New England IP Blog

Covering intellectual property developments in New England, and other developments that impact New England companies.

LED Dispute Blazes Through Summary Judgment

LEDs-12A recent decision from Judge Stearns sheds new light on a dispute between Lexington Luminance (“Lexington”) and Google over LED technology.

The dispute began in November, 2012, when Lexington accused Google of infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851 (the “’851 Patent”), entitled “Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device and Method for Manufacturing Same.” In particular, Lexington accused the LEDs in two Google Nexus phone models of infringement. The parties jointly stayed the case in 2014 pending the outcome of a Federal Circuit decision involving the ’851 Patent.  In 2015, after receiving the decision, the case was reopened. Shortly thereafter, Lexington served amended infringement contentions, and the Court issued its claim construction order. With these in hand, Google moved for summary judgment of noninfringement. Continue Reading

Rising Tide of State-Enacted Patent Reform

Mass. state house-1It started with Vermont in 2013. Since then, over half the states have enacted legislation aimed at curbing patent infringement suits from non-practicing entities. Now, the band may add another member: Massachusetts.

Taking a page from those who came before it, Massachusetts styles its bill as one for consumer and business protection, and targets entities engaged in “bad faith assertions of patent infringement.” In its current form, the bill allows the recipient of a believed bad faith infringement allegation to bring an action in state court for damages. The court may then consider a number of factors (outlined in the bill) in determining whether such allegation was, in fact, made in bad faith. Continue Reading

Forecast Unfavorable for Inventory Software Patent

financial-4Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank shifted the contours of patent-eligible subject matter, district courts have wielded the two-part test set forth in that decision to dispatch scores of business method patents as being directed to unpatentable abstract ideas.  In a recent example, the Massachusetts district court invalidated a patent relating to inventory forecasting software using the Alice test. Continue Reading

After Rain Delay, Preliminary Injunction Denied

raindrops-4In a recent case involving competitors in the market of storm water chambers, underground structures for the collection and management of rain and snow storm water, the District of Connecticut court denied a motion for preliminary injunction, reasoning in part that there was too long of a delay between when the plaintiff, StormTech, learned of the infringement and when it filed the lawsuit and motion for preliminary injunction. The delay weighed against a finding of irreparable harm, according to the opinion by Judge Alfred V. Covello. Continue Reading

Waiver Conundrum in Akamai v. Limelight Remand

alarm lock-1In a lengthy litigation between Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) and Limelight Networks, Inc. (“Limelight”), the District of Massachusetts recently addressed whether Limelight waived issues presented in its Renewed Motion For Judgment As A Matter Of Law after the case was appealed, and then remanded, back to the District Court. The case was initially tried by a jury, appealed to the Federal Circuit, and then to the United Stated Supreme Court.  After appeal, the District of Massachusetts was instructed to reinstate the jury verdict, which found that the patent-in-suit was valid and infringed.   Continue Reading

Laches Defense Loses its Luster in LED Patent Dispute

LEDs-1In determining whether a laches defense applies to thwart a claim of patent infringement, courts must often shine a light upon murky and complicated factual scenarios. A Massachusetts court recently navigated such a scenario in granting the plaintiff’s motion for judgment, deciding that the complex web of facts did not support a defense of laches as argued by the defendants.   Continue Reading