On December 7, 2018, District Judge Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that Plaintiff Bobcar Media, LLC (“Bobcar”) had not demonstrated that it had standing to sue Defendant Aardvark Event Logistics, Inc. (“Aardvark”) for patent infringement because no competent evidence of a written assignment was produced.
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NYPatentDecisionsBlog.com is a source for the latest patent decisions from the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The blog is authored by Patterson Belknap’s Patent Litigation practice group, whose members are highly experienced trial attorneys with extensive technical knowledge. Many have advanced scientific degrees and industry experience in fields such as communications, electrical and electro-optical technology, semiconductor technology, metallurgical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry. The team represents consumer products, electrical and software, medical device, mechanical, and pharmaceutical companies in a broad range of patent litigation matters, including district court cases, PTO and PTAB trial proceedings, patent licensing and contractual disputes concerning patent rights.
Judge Koeltl Grants Section 101 Motion to Dismiss: A System that Collects, Analyzes, and Displays Information is an Abstract Concept
On October 25, 2018, District Judge Koeltl (S.D.N.Y.) granted Nike, Inc.’s (“Nike”) motion to dismiss Personal Beasties Group LLC’s (“Personal”) complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) because the claims of U.S. Patent 6,769,915 (“the ’915 patent”) are directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
On October 29, 2018, United States District Judge P. Kevin Castel (S.D.N.Y.) issued a decision granting Defendant Bloomberg's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss iSentium's patent infringement claim because it is directed to subject matter that is not eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
On October 16, 2018 Magistrate Judge Gold, of the Eastern District of New York, issued a report recommending that Plaintiff Alexsam, Inc. (“Alexsam”) be denied leave to file a supplemental complaint against Defendant Mastercard International Inc. (“Mastercard”) asserting Mastercard breached an agreement by filing CBM petitions against Alexsam’s patents.
On September 5, 2018, Chief United States District Judge Colleen McMahon (S.D.N.Y.) issued a decision denying Plaintiff GeigTech's motion for preliminary injunction in its patent and trade dress infringement suit against Defendant Lutron. GeigTech's motion for expedited discovery was granted-in-part.
On September 12, 2018, Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak issued a report recommending that defendants Quest USA Corp.'s and Isaac Srour's (collectively, "Defendants") motion for a stay pending inter partes review ("IPR") be granted.
On August 27, 2018 U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan (E.D.N.Y.) adopted in full the report and recommendation issued by U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione following a Markman hearing as to the meaning of “movable” in U.S. Patent No. 8,636,507 (the “‘507 Patent”).
On September 29, 2016, plaintiff OrthoArm Inc. (“OrthoArm”) filed suit against defendants Dentsply GAC International and Dentsply Sirona Inc. (together, “Dentsply”), alleging infringement of the ‘507 Patent by Dentsply’s “In-Ovation Mini” product. The ‘507 Patent teaches an orthodontic bracket assembly used for dental braces that is “self-ligating,” meaning that it “is manufactured with a built-in, movable shutter that can hold the wire in place and eliminates the need for rubber bands or some other means to hold the archwire.” Claim 1 requires that the shutter “be movable between a closed position . . . and an open position.” The parties disputed the meaning of the term “movable.”
On August 11, 2018, Judge Koeltl (S.D.N.Y.) granted Defendant Facebook, Inc.’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement of three patents alleged to read on Facebook’s “News Feed” “Timeline,” and “Activity Log” functionalities. Plaintiff Mirror Worlds Techs., LLC (“Mirror Worlds”) owns the three patents.
On August 8, 2018, Judge Jesse M. Furman (S.D.N.Y.) granted Defendant Synaptive Medical, Inc.’s (“Synaptive”) motion to stay proceedings pending inter partes review (“IPR”) of the patent-in-suit. Plaintiff Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc. (“KSEA”) sued Synaptive, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 9,468,360 (“the ‘360 patent”). Less than a month after filing its answer, Synaptive petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) for IPR on the validity of the ‘360 patent. The motion to stay was filed 19 days later. The PTAB granted the Petition while the stay motion was pending. Discovery, infringement and invalidity contentions, and claim construction have not yet begun in the case.
