Category: Southern District of New York (S.D.N.Y.)
Judge Schofield Finds Assertion of “Weak” Patent Claims Not Exceptional for Purposes of Awarding Attorney’s Fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285
On January 23, 2023, United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield (S.D.N.Y.) denied Maropost Marketing Cloud, Inc.’s (“Maropost”) motion to declare its dispute with Zeta Global Corp. (“Zeta”) exceptional for purposes of awarding attorney’s fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
Reflecting on All Factors, District Judge Ronnie Abrams Grants Pre-Institution Stay in lululemon Mirror Case
On February 24, United States District Judge Ronnie Abrams (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants lululemon USA Inc. and Curiouser Products Inc. d/b/a Mirror (collectively “lululemon”)’s motion to stay pending inter partes review. Judge Abrams ordered the stay even though the IPRs have not yet been instituted.
“Mark it Zero”: Judge Cote Dismisses Claims to Pre-Suit Damages For Failure to Satisfy Patent Marking Requirements
On August 26, 2022, United States District Court Judge Denise Cote (S.D.N.Y.) granted a motion to dismiss Blackbird Tech LLC (“Blackbird”)’s claim against Argento SC By Sicura, Inc. (“Argento”) to the extent Blackbird sought damages for infringement that occurred before the action was filed.
Judge McMahon Sua Sponte Stays Case Until End of Year: “Enough really is enough.”
On August 12, 2021, United States District Court Colleen McMahon (S.D.N.Y.) denied Plaintiff GeigTech East Bay LLC’s (“GeigTech”) motions for a preliminary injunction and to dismiss Defendant Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.’s (“Lutron”) counterclaims, and sua sponte stayed the case until the end of the year pending post grant review of a related patent.
You Can Keep Your Curtains: Judge Schofield Denies Preliminary Injunction
On May 26, 2021, United States District Judge Lorna G. Schofield (S.D.N.Y.) denied a preliminary injunction request from Plaintiffs Sure Fit Home Products, LLC, SF Home Décor, LLC, and Zahner Design Group, Ltd. (collectively, "Plaintiffs"). Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Maytex Mills, Inc. ("Defendant") infringes their design patent and trade dress by selling a hookless shower curtain.
Judge Netburn Grants Transfer Venue Motion
On April 29, 2021, District Judge Sarah Netburn (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendant salesforce.com, Inc.’s ("Salesforce") motion for transfer of venue to the Northern District of California ("the NDCA")—where it is based—pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
Judge Oetken Rejects Fee Award Despite Plaintiff’s Failure to Prove Standing
On March 5, 2021, the Federal Circuit affirmed U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken’s (S.D.N.Y.) order dismissing the remaining claims of plaintiff Bobcar Media, LLC (“Bobcar”). On March 30, 2021, Judge Oetken denied a motion for attorneys’ fees by defendant Aardvark Event Logistics, Inc. (“Aardvark”).
Judge Schofield Rejects Application of Rare Equitable Estoppel Defense
On February 9, 2021, District Judge Lorna Schofield (S.D.N.Y.) denied defendant Google LLC’s motion for summary judgment on the defense of equitable estoppel and granted plaintiff Kewazinga Corp.’s cross-motion for summary judgment that equitable estoppel does not apply.
Judge Hellerstein Upholds Infringement by Microsoft of Kaufman's “And/Or” Patent
On January 25, 2021, United States District Judge Alvin Hellerstein (S.D.N.Y.) denied Defendant Microsoft Corp. ("Microsoft")'s motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to FRCP 50(b) or a new trial pursuant to FRCP 59.
Judge Ramos Finds Forum Selection Clause of NDA Implicates Confidentiality and Not IP Rights and Allows IPRs to Proceed
On January 19, 2021, United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos (S.D.N.Y.) denied Kannuu Pty Ltd. (“Kannuu”)’s motion for preliminary injunction and instead granted Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (“Samsung”)’s motion to stay pending resolution of two instituted IPRs.
