South Bend, Indiana –Apparently, BelAir Electronics, Inc. (“BelAir”), the Plaintiff, is the assignee of two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 7,941,195 (the “‘195 Patent”) and 10,097,676 (the “‘676 Patent), both entitled “Protective Mask of Mobile Phone.” According to the Complaint, Carved LLC (“Carved”), the Defendant, manufactures, sells, and distributes protective masks for mobile devices (the “Accused Products”). BelAir claims the Accused Products infringe at least claim 9 of the ‘195 Patent and at least claims 1, 5, 8, and 9 of the ‘676 Patent.Per the Complaint, BelAir sent notice of the alleged infringement to Carved on or about December 17, 2019. Because Carved has not ceased producing and selling the Accused Products, BelAir is seeking damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284. Continue reading
Hammond, Indiana – Tyler Research Corporation (“TRC”), the Plaintiff, filed suit against the Defendants, Envacon, Inc., Kieran Bozman, and JKKB Holding Corporation, alleging infringement of its rights in United States Patent No. 6,273,053 (the “‘053 Patent”). After amending the Complaint, the Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint Pursuant to Forum Non-Conveniens.
TRC is apparently a Pennsylvania corporation having its principal place of business in Alberta, Canada. According to the Opinion of the Court, Envacon, Inc. and JKKB Holding Corporation are both Canadian entities and Kieran Bozman resides in Canada.
Forum non conveniens allows a district court to dismiss a case “in order to best service the convenience of the parties and the ends of justice.” Stroitelstvo Bulgaria Ltd. v. Bulgarian-American Enter. Fund, 589 F.3d 417, 421 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Clerides v. Boeing Co., 534 F.3d 623, 627–28 (7th Cir. 2008)). The Court in this case found that while a “Canadian court is unlikely to adjudicate a claim for the infringement of a United States patent,” TRC could still bring a claim for infringement of its Canadian patent and a claim for breach of contract, “which alone would remedy the alleged wrong.” Opinion at p. 9. After finding an alternative forum is available for the case, the Court conducted an analysis and found the public interest and private interests of the parties would be best served by dismissing the case and allowing it to proceed in Canada. Therefore, the Court granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Eddie M. Green, Jr. Jeffersonville, Indiana filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, Meijer, Inc. infringed its rights in United States Patent No. 9,940,796 (“the ‘796 Registration”) for “Wet Floor Safety Sign”. Plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, judgment including statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.
Eddie M. Green, Jr. (“Green”), the Plaintiff, apparently owns United States Patent No. 9,940,796 (the “‘796 Patent”) for the “Yellow Fellow Safety Sign.” Believing the Defendant, Meijer, Inc., infringed the ‘796 Patent, Green filed suit, pro se, alleging patent infringement. Green claims that despite warning Meijer of the alleged infringement on two separate occasions, Meijer continues to use the allegedly infringing wet floor signs.
Green is seeking an injunction and damages for the allegedly unlicensed use of his invention. As in another lawsuit against different defendants, Green claims his ability to sell his product and costs for marketing and advertising his patented product will be greater due to Meijer’s “misuse of fake and unpatented products in the safety field.”
South Bend, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Williamsburg Furniture, Inc. (“Williamsburg”) of Nappanee, Indiana originally filed suit in the District Court of Delaware seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement against Defendant, Lippert Components, Inc. (“Lippert”) claiming Lippert’s United States Patent No. 8,739,330 (the “‘330 Patent”) is invalid and/or unenforceable. Williamsburg is also seeking judgment for false advertising and unfair competition as it claims Lippert informed Williamsburg’s customers of the alleged patent infringement and caused Williamsburg to lose sales. Upon motion by Lippert, the case was transferred to the Northern District of Indiana.
According to the Complaint, the invention claimed in the ‘330 Patent for a tri-fold sofa was publicly disclosed, in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public through third parties not associated with the ‘330 invention more than one year prior to the filing of the provisional patent application. For instance, Patrick Hutmacher claims he purchased a tri-fold chair/bed in August 2010 from a furniture store in McHenry. One month later, a person from the McHenry furniture store allegedly brought a second tri-fold chair/bed to Mr. Hutmacher at his place of employment, Flair Interiors, Inc. (“Flair”), in an attempt to supply the products to the company.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiffs, Esther A. L. Verbovszky (“Verbovzsky”) and Hug Me Joey, LLC (“Hug Me Joey”), less than a year after voluntarily dismissing a similar lawsuit, have once again filed a complaint against Defendant Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc. d/b/a Maxi-Cosi (“Dorel”) claiming patent infringement. According to the Complaint, Verbovzsky strives to design and invent products to abate breathing and digestive issues in small infants during transport. Verbovzsky further claims to be the owner of U.S. Patent No. 6,467,840 (the ‘840 Patent”) for “Child’s Car Seat Insert.” As the founder and CEO of Hug Me Joey, Verbovzsky allegedly licensed the ‘840 Patent to Hug Me Joey for the manufacturing of the Hug Me Joey child’s car seat insert (the “HMJ Insert”).