That is, Judge Engelmayer makes a call on the meaning of certain shower curtain claims. On August 9, 2018, United States District Judge Paul Engelmayer (S.D.N.Y.) issued a decision construing 14 claim terms across three patents directed to shower curtains.
On July 19, 2018, United States District Judge Denise Cote (S.D.N.Y.) granted Plaintiff Wine Enthusiast, Inc.'s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss counterclaims by Defendant Vinotemp International Corp. ("Vinotemp") for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D711,936 (the "D936 Patent") but allowed Vinotemp’s trade dress claim in a wine refrigerator to go forward.
Judge Sweet Holds Knowledge of Patent at Issue Was Not “Acquired” During an Acquisition of One Who Knew
On July 18, 2018, Judge Sweet granted defendants Daktronics, Inc.'s and Daktronics Hoist, Inc.'s (collectively, "Daktronics") motion for summary judgment on the issue of willful infringement. As we wrote in a previous post, more than two years after plaintiff Olaf Sööt Design, LLC ("OSD") filed its complaint, Judge Sweet granted OSD leave to amend its complaint to add the willful infringement claim.
On July 18, 2018, United States District Judge Vernon S. Broderick (S.D.N.Y.) denied a motion by defendant Coty Inc. (“Coty”) to dismiss a patent infringement suit brought by plaintiff Lennon Image Technologies, LLC (“Lennon”).
On July 13, 2018, United States District Judge Laura Taylor Swain (S.D.N.Y.) granted a motion by Plaintiff— BroadSign International, LLC ("BroadSign") —for leave to file a Second Amended Complaint against Defendant T-Rex Property AB ("T-Rex"), seeking, inter alia, declaratory judgments of noninfringement and invalidity of U.S. Patent No. RE39,470, U.S. Patent No. 7,382,334, and U.S. Patent No. 6,430,603 (collectively, the "Patents-in-Suit").
On June 7, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak (E.D.N.Y.) denied a motion by defendants—Quest USA Corp. (“Quest”) and Isaac Srour—to strike supplemental infringement contentions submitted by plaintiff PopSockets LLC (“PopSockets”).
On May 30, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Gary Brown (E.D.N.Y.) granted defendants Envirocare Technologies International, Ltd.'s, Envirocare Technologies, LLC's, and Steel City Vacuum Company's motion for summary judgment based on plaintiffs Nationwide Sales and Services, Inc.'s and Imig, Inc.'s failure to provide patent infringement claim charts, as required by both the local patent rules and the discovery schedule stipulated by the parties.
On May 24, 2018, Judge Nelson S. Román granted Defendant United States Endoscopy Group, Inc.’s (“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3). On August 13, 2013, Plaintiffs CDx Diagnostic, Inc., Shared Medical Resources, LLC, and CDx Medical IP, Inc. (“Plaintiffs”) filed suit against Defendant and various unidentified John Does, alleging infringement of Plaintiffs’ patents. During discovery, Defendant filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue in light of the recent Supreme Court case TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017).
Judge Hellerstein Holds SDNY Local Patent Rules Cannot Change the Pleading Standard Under Iqbal/Twombly
On May 18, 2018, United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein granted in part and denied in part Defendant Microsoft Corporation (“Microsoft”)’s motion to dismiss Holotouch, Inc. (“Holotouch”)’s complaint. Microsoft moved to dismiss on the grounds: 1) that the allegations of direct infringement in the complaint were insufficient to state a plausible claim of action; and 2) that one of the two asserted patents had expired long before the complaint was filed.
On May 11, 2018, United States District Judge Katherine Polk Failla ruled that claims 1 and 2 of U.S. Patent No. 6,340,189 (“the ’189 patent”), drawn to a device that is placed in a “position most convenient” to a user, were invalid as indefinite.