Judge McMahon Rules Outside Counsel’s Pre-Suit Download of Online Dating App Does Not Bind Party to Arbitration Agreement
On December 15, 2020, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Perry Street Software, Inc.’s (“Perry Street”) motion to compel arbitration of defendant Jedi Technologies, Inc. (“Jedi”) patent infringement counterclaim.
A Case That Really “Stands Out” in a Crowd: Judge Abrams Awards Attorneys’ Fees Where Plaintiff Ignores Pleading Deficiencies For Three Months
On December 10, 2020, United States District Judge Ronnie Abrams (S.D.N.Y.) granted Oath Inc. (“Oath”) and Quora, Inc. (“Quora”)’s motions for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Section 285 permits courts to award reasonable attorneys’ fees to a prevailing party in exceptional cases. The standard was met here, according to Judge Abrams, most particularly because Plaintiff NetSoc, LLC (“NetSoc”) ignored deficiencies in its pleading for roughly three months after being informed of errors therein.
Judge Rakoff Sanctions Patentee for Sharing Confidential Documents with Counsel in Overseas Trade Secret Case
On December 7, 2020, United States District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) denied Plaintiff SIMO Holdings Inc.’s (“SIMO”) motion to use four confidential documents in a related trade secret dispute pending in Shenzhen, China, and instead imposed a $40,000 sanction on SIMO for disclosing the confidential documents to Chinese counsel.
Judge Furman Sends Video Surveillance Case Packing Because an Employee’s Apartment is Not “a Place of the Defendant” Even Though Defendant’s Website Suggested It Was
On September 18, 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Jesse M. Furman ruled that an employee’s apartment in the jurisdiction did not constitute a place of business of Defendant Safety Vision even though Safety Vision’s website suggested that it was.
Judge Rakoff Refuses to “Ice” Diamond Patent Inequitable Conduct Allegations
On August 31, 2020, United States District Court Jed S. Rakoff denied plaintiffs Carnegie Institute of Washington and M7D Corporation (“Carnegie”)’s motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaims for inequitable conduct, holding that the allegations state with particularity a plausible claim.
The two patents-in-suit are directed to methods for growing synthetic diamonds, such as through chemical vapor deposition (“CVD”). The defendants, Pure Grown Diamonds, Inc. and IIA Technologies, allege that U.S. Patent No. RE41, 189 (the “’189 Patent”) is unenforceable because the patentees intentionally deceived the Patent Office regarding the inventorship of the patent during reissuance.
Judge Woods Zips Up Loose Ends and Readies Zipper Dispute For Trial
On July 30, 2020, U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods (S.D.N.Y.) ruled on a second round of summary judgment motions brought by defendant YKK Corp. and its affiliates (together, “YKK”) against plaintiffs Au New Haven, LLC and Trelleborg Coated Systems US, Inc. (together, “Plaintiffs”), once again readying the case for trial.
Overdrawn: Judge Oetken Dismisses Reciprocal Deposit Patents under Section 101
On May 29, 2020, United States District Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) granted Defendant StoneCastle’s Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to claim patent eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
Joint Inventorship Claim for Online Dating Patent Ends in Heartbreak, Attorneys’ Fees Award
After a series of procedurally complex twist and turns that resulted in an agreement by plaintiff to not oppose defendants’ motion for summary judgment, U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants Lori Cheek and Cheek’d Inc.’s motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and ruled that plaintiff’s counsel should pay.
Successful Section 101 Motion to Dismiss: Digital Ad Delivery Is Abstract Concept
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”).
Mattress Wars: Casper’s Inequitable Conduct Counterclaim Against Serta Remains
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.
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.
Judge Sweet Holds that Standing Question Cannot Be Resolved Until Trial
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”).
Judge Pauley Rules “About” Means “Approximately”, Maybe!
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”).
When Does “On” Mean “On”? Judge Netburn Holds That It Depends.
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.’”
Judge Oetken Construes Twenty-Nine Claim Terms in “Relatively Large” Markman Opinion
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.”
Judge Cote Rules Claim Preamble is Limiting and Not So “Elastic” as to Be Indefinite
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.