Apparently Dorel manufactures car seats, including 22 models that were nam ed in the Complaint as the “Accused Products”. Plaintiffs claim each of the Accused Products that are manufactured and/or sold by Dorel infringe the ‘840 Patent due to the “infant insert”, “insert cushion(s)”, “insert pillow”, “body pillow”, or “body insert pillow” that is stated to come with each car seat. The Plaintiffs believe the infringement by Dorel to be willful and knowingly. Threfore, they are seeking treble damages and a finding that this is an exceptional case pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 284 and 285, respectively.
This suit is over the design of two bottle caps.
Plaintiff, Closure, claims it designed the bottle cap on the left, and Defendant, Novembal, got a patent on the bottle cap on the right. But Closure claims that it, not Novembal is the actual “inventor” of the bottle cap design. Perhaps fearing that Novembal was about to file suit, Closure in its home turf of New Jersey and trying to gain a home court advantage, took the initiative and sued Novembal in Indiana. Its Complaint sought to “correct the inventorship” of Novembal’s patent and to prevent Novembal from enforcing the patent against Closure. That suit is reported here: Closure Systems International Sues Novembal USA Seeking Correction of Inventorship. Not surpisingly, Novembal asserted a counterclaim for patent infringement.
The twist is that in the infringement counterclaim, Novembal seeks a broad injunction. So broad, that it would prevent not just Closure, but some of Closure’s customers from infringing the patent. In its counterclaim, Novembal seeks:
A permanent injunction enjoining CSI and its employees, agents, successors, partners, officers, directors, owners, shareholders, principals, subsidiaries, related companies, affiliates, distributors, dealers, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them . . . from making, importing, promoting, offering, or exposing for sale, or selling the CSI Production Closures, or any other closures with designs confusingly similar to the claimed design of Novembal’s ‘442 patent.
One company that apparently gets its bottle caps from Closure is Nestle, one of the biggest sellers of bottled water. So far, no big deal. Except, Nestle is represented by the blue chip Washington DC patent law firm, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. Finnegan happens to be the same law firm that represents Novembal in the suit with Closure. So Finnegan is attempting to get an injunction for one client (Novembal) that would apply to another client, Nestle. Continue reading
South Bend, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, Tatuyou, L.L.C. (“Tatuyou”) of Hastings, Minnesota, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendants, One Ink Seven LLC (“One Ink”) of Goshen, Indiana and Robert F. Smead (“Smead”), infringed its rights in its intellectual property portfolio. Tatuyou is seeking damages,costs, and attorneys’ fees.
Tatuyou claims to be in the business of selling products to be used in the tattoo industry with an intellectual property portfolio all relating to its sales business. According to the complaint, Tatuyou is the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 9,546,281 (the “‘281 Patent”) entitled “Tattoo Stencil Composition and Method for Manufacturing.” Tatuyou also claims to be the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 8,545,613 (the “‘613 Patent”) entitled “Tattoo Transfer Pattern Printed by an Ink Jet Printer.”
According to the complaint, One Ink does business as “Electrum Supply” and owns and operates a website with the domain name: http://www.electrumsupply.com. Tatuyou claims that One Ink is infringing, actively inducing infringement, and contributorily infringing both the ‘281 Patent and the ‘613 Patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271 by offering for sale products named “Electrum Premium Tattoo Stencil Primer,” “Electrum Gold Standard Tattoo Stencil Primer,” “NOX Violet,” and “Eco Stencils.” Tatuyou’s attorney allegedly sent One Ink a letter on December 20, 2018 informing One Ink of the alleged infringement of the ‘281 Patent and a subsequent letter on June 12, 2019 to inform One Ink of the alleged infringement of the ‘613 Patent.
Indianapolis, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, NeurOptics, Inc. (“NeurOptics”) of Laguna Hills, California, filed suit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Brightlamp, Inc. (“Brightlamp”) of Indianapolis, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Patent Nos. 6,820,979 (the “‘979 Patent”) and 9,402,542 (the “‘542 Patent” and collectively the “Asserted Patents”). NeurOptics is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and any other relief the Court deems proper.
