South Bend, Indiana – Apparently Fortress Iron L.P. (“Fortress”), the Plaintiff, is in the business of providing innovative building products including its FortressCable V-Series steel cable railing protected by U.S. Patent No. 10,883,290 (the “‘290 Patent”). Fortress claims Digger Specialties, Inc. (“Digger”), the Defendant, has been manufacturing and selling its Westbury VertiCable aluminum railing (the “Infringing Product”) that infringes the ‘290 Patent since at least 2018. While the ‘290 Patent issued on January 5, 2021, it allegedly claimed priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/979,055 filed on April 14, 2014. Fortress is claiming Digger is liable for damages, interest, and costs pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Eli Lilly and Company (“Lilly”), the Plaintiff, apparently owns by assignment U.S. Patent No. 7,772,209 (the “‘209 Patent). According to the Complaint, Shilpa Medicare Limited (“Shilpa”), the Defendant, notified Lilly on November 12, 2020 that it had submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) a New Drug Application (“NDA”) seeking approval to manufacture and sell its Pemetrexed Injection products (“Shilpa’s NDA Products”) prior to the expiration of the ‘209 Patent. Apparently, that notification triggered “a forty-five-day period for Lilly to bring an action for patent infringement under the FDCA.”
Lilly is seeking a judgment that Shilpa has infringed the ‘209 Patent. Further, Lilly is seeking a “judgment ordering that the effective date of any FDA approval for Shilpa to make, use, offer for sale, sell, market, distribute, or import Shilpa’s NDA Products . . . be not earlier than the expiration date of the ‘209 patent.” In addition, Lilly is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction and a declaration that this is an exceptional case pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Wonderland Switzerland AG (“Wonderland”), the Plaintiff and resident of Switzerland, originally filed suit in the Central District of California for patent infringement against Defendant, Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. (“Dorel”), an Indiana-based company,. The Complaint asserted three claims concerning three different patents relating to car seats and strollers filed a motion to dismiss or transfer the case for improper venue.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or division to which all parties consented.” According to the Court’s Order, while ordinarily a “defendant must make a strong showing of inconvenience to warrant upsetting the plaintiff’s choice of forum,” “where the plaintiff is a non-resident of the forum, and/or the case has relatively little connection to the chosen forum, the Plaintiff’s choice of forum does not enjoy that type of benefit on a Section 1404(a) motion.”
The Court held that the factors for transfer weighed heavily in Dorel’s favor. Further, the Court noted that “[t]o the extent a transfer of this action to Indiana is a ‘shifting of inconveniences,’ the only ‘convenience’ factor it negates for Plaintiff is a potential relative ease of traveling from Switzerland . . . to Los Angeles over traveling from Switzerland . . . to Indiana.” Therefore, the action was transferred to the Southern District of Indiana for further proceedings and the improper venue portion of the motion was denied as moot.
Warsaw, Indiana – Apparently Orthopediatrics Corp. and Orthex, LLC (collectively “Ortho”), the Plaintiffs, own a patented method of fixing broken or deformed bones, United States Patent No. 10,258,377 (the “‘377 Patent”). Ortho claims Defendants, WishBone Medical, Inc. (“WishBone”) and Nick A. Deeter (“Deeter”), have infringed the ‘377 Patent. According to the Complaint, Deeter was an employee of Ortho from 2006 to 2013. Thereafter, Deeter apparently started WishBone in 2016.
Ortho claims WishBone’s “Smart Correction® External Fixation System” not only infringes the ’377 Patent, but that “WishBone admittedly knew of the ‘377 Patent by no later than June 2019, but proceeded to move forwarded [sic] with its infringing, copycat system.” Additionally, Ortho claims Deeter has breached his severance agreement in which he agreed not to disparage Ortho.
Ortho is seeking enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees for patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 284 and 285. Further, Ortho is seeking damages for unfair competition and false advertising under the Lanham Act. Finally, pursuant to Indiana common law, Ortho is suing Deeter for breach of contract, and both Defendants for defamation, tortious interference with contractual relationships, and tortious interference with prospective contractual relationships.
Indianapolis, Indiana – According to the Complaint, Delta Faucet Company (“Delta”), the Plaintiff, is a corporation involved in the business of manufacturing innovative faucets. Delta claims it owns two patents relating to “Magnetic Coupling[s] for Sprayheads,” United States Patent No. 10,669,702 and United States Patent No. 10,724,217 (collectively the “Delta Patents”). Further, Delta claims it launched products featuring the MagnaTite® Docking, protected by the Delta Patents, in 2007.
Delta claims Globe Union Industrial Corp., Gerber Plumbing Fixtures LLC and Danze, Inc. (the “Defendants”) manufacture, distribute, and/or offer magnetic docking faucets for sale. The allegedly infringing products feature “DockForce® magnetic docking technology” (the “Accused Products”). Delta claims the Accused Products infringe the Delta Patents and are seeking judgment that at least one claim of each of the Delta Patents has been infringed under 35 U.S.C. §§ 271(a) and (b). Further, Delta is seeking an injunction under 35 U.S.C. § 283 and damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.
Indianapolis, Indiana – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a suit originally filed by Tenstreet, LLC (“Tenstreet”) in the Southern District of Indiana. In the original suit, Tenstreet alleged that Defendant DriverReach, LLC (“DriverReach”), infringed its rights in United States Patent No. 8,145,575 (the “‘575 Patent”) for “Peer to Peer Sharing of Job Applicant Information.”
