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IP LitigationFederal CircuitTrade Secrets

Rule 12(b)(6) Inappropriate for Resolving Fact-Intensive Trade Secret Claims

December 23, 2014

IP LitigationFederal CircuitTrade Secrets

Rule 12(b)(6) Inappropriate for Resolving Fact-Intensive Trade Secret Claims

December 23, 2014

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ABB Turbo Sys. AG v. TurboUSA, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (December 17, 2014)
(Prost, Newman, TARANTO) (S.D. Fla.: Moore) (2 of 5 stars)
Federal Circuit reverses dismissal of trade secret misappropriation claims under FRCP 12(b)(6) and remands for further proceedings.
The Federal Circuit first held dismissal on timeliness grounds inappropriate, noting that “[d]ismissal at the pleading stage on statute-of-limitations grounds ordinarily is improper unless it is ‘apparent from the face of the complaint that the claim is time-barred.’” Slip op. at 8-9. The district court was wrong to think that ABB should have known about the alleged misappropriation before the statute of limitations ran, simply because it was alleged to be massive and occur over a long time period. The court “exceed[ed] the limits on factual assessments appropriate when ruling on a motion to dismiss.” Id. at 9. The district court also erred in ruling that ABB had not established adequate safeguards as evidenced by the fact that the secrets were stolen. The Federal Circuit noted “the complaint stage is not well-suited to determining what precautions are reasonable in a given context.” Id. at 11. The Federal Circuit declined to consider, though provided some guidance regarding, TurboUSA’s additional arguments for dismissal under Iqbal/Twombley that the district court had not addressed.


The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fish & Richardson P.C., any other of its lawyers, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This post is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

Related Tags

CAFC Summary
Trade Secret Misappropriation
FRCP 12(b)(6)
Federal Circuit

Blog Authors

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Chris W. Dryer | Associate

Chris Dryer’s practice emphasizes patent litigation and appeals. He has experience litigating intellectual property cases in the U.S. International Trade Commission, federal district courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involving a wide array of...

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