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Claims and Affirmative Defenses Must be More than Bare Bones Allegations


H-D USA, LLC v. Partnerships & Unincorporated Assocs., No. 21 C 496, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 14, 2022) (Tharp, J.).

Judge Tharp granted plaintiff Harley Davidson’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss defendant’s first counterlcaim and granted in part its motion to dismiss affirmative defenses in this trademark dispute involving HARLEY DAVIDSON marks.

Defendants’ counterclaims were a bare list of legal conclusions without any supporting facts. The Court, therefore, dismissed them. Similarly, defendants’ statute of limitations, laches, estoppel, and implied license affirmative defenses were bare recitations of the law. The Court, therefore, dismissed them. Defendants’ non-counterfeit and lack-of-willfulness defenses were not stricken  because they were not affirmative defenses, but instead directly attack plaintiff’s allegations.


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