New England IP Blog

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

Category Archives: Industry

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Computer-Based Publishing Patent Goes Offline after Alice Inquiry

Security1In a recent order from the District of Massachusetts, the court granted a defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a patent infringement dispute, finding the asserted patent claims invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The court’s underlying analysis is particularly instructive for its application of the Alice two-part framework to claims that are directed to computerized systems … Continue Reading

Planned Motion to Dismiss Insufficient to Extend Rule 26(f) Deadlines

An electric outlet glowing from within and a three prong electric plug and cord.In an ongoing patent infringement case involving patents for floor-mounted electrical outlet housings, a federal court in Connecticut recently denied a Joint Motion for a Discovery Dispute Conference, signaling the court’s hesitation to delay the initiation of discovery pursuant to Rule 26(f) merely because a defendant represents that it intends to move to dismiss a … Continue Reading

Some Cardiac Monitoring Patents Beat Alice Challenge, While Others Fail to Survive

cardio-2In the time since Alice changed the landscape of patent eligibility for certain types of inventions, the Federal Circuit has begun pumping out opinions interpreting this landmark Supreme Court case. The expanding body of law has enabled lower courts to find their rhythm when utilizing the Alice test to determine subject matter eligibility. In one recent … Continue Reading

Pre-Sale Use of Data Storage Trademark Not Enough to Secure Priority Rights

database-4A Massachusetts federal court recently found multiple early uses of a sought-after trademark insufficient to confer priority of rights.  The dispute concerned two technology companies, Nexsan and EMC, each seeking to use the UNITY mark in connection with their computer data storage technologies. The Court held that EMC’s pre-sale uses did not establish “use in commerce” and … Continue Reading

Amended Contentions Deemed Timely Served Due to Parties’ Misunderstanding

alarm lock-1Under some circumstances, party error can excuse late-filed amendments to infringement and invalidity contentions, according to a recent decision by Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV. Approximately five years ago, plaintiff DataTern, Inc. (“DataTern”) filed a patent infringement suit against defendant MicroStrategy, Inc. (“MicroStrategy”) over a patent claiming a “method for interfacing an object oriented software application … Continue Reading

Court Denies Attempt to Prevent “Plain and Ordinary” Claim Construction Proposals

patent dispute-8The presumption that claim terms should be interpreted using their plain and ordinary meaning, absent express intent to the contrary, has long been a staple in claim construction. Parties often submit proposed constructions that ask the court to give certain terms their ordinary and customary meaning—the meaning that the terms would have to those skilled in … Continue Reading

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Protectable Under Copyright Act

copyrightThe Supreme Court recently held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., that the designs on certain cheerleader uniforms may be protected copyrights. The 6-2 decision clarified the test to be applied when determining whether a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article would be eligible for copyright protection.… Continue Reading

Copyright Plaintiff Allowed to Subpoena ISP to Discover Defendant’s Name

ip address-2A recent decision from the District of Connecticut is part of a series of copyright cases where a plaintiff, unable to identify the accused infringer except by the Internet Protocol (or “IP) address used at the time of the alleged infringement, has sought and received pre-service leave to serve a subpoena upon the Internet Service Provider (or … Continue Reading

Mobile Payment Patent Remains Legal Tender after Alice Challenge

barcode scanner-3In the post-Alice world, patents that relate in any material way to financial processes or systems have come under increased attacks in the early stages of infringement litigation—as defendants aim to secure a cheap and fast exit from the controversy. While such challenges are often successful, such an outcome is not guaranteed. In one recent case, a … Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Shot Down in Rifle Patent Lawsuit

hunting rifle-1In a recent patent case concerning hunting rifles, Judge McCafferty in the District of New Hampshire granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment with respect to literal infringement of a patent on a rifle handguard, but denied the motion with respect to infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. The case arose when the plaintiff, Davies Innovations, Inc., the owner of a U.S. patent … Continue Reading

With $450.00 in Connecticut Sales, AMP Medical Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in Trademark Lawsuit

skin care-4A recent case from the District of Connecticut provides important insight into personal jurisdiction analysis, and serves as a reminder that sometimes even modest connections to a state can render a company subject to suit in that state. Here, Judge Vanessa Bryant found that Connecticut could exercise personal jurisdiction over AMP Medical Products, a Nevada company that sold … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Limits Foreign Reach of the U.S. Patent Act

dna_v3The supply from the United States of a single component of an invention, for assembly of the invention abroad, is not patent infringement under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act. This is according to a unanimous ruling yesterday by the United States Supreme Court. The court found significant limitations on the reach of Section 271(f)(1), a law … Continue Reading

