Everite Transworld Ltd. v. MIEH, Inc., No. 19 C 678, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 24, 2020) (Rowland, J.)
Judge Rowland granted in part plaintiffs’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss defendant MIEH’s counterclaims for tortious interference and civil conspiracy in this patent dispute involving toy vehicles that travel through tubes.
MIEH did not meet its Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) heightened pleading requirement for its civil conspiracy claim. First, the Court disregarded statements that MIEH did not allege to be false. And the remaining statements, even if they were false, were made after the parties executed the agreement. Because the statements were made after entry into the agreement, they could not have caused MIEH to enter the agreement. The Court, therefore, dismissed the civil conspiracy claim with leave to replead, if MIEH could.
MIEH did, however, sufficiently plead tortious interference. MIEH pled that plaintiffs EVL and EVTL attempted to stop MIEH’s sales by contacting MIEH’s distributors and threatening legal action by falsely claiming that MIEH lacked a license to the intellectual property. MIEH also pled that its distributors have refused to purchase MIEH product or canceled MIEH orders.