On May 8, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn (S.D.N.Y.) granted plaintiffs AU New Haven, LLC's ("AU") and Trelleborg Coated Systems US, Inc.'s ("Trelleborg") motion for a preliminary anti-suit injunction concerning an action pending in Japan.
On April 5, 2018, Judge Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) granted Plaintiff Rovi Guides Inc.’s (“Rovi”) motion to lift a stay related to U.S. Patent No. 8,122,034 (“the ’034 patent”), only one of five patents at issue in a case that was stayed pending completion of inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings.
On March 26, 2018, United States District Court Judge J. Paul Oetken granted a motion to transfer venue in Peerless Network, Inc. v. Blitz Telecom Consulting. The focus of the opinion was on whether venue was proper in the Southern District of New York based on a “device the size of a breadbox and the shelf on which it [sat].”
On March 27, 2018, District Judge Matsumoto (E.D.N.Y.) issued an 83-page decision on the parties' summary judgment briefing, which covered ten issues across three patents relating to multilayer ceramic capacitors. The summary judgment briefing between Plaintiffs American Technical Ceramics Corp. and AVX Corporation ("ATC") and Defendant Presidio Components, Inc. ("Presidio") concerned laches; equitable estoppel; waiver; failure to mark; whether the cancellation of claims pursuant to an inter partes review precluded hearing arguments of invalidity on the claims; the availability of enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284; indefiniteness; and non-infringement.
On March 1, 2018, United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants’—Charter Communications, Inc. and Spectrum Management Holding Company, LLC (together, “Charter”)—motion to dismiss a patent infringement action brought by plaintiff Quantum Stream Inc. (“Quantum”).
On January 25, 2018, United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC’s (“Serta”) motion to dismiss defendant Casper Sleep Inc.’s (“Casper”) counterclaim and affirmative defense.
Judge Koeltl Agrees that “Access” to Confidential Information is Enough to Trigger a Prosecution Bar
On November 20, 2017, District Judge John G. Koeltl (S.D.N.Y.) approved a prosecution bar for “any individual who gains access” to confidential material. In addition, Judge Koeltl determined that post-issuance proceedings, such as IPRs, “are properly subject to a prosecution bar.” However, Judge Koeltl lifted the bar for anyone that does not participate in amending the scope of claims in post-issuance proceedings.
Judge Netburn Holds That a Motion for Reconsideration is Not a Vehicle for Taking a "Second Bite at the Apple"
On November 29, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Seoul Viosys Co., Ltd.'s ("Seoul Viosys") motion for reconsideration of the Court's claim construction ruling.
On November 20, 2017, United States District Court Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto issued a claim construction ruling in a suit between two fitness-related companies: Speedfit LLC (“Speedfit”) and Woodway USA, Inc. (“Woodway”). The sole term in dispute was “means for slackening” as it was recited in Claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,343,016 (“the ’016 Patent”) – a patent related to a manually-powered treadmill involving a closed-loop belt designed to maintain a curved running surface.
Judge Sweet Allows a Plaintiff to Amend Its Complaint More Than 2 Years After It Was Originally Filed
On October 26, 2017, District Judge Robert W. Sweet (S.D.N.Y.) granted plaintiff Olaf Soot Design, LLC (“OSD”) leave to amend its June 25, 2015 Complaint against Daktronics, Inc. and Daktronics Hoist, Inc. (collectively, “Daktronics”).
4 Out of 5 IPRs Ain’t Bad: Judge Oetken Grants Motion to Stay Pending Resolution of IPR Proceedings Despite Advanced Stage of Litigation
On October 27, 2017, District Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendant Comcast Corp.'s ("Comcast") motion to stay the case pending resolution of inter partes review ("IPR") proceedings instituted by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB").
Judge Broderick Finds That TC Heartland Affected a "Sea Change" and Grants Motion to Dismiss For Improper Venue
On October 20, 2017, District Judge Vernon Broderick (S.D.N.Y.) granted Defendants' Watters Design, Inc.'s, Essense of Australia, Inc.'s, and David's Bridal, Inc.'s motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) for improper venue.
