Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiffs King Sheng Co., Ltd., which does business as Seiki, and David Tsai, both of Taiwan, initiated a patent infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.

Defendant in this Indiana litigation is Hollywood Engineering, Inc. d/b/a Hollywood Racks of Los Angeles, California.  It is accused of having infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,240,816 (“the ‘816 patent”), which relates to a bike rack for use on vehicles.  Plaintiffs contend that Defendant“has made, imports, sells, offers to sell, and/or uses” numerous infringing products.  The products at issue include items offered under model numbers HR200, HRT220, HR1000, HR1000R, HR1400, HR1450, HR1450E, HR1450R, HR1475, and Sunlite models 45815 and 45816.

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Defendant is accused of having infringed the ‘816 patent directly and/or jointly with other entities, with the alleged infringement occuring literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents.  Plaintiff further contends that Defendant is liable under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) for inducing infringement of the patent-in-suit and under 35 U.S.C. § 271(c) for contributory infringement.  Stating that Defendant has had actual notice of the ‘816 patent since no later than 2009, Plaintiff also asserts that infringement of the ‘816 patent has been willful and deliberate.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Cook Productions, LLC of Los Angeles, California filed a lawsuit accusing unnamed Doe Defendants of copyright infringement.  The lawsuit, filed in the Southern District of Indiana, mirrors another lawsuit filed by Cook Productions in the Northern District of Indiana.Untitled-5-192x300

The copyrighted work at issue is the motion picture “Mr. Church,” which features Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson.  The movie has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office under Registration No. PA 2-002-851.

In this litigation, filed by a copyright lawyer for Plaintiff, the ten unnamed Doe Defendants are accused of having participated in a BitTorrent swarm to disseminate illegal copies of the movie.  Plaintiff states that it used geolocation technology to trace Defendants to the Southern District of Indiana.

Untitled-4The Supreme Court on December 6, 2016, heard oral argument on whether the export by Roche, which has an office in Indiana, of an enzyme triggers patent infringement.  Roche’s customer Life Technologies imported Roche’s “AmpliGold Plus” enzyme into the United Kingdom, and used it to build genetic testing kits.  Life Technologies did not sell the kits in the US.  However, Promega Corp. sued it for vicarious patent infringement (inducing or contributing to patent infringement) claiming that by purchasing enzyme in the US, Life Technologies violated 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1).  This provision of the patent Act makes it an infringement to supply abroad “all or a substantial portion of the components.” The Federal Circuit had earlier held that the AmpliGold Plus enzyme, met the requirement of a “substantial” portion of the components. The Supreme Court seemed to agree that “substantial” may be ambiguous, but some Justices suggested that supply of a single component was more properly considered under Section 271(f)(2), which addresses the supply of a non-staple, specially made component. Promega distinguished (f)(1) and (f)(2) as exporting counterparts to Section 271(b) induced infringement and §271(c) contributory infringement, respectively.  The transcript of the hearing is below.

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Overhauser Law Offices, the publisher of this site, assists with US and foreign patent searches, patent applications and assists with enforcing patents via infringement litigation and licensing.

The U.S. Patent Office issued the following 237 patent registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in November 2016, based on applications filed by Indiana patent attorneys:

Patent No. Title
1 D772,754 Prelock prevention device for use with a web retractor
2 D772,691 Decorative layered rose
3 D772,626 Seat shell
4 9,509,847 System and method for language specific routing
5 9,509,824 Multi-phone programming application
6 9,509,154 Algorithmic battery charging system and method

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Untitled-6-210x300South Bend, Indiana – Plaintiff Cook Productions, LLC of Los Angeles, California sued 11 unnamed “Doe” Defendants in the Northern District of Indiana for infringing the copyrighted motion picture “Mr. Church.”

The movie, which features Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson, tells the story of a lifelong friendship that began when a cook agreed to help a little girl and her dying mother.  It was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office on August 29, 2016 under Registration No. PA 2-002-851.

In this Indiana lawsuit, a copyright attorney for Plaintiff contends that Mr. Church was unlawfully released on the internet and shared, potentially worldwide, using the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol.  Defendants in this litigation are accused of having participated as part of a BitTorrent “swarm,” in which each Defendant shared portions of the movie with other Defendants, ultimately resulting in each Defendant obtaining a complete copy.  Plaintiff asserts that it used geolocation technology to trace the Internet Protocol addresses of each Defendant to a point of origin within the Northern District of Indiana and that, consequently, jurisdiction in Indiana is proper.