According to the District Court Order, Tenstreet developed a product called the Xchange™, which encompasses the ‘575 Patent that facilitated job applicant verification between past and prospective commercial truck driver employers. The product also apparently allows the applicant to review and correct information before it is sent to their prospective employer. Tenstreet claimed that DriverReach infringed the ‘575 Patent by selling an employment verification product, VOE Plus Solutions. DriverReach moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the ’575 Patent claims ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, an abstract idea.
To analyze whether a patent claims an abstract idea, the court uses a two-step framework. First, it asks whether the claims at issue are directed to a patent-ineligible concept. If yes, the second step is to “search for an ‘inventive concept’” that ensures “that the patent in practice amounts to significantly more than a patent upon the [ineligible concept] itself.” Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l., 573 U.S. 208, 217 (quoting Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 566 U.S. 66, 72-73).
In this case, the Court found the invention claimed “nothing more than an abstract idea implemented on a computer.” After finding the claims directed to an abstract idea the Court proceeded to step two of the framework and found “no sufficient inventive technology to transform the abstract idea of collecting, organizing, and storing data on a generic computer into a patent-eligible application.” Therefore, the Court granted DriverReach’s Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and the Federal Circuit affirmed.
DriverReach has filed a motion seeking to recover $700,000 in attorney’s fees, claiming that this case is exceptional.
Practice Tip: According to 35 U.S.C. § 101, patentable subject matter is “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” However, the Supreme Court has held that “this provision contains an important implicit exception [:] Laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable.” Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 569 U.S. 576, 589 (2013) (quoting Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc., 566 U.S. 66, 70 (2012). Continue reading
Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently, Alfred C. Nelson invented a magnetic coupling for sprayheads for his employer, Delta Faucet Company (“Delta”), the Plaintiff. Delta claims it now owns three patents covering Mr. Nelson’s invention, US. Patent Nos. 7,753,079, 10,669,702 and 10,724,217 (collectively the “Delta Patents”). Further, Delta claims it has produced kitchen faucets using MagnaTite® Docking and MagneDock® Technology that are protected by the Delta Patents.
According to the Corrected Complaint, Kohler Co., the Defendant, manufactures and offers for sale products having a “DockNetik® magnetic docking system that allegedly infringe the Delta Patents. The allegedly infringing products include the Motif™ kitchen faucet. Delta is seeking an injunction, damages, and attorneys’ fees for patent infringement. Continue reading
Indianapolis, Indiana – Apparently Delta Faucet Company (“Delta”), the Plaintiff, employs a number of engineers to improve upon products within the plumbing industry including kitchen faucets. One of those engineers invented a “Magnetic Coupling for Sprayheads,” which is protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 10,669,702 and 10,724,217 (the “Patents At Issue”). This invention apparently provides for a simple and durable coupling between a pull-down sprayhead and the spout of a kitchen faucet.
Delta claims Defendant, As America, Inc. has infringed the Patents In Suit with its “Dock-Tite™ spray-head docking system.” Delta is seeking judgment pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 271(a) and (b), an injunction pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283, treble damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284, and attorneys’ fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.
New Albany, Indiana –Thomas A. Person (“Person”), the Plaintiff, claims to have invented a cigar “Cedar spill” protected by U.S. Patent Nos. 8,507,070 and D664,292 (the “‘070 Patent”, the “‘292 Patent”, collectively “Person’s Patents”). The entity Defendants, Cigar Reserve LLC and Collett Enterprises, Incorporated, allegedly sell products that infringe Person’s Patents. The individual Defendants, Brian and Chanda Kurland, are each purportedly members of and control Cigar Reserve.
According to the Complaint, Person discovered Cigar Reserve was selling a cedar spill for a cigar around August 13, 2013. After multiple communications with Mr. Kurland, the two parties entered into a License Agreement on June 16, 2014. The term of the License Agreement was seemingly extended on at least two occasions until Mr. Kurland was informed the License Agreement would terminate on January 1, 2017. Person states he discovered allegedly infringing products being sold by the Defendants on October 3, 2020, more than three years after the License Agreement ended. Therefore, Person is suing for patent infringement of both Person’s Patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 271.
New Albany, Indiana –Sandcraft, LLC dba Sandcraft Motorsports (“Sandcraft”), the Plaintiff designs, manufactures, and sells aftermarket parts for Utility Terrain Vehicles (“UTV”). Apparently one such part is a “CARRIER BEARING ASSEMBLY” protected by United States Patent No. 10,471,825 (the “‘825 Patent”), which was assigned to Sandcraft. Sandcraft claims it makes and sells carrier bearings products that embody and use the inventions claimed in the ‘825 Patent bearing the patent number (the “Sandcraft Products”).
According to the Complaint, Super ATV, LLC dba SuperATV, the Defendant, makes, imports, and/or sells carrier bearings products that allegedly infringe the ‘825 Patent (the “Accused Products”). Sandcraft claims SuperATV monitors the UTV market and the intellectual property of its competitors and therefore had actual notice of or was willfully blind to the existence of the ‘825 Patent since at least May 14, 2018, the date the patent application published. Further, Sandcraft claims SuperATV had actual notice of the ‘825 Patent at least as of February 26, 2020 based on correspondence sent to SuperATV’s counsel. Therefore, Sandcraft is seeking damages for patent infringement in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271 pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 154(d) and 284. Continue reading