On September 14, 2017, District Judge Robert W. Sweet (S.D.N.Y.) denied the motion of Ferring B.V., et al. (“Ferring”) to dismiss for lack of standing a patent infringement suit brought by Allergan, Inc., et al. (“Allergan”).
On September 19, 2017, United States District Court Judge William H. Pauley (S.D.N.Y.) issued a claim construction ruling on the word “about” across two patents directed to topical compositions containing naftifine. Both the patent holder (“Sebela”) and the alleged infringer (“Taro”) sought claim construction for that term in the phrase “about 0.17 wt% trolamine.” This phrase was in claim 17 of U.S. Patent 8,778,365 (“the ’365 patent”) and claim 21 of U.S. Patent 9,161,914 (“the ’914 patent”).
On September 11, 2017, Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn (S.D.N.Y.) issued a claim construction ruling on, among other things, the construction of the word “on” across four different patents directed to semiconductor lasers. In three of the four patents, the court concluded that the term on means “‘directly on or directly connected to the other element or layer, or intervening elements or layers may be present.’”
RegenLab USA LLC (“RegenLab”) is the exclusive licensee of U.S. Patent 8,529,957 (“the ’957 patent”) entitled “Cell Preparations for Extemporaneous Use, Useful for Healing and Rejuvenation In Vivo.” RegenLab , who markets and distributes products based on the ’957 patent, accused Estar Technologies Ltd. (“Estar”), a manufacturer of an allegedly infringing product, and Eclipse Aesthetics LLC (“Eclipse”) and Healeon Medical Inc. (“Healeon”) (collectively, “Movants”), who distribute the accused product, of direct and indirect infringement of the ’957 patent. In a separate and later filed lawsuit, RegenLab also accused Movant’s customers of infringement. Additionally, RegenLab sent various “improper” communications to Movant’s non-party customers.
On August 10, 2017, District Judge Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) construed 29 claim terms in a dispute between Defendant Comcast Corporation, et al. (“Comcast”) and Plaintiff Rovi Guides, Inc. and its subsidiaries (“Rovi”). The claim terms were construed pursuant to the ongoing litigation between Comcast on Rovi concerning the alleged infringement by Comcast of six patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,713,595, 9,172,987, 8,433,696, 7,895,218, 8,122,034, and 7,966,864 (the “’595,” “’987,” “’696,” “’218,” “’034,” and “’864” patents, respectively). The patents covered “a number of different fields, including interactive program guides (“IPGs”), remote control, and content searching.”
On August 4, 2017, District Judge Denise Cote issued a claim construction order that held the preamble of claim 1 of Lumos Technology Co., Ltd.'s ("Lumos") U.S. Patent No. 8,746,906 ("the '906 patent") is limiting and that a person of ordinary skill would know what "elastic material" means, and thus the relative phrase does not render claim 5 indefinite.
On August 2, 2017, Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied Plaintiff Infinity Headwear & Apparel, LLC’s (“Infinity”) motion for summary judgment as to patent infringement, false patent marking and false advertising and denied Defendant Franco & Sons, Inc.’s (“Franco”) motions objecting to Magistrate Judge Ellis’s orders. However, Judge Oetken sua sponte stayed the patent infringement claim in view of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”)’s recent decision affirming the ex parte reexamination rejection of the asserted claims.
On July 12, 2017, District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein granted a motion for reconsideration by Intellectual Ventures II L.L.C. (“IV”) of the Court’s prior Order of April 28, 2017. At the time of the motion, the only patent at issue in the case was U.S. Patent No. 7,634,666 (“the ’666 Patent”). The Court had originally denied JP Morgan Chase & Co.’s (“JPMC’s”) motion for summary judgement on noninfringement because while the accused devices didn’t actually infringe, there was a material issue of fact on “ whether the Crypto Cards are capable of infringing on the ’666 Patent.” (emphasis added). IV asked the court to reconsider whether the accused devices actually infringed.
