Articles Posted in Patent Infringement

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Indianapolis, Indiana – The Plaintiff, Gema USA, Inc. (“Gema”) is a Switzerland based company that was founded in 1897 as a metalworking company and operates out of Indianapolis.  Since 2012, Gema has been a part of the global Graco Group, an internationally leading manufacture of liquid conveyance systems and components.  According to the complaint, Gema is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of electrostatic powder coating control units, and powder feed systems.  Gema sells a variety of powder guns and spray equipment in this district and throughout the United States.

The Defendant, First in Finishing, Inc., according to their website, was formed by Monte McClung in 2009 after a 20 year Career at Gema.  First in Finishing, Inc.’s mission statement is listed to “Provide quality and reliable powder coating solutions while saving and controlling costs to customers.”  They allege to be an Integrator of Gema Products, not a Gema Distributor.

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2022-09-02-BlogPhotoTable-300x130Goshen, Indiana – The Plaintiff, Harper Trucks Inc. (“Harper”), based out of Wichita, Kansas, have been in business since 1940.  Harper advertises to be the world’s largest manufacturer of hand trucks.  Harper Trucks are manufactured in a plant of 40,000 square feet with full robotic and new composite-injection capabilities.

The Defendant, Gleason Industrial Products Inc. (“Gleason’), according to their website, was founded in 1946 and is comprised of three manufacturing divisions throughout three states in the Midwest: Algoma Net Company, Gleason Industrial Products, and Precisions Products.  Milwaukee Hand Trucks is the name for products manufactured and sold by Gleason Industrial Products.  Milwaukee Hand Trucks are produced in Gleason’s manufacturing facilities in Goshen, Indiana and Lincoln, Illinois.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued Patent No. 10,864,933 (“933 Patent”) entitled “Four Position Hand Truck” to Harper on December 15, 2020.  The patent generally discloses and claims a multi-position hand truck that permits a user to easily change the orientation of the handle and frame among a number of positions making the hand truck extremely useful to a wide variety of uses. Continue reading

Blog-Photo-300x292Indianapolis, Indiana – The Plaintiffs, PUMA SE and PUMA North America Inc. (“PUMA”), are world leaders in the sportswear industry.  PUMA SE, based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, is a multi-national company that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel, and accessories.  PUMA North America Inc. is a Delaware Corporation, with its principal place of business in Somerville, Massachusetts and is one of the top five sportswear brands in the world by revenue.

PUMA applied for a Federal Trademark registration under Application Serial No. 97171928 for the mark NITRO for footwear, namely, running shoes, training shoes, and basketball shoes.  According to the Complaint, in or around December 2021, PUMA requested the Defendant, Brooks Sports, Inc. (“Brooks”) cease and desist the use of the Mark NITRO mark in connection with footwear. The parties were unable to reach a settlement.

PUMA also alleges that the Brooks shoe the “Aurora BL” infringes upon their Design Patent No. D897,075 and is being sold in connection with the infringing use of PUMA’s NITRO mark.

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johnson-controls-300x131South Bend, Indiana – Apparently the Plaintiff, Johnson Controls Technology Company (“Johnson”), is a technology holding company for its parent company Johnson Controls International, plc (“JCI”). Johnson claims it owns multiple utility and design patents including those at issue in this case, U.S. Patent Nos. 11,022,332, 10,684,029, 10,528,013, 8,826,165, 8,190,728, D788,785, D924,888, D924,890 (collectively, “Asserted Patents”).

According to the Complaint, JCI, including Johnson, are competitors with Defendant, Kreuter Manufacturing Co., Inc. d/b/a KMC Controls, Inc. (“KMC”) in the field of building management systems, HVAC systems, and related technological solutions. Johnson claims KMC manufactures, uses, and sells devices, systems, and software that infringe the Asserted Patents. Namely, the KMC TotalControl software suite, the KMC Conquest line of controllers, the KMC ConnectLite software application, the KMC Commander automation platform, and the KMC Commander gateway devices (collectively, the “Accused Products”). Additionally, KMC allegedly “provides its customers with instructions, product information, and technical information, which instruct its customers to use its devices, systems, and software in infringing ways.”

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BlogPhoto-4-300x184Hammond, Indiana – Apparently, James E. Cross, the Plaintiff is the owner of three design patents for convertible t-shirt designs, U.S. Patent Nos. D/580,633, D/581,136, and D/341,471 (collectively, the “Patents in Suit”). Notably, it appears the ‘633 and ‘136 Patents are set to expire in November 2022, while the ‘471 Patent expired in November 2007 since the term for a design patent filed prior to May 13, 2015 is 14 years.

Cross claims Defendants, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., Walmart Inc., Kohl’s Inc., and Amazon, Inc. (collectively “Defendants”), have actively induced and contributorily infringed upon the Patents in Suit and his trade dress by importing, offering for sale, and/or selling t-shirts with his ornamental designs without his permission.

While the pro se Complaint is fairly short, Cross attached numerous exhibits not discussed in the Complaint including an order dismissing Cross’ case against Meijer, Inc. due to settlement and a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision regarding the ‘471 Patent. Further attached are black and white photos of zip-up bike jerseys allegedly being sold by Defendants.

Cross is seeking an accounting of damages, costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.

Practice Tip: The current design patent term, if filed on or after May 13, 2015 is 15 years from the date of grant. 35 U.S.C. § 173.

