Indianapolis; IN – The Southern District of Indiana has denied a motion to dismiss filed by CertainTeed Corporation in a patent infringement lawsuit. Knauf Insulation Limited of St. Helens, Merseyside, United Kingdom and Knauf Insulation GMBH of Shelbyville, Indiana, filed a patent infringement suit alleging that Certainteed Corporation had infringed patent 7,854,980, FORMALDEHYDE-FREE MINERAL FIBRE INSULATION PRODUCT, which was issued by the US Patent Office. We previously blogged about this case on January 16, 2012 and May 19, 2011.
Patent attorneys for Certainteed had filed the motion to dismiss arguing that Knauf did not have standing because it did not own the rights to the patent at issue and that a first-filed action by Certainteed in the District of Columbia should resolve this dispute, not the case filed with the Southern District of Indiana. The claim that Knauf did not own the patent in question was based upon Certaineed’s interpretation of an exclusive license agreement between the inventors and various divisions of Knauf. Specifically, the Knauf parties had entered a “quitclaim and assignment” agreement that was governed by the laws of the Belgium. Certainteed argued that the transfer of patent rights was not valid.
The court found no merit in Certainteed’s argument. The court found “The Quitclaim and Assignment executed [by Knauf] clearly contains what is referred to in common parlance as a ‘typo.'” The court found that the typo did not negate the parties intentions in entering the contracts. The court also declined to dismiss under the first filed rule, noting that the District of Columbia court had yet to determine whether it had jurisdiction.
Practice Tip: The case management plan had been suspended while this motion to dismiss was pending. This controversy has been slow to progress. It was first filed in February 2011 and was refilled in its current form in May 2011 so it has been nearly a year at this point. The court has quickly scheduled a conference for later this week, likely attempting to move it along.