South Bend, Indiana — Lifetime Industries, Inc. (“LTI”) of Elkhart, Indiana has sued Trim-Lok, Inc. of Buena Park, California in the Northern District of Indiana alleging patent infringement of its “TWO-PART SEAL FOR A SLIDE-OUT ROOM,” Patent No. 6,966,590 (the “‘590 patent”), which has been issued by the U.S. Patent Office.
Plaintiff LTI’s claims are based on the allegedly unauthorized, infringing manufacture, use, importation, sale and/or offer for sale by Defendant Trim-Lok of its seal products including, for example, the two-part seal for a slide-out room product which is mountable to mobile living quarters. LTI contends that these products include a mounting portion and a separate bulb portion that is slidably connected to the mounting portion.
LTI claims that Trim-Lok’s actions infringe one or more claims of the ‘590 patent under the intellectual-property laws of the United States. It further alleges that Trim-Lok has induced others, including its distributors, sales representatives, resellers, dealers and customers, to infringe at least claim 1 of the ‘590 patent by making, using, offering for sale and/or selling the allegedly infringing products.
LTI also asserts that Trim-Lok has known about the ‘590 patent since it was issued. Finally, LTI states in its complaint that, on July 15, 2013, it gave actual notice to Trim-Lok of its belief that Trim-Lok was infringing the ‘590 patent. Plaintiff LTI concludes that, consequently, Trim-Lok acted despite an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent and/or that it knew or should have known that its actions demonstrated infringement of a valid patent. Accordingly, LTI accuses Trim-Lok’s actions, from at least July 15, 2013, of constituting willful infringement of the ‘590 patent.
In the complaint, filed by patent lawyers for LTI, a single claim of patent infringement, specifically “Infringement of the ‘590 Patent,” is made. LTI asks the court for judgments that:
· the ‘590 patent is directly infringed by Defendant;
· the ‘590 patent is indirectly infringed by Defendant;
· Defendant’s infringement of the ‘590 patent has been willful;
· Defendant be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from manufacturing, using, selling and offering to sell the infringing products in the United States prior to the expiration of the ‘590 patent;
· Plaintiff be awarded damages adequate to compensate it for Defendant’s infringement of the ‘590 patent including lost profits, but in an amount no less than a reasonable royalty, and that such damages be trebled according to 35 U.S.C. § 284; and
· this case is exceptional within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 285, and that all costs and expenses of this action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, be awarded to Plaintiff.
Practice Tip: A patent holder has the right to exclude others in the United States from using, selling, or attempting to sell the patented invention. See 35 U.S.C. § 154(a)(1). A patent has two chief parts. First, it contains a specification describing the invention in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the same. Second, a patent includes one or more “claims,” which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention. The claim defines the scope of a patent grant.