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Picture1-2-300x188Indianapolis,  Indiana – Apparently the Plaintiff, Social Positioning Input Systems, LLC (“Social”), is the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 9,261,365 (the “‘365 Patent”). The ‘365 Patent is titled “Device, System and Method for Remotely Entering, Storing and Sharing Addresses for a Positional Information Device.” Social claims Netsoft Holdings, LLC (“Netsoft”), the Defendant, has infringed on at least Claim 1 of the ‘365 Patent by making, using, selling, and/or offering for sale associated hardware and software for asset locating (the “Product”). For example, the Product may include Netsoft’s Hubstaff asset tracking platform and any associated hardware, apps, or other software.

According to the Complaint, the Product provides an asset tracking system for real-time GPS tracking of assets that the user can see on a positional information device (i.e., a mobile device or computer). The Product apparently allows an organization’s owner and managers to track their staff’s location, review their previous routes, and display time stamps showing where users were at a specified time along their route. Because Social claims the Product infringes on at least Claim 1 of the ‘365 Patent, it is seeking damages for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.

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Fishers,  Indiana – Digital Verification Systems, LLC (“Digital”) is apparently the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 9,054,860 (the “‘860 Patent”) for a Digital Verified Identification System and Method. According to the Complaint, Formstack, LLC (“Formstack”), the Defendant, offers at least one Product, Formstack Sign, that infringes one or more claims of the ‘860 Patent.

Picture5-1-300x211Digital claims Formstack’s Product provides a system for e-signing documents and for digitally verifying the identification of the signer as shown below.

Apparently, the Product further includes a digital identification module to be associated with at least one user and at least one verification data element, for example, a unique login ID and password. It also appears a user can store their e-signature within a document using the Product. As Digital claims each of these components of the Product are covered by the ‘860 Patent, it is seeking damages for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.

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Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently, Epitopix, LLC d/b/a Vaxxinova US (“Vaxxinova”) is an animal health research and development company specializing in veterinary vaccines. Vaxxinova is the owner of three patents at issue, all entitled “Immunizing Compositions and Methods of Use,” U.S. Patent Nos. 8,282,941, 7,943,150, and 7,943,151 (collectively the “Patents in Suit”). According to the Complaint, Vaxxinova produced vaccine products using the specialized technology of the Vaxxinova Patents for cattle, poultry, and swine.

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Vaxxinova claims it has discussed its technology including that of the Patents in Suit with Defendant, Elanco Animal Health, Inc. (“Elanco”), during potential business negotiations. When these negotiations ceased, it appears Elanco proceeded to develop and acquire technology that allegedly infringes upon the Patents in Suit. Vaxxinova claims Elanco launched a new product family called Nuplura PH+ that allegedly infringes the Patents in Suit after Vaxxinova informed Elanco of the allegations.

Therefore, Vaxxinova is seeking damages and fees for willful patent infringement of the Vaxxinova Patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 284 and 285.

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BlogPhoto-3-300x196Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiff, Somero Enterprises, Inc. (“Somero”), originally filed suit in the Indianapolis Division of the Southern District of Indiana alleging patent infringement against Defendant, Ligchine International Corporation (“Ligchine”). Ligchine responded to the Complaint by filing a Motion for Intra-District Transfer to the New Albany Division.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a Court may “transfer an action filed in a proper, though not necessarily convenient, venue to a more convenient district.” According to the Court’s Order, the Court typically considers four factors: “(1) the convenience of the parties; (2) the convenience of the witnesses; (3) the situs of material events and access to proof; and (4) the interest of justice.” Order at p. 2. (citation omitted).

Ligchine argued that because Somero does not reside in the Southern District of Indiana and all of Ligchine’s offices, operations, witnesses, and evidence are located in the New Albany Division, the transfer should be granted. Somero opposed the Motion arguing that its preference for the Indianapolis Division should be given substantial deference. Further, Somero claimed its counsel would have to drive two hours more each way for in-person Court appearances which would require counsel to fly and/or stay overnight in a hotel, thereby increasing his exposure to COVID-19. However, in its Reply, Ligchine pointed out that a plaintiff’s choice of forum has diminishing importance when the selected forum is not the plaintiff’s home forum.

The Court found that while “several of the factors are neutral . . . [it is] significant the fact that none of the events giving rise to this lawsuit occurred within the Indianapolis District, that Somero’s witnesses will have to travel 9.5 hours to the Indianapolis Division in any event and only an additional 1.5 hours to the New Albany Division, and that Ligchine’s witnesses are located within the New Albany Division.” Therefore, the transfer to the New Albany Division was granted. Order at p. 11.

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Ft. Wayne, Indiana – Apparently, Westwood One, LLC (“Westwood”), the Plaintiff owns a large portfolio of audio products for use by its affiliated broadcast radio stations and media partners. According to the Complaint, Westwood owns U.S. Patent Nos. 7,860,448 and 7,412,203 (the “Patents in Suit”). The Patents in Suit relate to methods and computer programs for localizing broadcast content and an apparatus for operating a broadcast network, respectively.

Westwood claims it began notifying the Defendant, Local Radio Networks LLC (“LRN”), regarding its ownership of the Patents in Suit in May 2020. It appears the alleged infringement had not ceased after these communications and therefore Westwood filed suit for willful patent infringement. In addition to direct patent infringement, Westwood is claiming LRN has induced and continues to induce infringement of the Patents in Suit by knowingly inducing others to make, use, or sell products covered by the Patents in Suit. Further, Westwood claims LRN targeted former Westwood employees for employment that have knowledge of Westwood’s patented programs. Westwood is seeking damages, including treble damages, for willful infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284 and attorneys’ fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.

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