On May 15, 2017, District Judge Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied the motion of Comcast Corporation, et al. (“Comcast”) for reconsideration of the Court’s prior Order dated December 14, 2016. The Court had earlier denied Comcast’s motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin Rovi Corporation, Rovi Guides, Inc., Rovi Technologies Corp., and Veveo, Inc. (“Rovi”) from prosecuting its patent infringement claims against Comcast before the International Trade Commission (“ITC”).
On April 26, 2017, District Judge Gregory H. Woods (S.D.N.Y.) found that one of the three defendants was subject to personal jurisdiction in New York and denied a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, but granted defendants’ motion to transfer venue from the Southern District of New York to the Middle District of Florida.
Pro se Plaintiff Chikezie Ottah (“Plaintiff”) sued fifteen automobile companies for patent infringement alleging that defendants’ car mounted cameras infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,152,840 (“the ’840 patent”) entitled “Book Holder.” Five of the defendants moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint for failure to state a claim and another five defendants moved for summary judgment of non-infringement. On February 1, 2017, Judge Laura Taylor Swain (S.D.N.Y.) granted both motions.
On December 7, 2016, Judge Katherine B. Forrest (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendant Red Box’s partial motion for summary judgment on plaintiff Verint’s inducement and willfulness claims concerning three of the six patents in suit.
Judge Cote Holds Attorneys Liable for Trying to Keep a “Baseless” Case in E.D. Tex. that Sought Nuisance Payments from Numerous Defendants
On December 8, 2016, District Judge Denise Cote (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants Gust, Inc.’s (hereinafter, “Gust”) motion for attorneys’ fees and costs under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927 against plaintiff AlphaCap Ventures, LLC (hereinafter, “AlphaCap”) and its counsel.
On November 29, 2016, District Judge Katherine B. Forrest (S.D.N.Y.) vacated the February 22, 2016 decision of Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, which had granted a motion to dismiss, brought by alleged infringers TNS Media Research, LLC and Cavendish Square Holding B.V. (collectively, the declaratory judgment “Plaintiffs”), based on subject matter ineligibility of the asserted patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
On October 18, District Judge Alison J. Nathan (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants Verizon Communications Inc.’s, Verizon Services Corp.’s, Verizon Business Network Services Inc.’s, and Cellco Partnership’s (collectively, “Verizon”) motion to stay the litigation until resolution of a consolidated appeal, pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, from two decisions of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) following inter partes review of claims in two of the patents-in-suit.
On September 30, 2016, District Judge Richard J. Sullivan (S.D.N.Y.) granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, holding one of the two asserted patents invalid under principles of collateral estoppel.
On September 30, 2016, District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (S.D.N.Y.) denied defendant Nautilus, Inc.’s (“Nautilus”) motion for summary judgment of non-infringement holding that “disposed on said elongated member” does not necessarily mean directly on that member.
Judge Oetken Holds that Amendments Made During Ex Parte Reexamination Are not Effective Until Grant of Reissue Patent
On September 26, 2016, District Judge Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied defendant Jay Franco & Sons’ (“Franco”) motion to dismiss, granted plaintiff Infinity Headwear & Apparel’s (“Infinity”) motion for leave to amend to assert additional claims, and laid out the Court’s construction of the disputed claim terms. Infinity alleged that Franco infringed claims 1-2, 6, 8, 10-11, 15-16 and 18-20 of U.S. patent No. 8,864,544 (“the ‘544 patent”), entitled “Hooded Blanket and Stuffed Toy Combination.”
Judge Woods Holds That Assignment of a Patent is Not an Assignment of an “Interest” Under a License to the Patent
On September 28, 2016, District Judge Gregory Woods (S.D.N.Y.) denied defendant YKK Corp.’s (“YKK”) motion to dismiss the suit, in which plaintiffs Au New Haven, LLC (“Au New Haven”) and Trelleborg Coated Systems US, Inc. (“Trelleborg”) (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) allege infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,105,214 (“the ‘214 patent”) and breach of the license agreement between the inventor and YKK.