motion. The evidences were central to plaintiff’s complaint, and their authenticities were not called into question.
  • Noninfringement: The district court did not err in concluding that there were plain differences between the accused products and the asserted design patent. Plaintiff failed to explain how an ordinary observer would mistake the asserted products for the patented design, and a complaint for infringement must include more than merely conclusory allegations.
  • Invalidity: As the accused product was indistinguishable from the design in the prior art publication, even if the accused product were found to be infringing, the asserted patent would be invalid in light of the prior art publication.
  • Dispositive Motion: The CAFC rejected plaintiff’s argument that district court failed to consider the fact that the parties had not conducted a scheduling conference under FED. R. CIV. P. 26(f) before ruling on the Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings. There is no requirement of a Rule 26(f) conference before a court may rule on a Rule 12(c) motion.

Hui Li