Judge Young Addresses Possibility Versus Plausibility in Patent Pleadings

semionductor-4Judge Young granted a plaintiff leave to file an amended complaint that satisfactorily pushed its claim from merely possible to plausible, in a recent opinion from the District of Massachusetts. The analysis is instructive to prospective plaintiffs as to the threshold showing of use that must be made to sufficiently support a patent infringement claim. In the original complaint, the … Continue Reading

Privilege Claims Validated in Counterfeit Detection Dispute

money-4In a recent decision, Magistrate Judge Kelley addressed the legitimacy of withholding third party communications under the common interest doctrine. The case involved plaintiff Crane Security Technologies, Inc. (“Crane”) – the exclusive supplier of banknote paper for United States currency – and defendant Rolling Optics, AB (“RO”) – that, among other things, manufactures 3D micro-optic … Continue Reading

Even in Light of Reexam, Court Declines to Stay Brite-Strike Patent Litigation

flashlight-4For defendants in patent infringement cases, the strategy of filing for reexamination of the patent-in-suit with the U.S. Patent Office is a common tactic to short-circuit costly litigation—as defendants typically request a stay of the litigation while the reexam proceeds. Such stays, however, are not automatic but instead left up to the court’s discretion. In … Continue Reading

Rampage’s Patent Suit Inks a Partial Victory in Surviving Motion to Dismiss

printer-1Judge Allison Burroughs of the District of Massachusetts recently issued a decision that provides much-needed insight into pleading standards in patent cases. With the demise of Form 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, litigants have been faced with a number of questions concerning the level of detail a plaintiff needs to include in a … Continue Reading

No Stay Pending IPR in Brewing Patent Dispute

coffee-1District court patent defendants often request a parallel inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding at the U.S. Patent Office to challenge the validity of the patent at issue. As such IPR proceedings have the potential to kill the patent, district courts have more often than not stayed their proceedings while they wait on the outcome of the … Continue Reading

Court Throws Out Back Massager Trade Dress Infringement Claims on Motion to Dismiss

As the first-filed paper in nearly any litigation, the complaint is typically subject to rigorous scrutiny from the named defendant to identify any flaws that may dispatch the case via a motion to dismiss. A plaintiff in the District of Connecticut recently felt this pain, as its complaint was dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6) for failing … Continue Reading

Heartburn for Defense After Jury Verdict in Pepcid® Dispute

The recent jury verdict in a dispute over a generic version of the heartburn medication Pepcid® Complete® would be enough for anyone to reach for a few tablets of the accused product. After an eight day trial presided over by Judge Zobel, a Massachusetts jury last week returned a verdict for Plaintiffs Brigham and Women’s … Continue Reading

Close Shave on Whether Cease and Desist Letter Creates DJ Jurisdiction

shaving-razor-4Rather than wait around for the hammer to fall, companies under threat of an intellectual property lawsuit sometimes choose to file a declaratory judgment complaint. Such “DJ” complaints usually ask the court to clear the air and decide the issue in the filer’s favor. Declaratory judgment filers are often motivated by the fact that they can … Continue Reading

Sunrise’s Infringement Complaint Gets the Green Light

light_bulbIn a recent opinion out of the District of Massachusetts, the court ordered that a patent infringement dispute between two Massachusetts-based competitors in the lighting systems industry would be allowed to proceed. This was despite a challenge to the sufficiency of the pleadings in the patent owner’s complaint. The patent owner, Sunrise Technologies, asserted a patent directed to the monitoring … Continue Reading

Future and Unreleased Products Can’t Drive Litigation

fuel_injection_1In a recent decision out of the District of Massachusetts, Judge Talwani provided litigants with insights into patent subject matter jurisdiction in declaratory judgment actions. Here the patent owner, US Carburetion, had lost previous motions to throw the case out due to lack of declaratory judgment jurisdiction. But after repeatedly asserting that it does not want to … Continue Reading
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