Ferris Mfg. Corp., v. Curaline, Inc., No 14 C 4663, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 21, 2015) (Tharp, J.).

Judge Tharp denied defendant’s (collectively “Curaline”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss plaintiff Ferris’ Lanham Act and related state law claims regarding DevraSorb wound care products.  The Court held as follows:

  • Ferris pled sufficient facts to avoid dismissal based upon the five and ten year statute of limitations. While Ferris pled that its first learned of the claims eleven years before filing suit. But Ferris also pled that Curaline misled Ferris during the relevant time and that Ferris reasonably relied upon various statements by Curaline.
  • While it did not preclude summary judgment at some point, the Court declined to dismiss the complaint at the pleading stage based upon constructive notice triggered by the publication of Curaline’s patent application.
  • Ferris’ confidential information which Curaline allegedly publicly disclosed and used in Curaline’s patent application need not rise to the level of trade secret in order to form a breach of fiduciary duty claim.
  • Ferris sufficiently pled its Lanham Act claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 9(b).  Ferris’ complaint cited Curaline’s website and marketing materials.