Ariel Investments, LLC v. Ariel Capital Advisors, LLC, No. 15 C 3717, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 16, 2016) (Kennelly, J.).
Judge Kennelly granted plaintiff Ariel Investments’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss defendant Ariel Capital’s fraud on the Patent & Trademark Office and abuse of process claims in this Lanham Act dispute involving Ariel Investment’s ARIEL federal trademark registration.
Ariel Capital’s fraud claim was not sufficiently pled because it did not include “any factual allegations describing the who, what, when, where or how of the alleged fraud.” Conclusory allegations, particularly those pled on information and belief were insufficient.
Ariel Capital’s abuse of process claim was not well pled because the misuse must be of a court process, not just a party’s pleadings. Ariel Capital’s did not claim that Ariel Investment misused a court process, such as service of process. Instead, the allegations were merely focused upon Ariel Investment’s allegations, which could not make an abuse of process claim.