RTC Industries, Inc. v. FFR Merchandising, Inc.
ORDER regarding Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim 18 . FFR Merchandising, Inc.'s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim 18 is granted. Plaintiff's complaint is accordingly dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff is granted leave to file an amended complaint within 30 days of this order that resolves the inadequacies identified herein. Signed by the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman on 8/31/2017. Mailed notice(smm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
RTC INDUSTRIES, INC.
FFR MERCHANDISING, INC.,
) Case No. 17-cv-3595
) Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman
FFR Merchandising, Inc.’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim  is granted.
Plaintiff’s complaint is accordingly dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff is granted leave to file an
amended complaint within 30 days of this order that resolves the inadequacies identified herein.
Within this district, it has been recognized that Twombly and Iqbal require plaintiffs to plead
sufficient facts supporting their infringement allegations with respect to each asserted patent claim.
Oil-Dri Corp. of America v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., No. 15-cv-1067, 2017 WL 1197096, at *5 (N.D. Ill.
Mar. 31, 2017) (St. Eve, J.); see also Atlas IP, LLC v. City of Naperville, No. 15-cv-10744, 2016 WL
3907029, at *3 (N.D. Ill. July 19, 2016) (Coleman, J.) (“Applying the ordinary analysis of
Twombly/Iqbal, [the plaintiff] must plead that every limitation, or equivalent thereof, in the
representative claim can plausibly be found in an accused product.”).
[F]actual allegations that do not permit a court to infer that the
accused product infringes each element of at least one claim are not
suggestive of infringement—they are merely compatible with
infringement. Because the failure to practice even a single element is
all that separates innovation from infringement, there is always an
obvious alternative explanation where a plaintiff does not allege facts
about each element (although the format that those allegations take
must depend on the complexity of the patent and the number of
claims allegedly infringed). Indeed, given the investigation that Rule
11(b) requires before filing a complaint, it is difficult to imagine how
an action for infringement could be brought without a tentative but
nonetheless coherent theory of which claims are allegedly infringed
and how the accused products practice—or . . . may practice—each
of those claims' elements.
Atlas IP, LLC v. Exelon Corp., 189 F. Supp. 3d 768, 775 (N.D. Ill. 2016) (Shadur, J.)(internal citations
RTC Industries, Inc. makes no effort to establish that it has complied with these pleading
requirements. Instead, it ignores the reasoning that led to these requirements and, relying on
arguments that have already been raised and rejected within this district, attempts to argue that a
lesser standard of pleading applies. The Court rejects that argument for the reasons that have been
previously set forth in the multiple cases establishing the prevailing pleading standard in this district.
As a final matter, RTC Industries claims that its pleadings are sufficient, in part, because its
complaint includes the internet address of a page on FFR’s website. An internet address is a
citation; it is not a document or evidence in its own right. Accordingly, a website identified by its
internet address cannot be incorporated into a complaint in the same manner as documentary
evidence. This is especially the case because, unlike paper documents, a website can be freely edited
at will. The Court accordingly places the parties on notice that it will not consider online content in
assessing the sufficiency of the parties’ pleadings or future filings.
SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN
United States District Court Judge
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