NeurOptics claims to be an industry leader for the design, manufacture, and sale of pupilometer products. According to the Complaint, NeurOptics owns the Asserted Patents that are both entitled “Pupilometer with pupil irregularity detection, pupil tracking, and pupil response detection capability, glaucoma screening capability, intracranial pressure detection capability, and ocular aberration measurement capability.” Brightlamp is allegedly a manufacturer and distributor of pupilometer products.
As claimed in the Complaint, Brightlamp’s “Reflex” Mobile Pupillometer Application (“Accused Product”) is available for download and use by certified medical professionals and the use of that application results in direct infringement of the Asserted Patents. NeurOptics also stated it believes Brightlamp has infringed various claims from other patents owned by NeurOptics and the Complaint is likely to be amended as it completes its investigation. NeurOptics claims it sent a cease and desist notice in writing to Brightlamp prior to filing the Complaint, but Brightlamp continued the alleged infringement. Therefore, NeurOptics is seeking damages for infringement of the ‘542 and ‘979 Patents pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 271 with willful damages, fees, and costs pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 284 and 285.
Hammond, Indiana – Attorneys for Plaintiff, FAM N.V. (“FAM”) of Belgium, filed suit in the Northern District of Indiana alleging that Defendant, Urschel Laboratories, Inc. (“Urschel”) of Chesterton, Indiana, infringed its rights in United States Patent No. D730,703 (the “D‘703 Patent”) entitled “Knife Holder”. FAM is seeking judgment, consequential and compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and any other relief the Court deems proper.
FAM claims to be a world leader in designing, developing, and manufacturing of cutting solutions for the food industry. According to the Complaint, the D’703 Patent was issued to Brent L. Bucks on June 2, 2015 and was later assigned to FAM. FAM alleges the “25883 Urschel® USA” product is an example of a knife holder that has infringed the D’703 Patent. Further, FAM claims Urschel’s alleged infringement of the D’703 Patent is “willful, deliberate, and objectively reckless.” As such, FAM is seeking damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284 or 35 U.S.C. § 289, and is requesting the case be considered “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion as to Summary Judgment in the case of Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. (“Columbia”), an Oregon Corporation, versus Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc. (“Seirus”), a Utah Corporation. This appeal by Columbia came after a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California found that claims 2 and 23 of U.S. Patent 8,453,270 (the “’270 Patent”) are invalid as anticipated and obvious. Seirus cross-appealed from the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon’s grant of summary judgment that it infringes U.S. Patent D657,093 (the “’093 Patent”) and from the entry of the jury’s damages award. The Court of Appeals found claims 2 and 23 of the ‘270 Patent are invalid and that the Court for the District of Oregon erred in granting summary judgment for infringement of the ‘093 Patent.
Columbia originally filed suit in the District of Oregon on January 12, 2015 claiming that Seirus infringed both the ‘270 and ‘093 Patents. Seirus moved to transfer the case to the Southern District of California, but that motion was denied. The district court then “granted summary judgment that Seirus’s HeatWave products infringe the ‘093 patent” stating that “the difference in wave pattern, orientation, and the presence of Seirus’s logo” were characterized as “minor differences.” Seirus moved to transfer the case to the Southern District of California for a second time, two years after its first motion, in light of the decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brans LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017). Due to the intervening case law, the District of Oregon transferred the remainder of the claims to the Southern District of California.
A jury trial was held in the Southern District of California and claims 2 and 3 of the ‘270 Patent were found to be invalid as anticipated and obvious. The jury also awarded Columbia $3,018,174 in damages for non-willful infringement of the ‘093 Patent. Both Parties “filed post-trial motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial, but the court summarily denied them in a two-page opinion.” Subsequently, the Parties each filed notices of appeal.
The court’s denial of the motions for judgment as a matter of law is reviewed by the substantial evidence standard. “A jury’s verdict must be upheld if supported by substantial evidence.” OTR Wheel Eng’g, Inc. v. W. Worldwide Servs. Inc., 897 F.3d 1008, 1015 (9th Cir. 2018) (citing Unicolors, Inc. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., 853 F.3d 980, 984 (9th Cir. 2017). The court’s denial of a motion for a new trial is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Molski v. M.J. Cable, Inc., 481 F.3d 724, 728 (9th Cir. 2007). The granting of a new trial may only be done “if the verdict is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence, is based upon false or perjurious evidence, or to prevent a miscarriage of justice.” Passantino v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Prods., Inc., 212 F.3d 493, 510 n.15 (9th Cir. 2000). Continue reading