The U.S. Trademark Office issued the following  193 trademark registrations to persons and businesses in Indiana in November 2016 based on applications filed by Indiana trademark attorneys:

Registration No.   Word Mark Click To View
5097638 NEGOTIATOR TSDR
5095522 WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK TSDR
5095457 KENRA TSDR
5095293 PSNOB TSDR
5095265 LET’S TALK ABOUT THE GORILLA IN THE ROOM TSDR
5095098 ZYLO TSDR
5090995 J U TSDR

 

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Untitled-7-300x73The Supreme Court on December 2, 2016, agreed to review an en banc Federal Circuit decision that no changes to the Federal Circuit’s law of patent exhaustion are required by the Supreme Court’s decisions in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1351 (2012), and Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., 553 U.S. 617 (2008).  Impression Products, Inc., v. Lexmark International, Inc., U.S., No. 15-1189, cert. granted 12/2/2016.

En Banc Federal Circuit Decision

In a 10-2 decision, the en banc Federal Circuit held that a patentee, when selling a patented article subject to a single-use/no-resale restriction that is lawful and clearly communicated to the purchaser, does not by that sale give the buyer, or downstream buyers, the resale/reuse authority that has been expressly denied. 816 F.3d 721 (2016).  It also held that a U.S. patentee, merely by selling or authorizing the sale of a U.S.-patented article abroad, does not authorize the buyer to import the article and sell and use it in the United States, which are infringing acts absent patentee-conferred authority. Judge Dyk filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Judge Hughes, generally agreeing with the position argued in the government’s amicus brief.

The Justice Department told the Federal Circuit (and later the Supreme Court in urging review) that foreign sales may exhaust patent rights unless the patentee reserves its rights, and that Mallinckrodt Inc. v. Medipart, Inc., 976 F.2d 700 (Fed. Cir. 1992), should be overruled because it erroneously held that patentees can impose servitudes on chattels with post-sale restrictions.

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Indianapolis, IndianaAlcon Research, Ltd. of Fort Worth, Texas and Alcon Pharmaceuticals Ltd. of Fribourg, Switzerland filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.  They assert infringement of two patents covering Pataday®, an ophthalmic pharmaceutical.  Pataday is covered by U.S. Patent Nos. 6,995,186 (the “‘186 patent”) and 7,402,609 (the “‘609 patent”).

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Defendant Akorn, Inc., a generic drugmaker based in Lake Forest, Illinois, filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (“ANDA”) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval to manufacture and sell a generic version of Plaintiffs’ drug prior to the expiration of the two patents-in-suit.  Plaintiffs contend that the submission of this ANDA is an act of patent infringement.

In this Indiana complaint, patent lawyers for Alcon ask the court to adjudicate the following:

Indianapolis, Indiana – Klipsch Group, Inc. of Indianapolis, Indiana filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana.  It alleges infringement of several trademarks protecting the Klipsch® mark.

Listed as sole Defendant in this lawsuit is Robert Pignari of Costa Mesa, California, who does business as Main St. Electronics.  Pignari also maintains an Amazon.com presence under the name “Audio Video Sales Guy.”

Klipsch accuses Defendant Pignari, who is not an authorized Klipsch distributor, of selling Klipsch products without its permission.  Pignari is further accused of removing the correct serial numbers from the shipping boxes of the Klipsch products he sells and replacing them with fake serial numbers.  Because Klipsch voids a product’s warranty in such cases, Pignari’s customers have purchased Klipsch products advertised as “brand new” but which carry no warranty from Klipsch.

Indianapolis, Indiana – Plaintiff Heartland Consumer Products LLC of Carmel, Indiana filed an intellectual property lawsuit in the Southern District of Indiana alleging trademark and trade dress infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, as well as related wrongdoing under the Indiana State Trademark Act, the common law of the State of Indiana and the Indiana Crime Victims Act.  The intellectual property at issue pertains to Splenda®, a Heartland trademark under which it offers sucralose, a low-calorie sweetener.

Defendants in the litigation are Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. and Dunkin’ Donuts Franchised Restaurants LLC Untitled-1-300x102of Canton, Massachusetts.  They are accused of “deceiving customers into believing the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants carry Splenda® Brand Sweetener,” by both tacitly and affirmatively misrepresenting that the non-Splenda sucralose product that the Dunkin’ Defendants offer is, in fact, Heartland’s Splenda.  Plaintiff contends that consumers were confused about whether the sweetener that the Dunkin’ Defendants offered was Splenda and that some have complained that adding the other sweetener to their Dunkin’ Donuts products imparted a “funny taste.”

Defendants discontinued their agreement to purchase and offer Heartland’s Splenda in April 2016.  According to the Indiana complaint, following that decision, Defendants began offering sweetener in yellow packets similar to the single-serving packets in which Splenda is offered to the public.  Plaintiff contends that, when asked, Defendants in a “clear majority of stores affirmatively represented, through their agents or employees, that non-Splenda® sucralose sweetener was instead Splenda® Brand Sweetener.”  Plaintiff further contends that Dunkin’ Defendants are misappropriating Plaintiff’s trademarked “Sweet Swaps®” by the use of a similar term “Smart Swaps.”

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