Judge Oetken sua sponte Stays Case Pending Ex Parte Reexamination after Three Previous Denials
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.
Be Careful What You Wish For, You Just Might Get It: Reconsidering When To Ask for Reconsideration
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.
Forum Selection Clause Not Triggered Based on Statements Made in Another Forum
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”).
One Out of Three Isn’t Bad, But Case Moves from New York to Florida Anyway
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.
Judge Sweet Holds Invalidity and Non-Infringement Defenses Cannot Shield a Licensee's Breach of a Patent License
On March 17, 2017, District Judge Robert Sweet (S.D.N.Y.) granted plaintiff Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's ("Mt. Sinai") motion to strike defendant Neurocrine Biosciences ("Neurocrine") affirmative defenses of patent invalidity, non-infringement, and patent misuse, and to dismiss Neurocrine's parallel declaratory judgment counterclaims.
Judge Swain Finds a “Book” by Any Other Cover is Still Not a “Camera”
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.
Judge Forrest Holds that Pre-Suit Knowledge of an Application is Not Pre-Suit Knowledge of a Patent
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.
Judge Forrest Vacates Judge Scheindlin’s Prior Decision Invalidating TiVo Patents Under § 101
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.
Judge Nathan Grants Stay Pending Appeal of PTAB’s Inter Partes Review Decisions
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.
Judge Sullivan Holds “Substantially” the Same is Close Enough for Collateral Estoppel
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.
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 Hellerstein Holds That “Arranged On” Means “Connected In Some Fashion”
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 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.
Judge Oetken Holds That Forum-Selection Clause in License Agreement Does Not Trump First-to-File Rule Altogether
On September 16, 2016, District Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Comcast Corp.’s (“Comcast”) motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin defendant Rovi Corp. (“Rovi”) from continuing to litigate its patent infringement actions against Comcast in the Eastern District of Texas (“EDTX”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”).
No Way Out for Door Patent
On September 12, 2016, District Judge John G. Koeltl (S.D.N.Y.) granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss for failure to state claim of patent infringement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 12(b)(6). Claims other than patent infringement remain in the case.
Judge Abrams Dismisses Case Based on Arguments Made to the PTO During Prosecution
On August 9, 2016, District Judge Ronnie Abrams (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendant Richloom Fabrics Group, Inc.’s motion to dismiss plaintiff Anchor Sales & Marketing, Inc.’s allegation of patent infringement based on the doctrine of equivalents.
Judge Forrest Provides Litigants Guidance on Applying Alice
On August 3, 2016, S.D.N.Y. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest denied Defendant Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (“Lowe’s”) motion to dismiss Iron Gate Security, Inc.’s (“Iron Gate”) patent infringement claim.
Judge Cote Finds Initiating Lawsuits to Obtain Settlements Rather Than a Determination on the Merits is Not an Abuse of Process
On July 28, 2016, District Judge Denise Cote (S.D.N.Y.) granted defendants AlphaCap Ventures, LLC’s, a non-practicing entity, and Richard Juarez’s (collectively, “AlphaCap”) motion to dismiss plaintiff Gust, Inc.’s (“Gust”) allegations of (1) attempted monopolization under the Sherman Act; (2) patent misuse; and (3) abuse of process, stemming from the filing of patent infringement lawsuits in Texas.
Judge Pauley Holds That Administering a Test Using a Computer Is Not Patent-Eligible Under § 101
On July 29, 2016, S.D.N.Y. District Judge William H. Pauley III granted defendant PlayerLync, LLC’s (“PlayerLync”) motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed plaintiffs Multimedia Plus, Inc. and Multimedia Technologies, LLC’s (collectively “Multimedia”) patent infringement action.
Judge Hellerstein Denies Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement Based On Arguments that “Appear Not to Be Persuasive”
On July 21, 2016, District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein (S.D.N.Y.) denied Defendants JP Morgan Chase & Co., JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, Chase Bank USA, National Association, Chase PaymenTech Solutions LLC, and PaymenTech LLC's (“JPMC”) motion for summary judgment of non-infringement.
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