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Fractious Form 18

Drafted decades before the advent of the personal computer and the digital age, Form 18 of the Federal Rules of Procedure, which sets forth a fill-in-the-blank template for a patent infringement complaint, has come under increasing scrutiny from litigants and courts around the country in the wake of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.  In the twin “Twiqbal” opinions, the Supreme Court seemed to state that a properly-pled complaint required far more information than is called for by Form 18, which at present asks for little more than a statement of ownership and a bald assertion of infringement.  In this Essay, the authors examine the shortcomings of Form 18, the increased clamor in the federal courts calling for reform of the same, and the Federal Circuit’s recent endorsement of Form 18’s vitality.  The Essay then concludes with an assessment of the possibility of abandonment or revision of this aging relic. 

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