New England IP Blog

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

Category Archives: Electronics

Subscribe to Electronics RSS Feed

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

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

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

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

Halo Shines Bright in D. Mass.

A recent order from the District of Massachusetts sheds light on how the Supreme Court’s June 2016 decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics is being interpreted by the district courts. The Memorandum and Order by Chief Judge Patti B. Saris denied a request for enhanced damages by plaintiff, Trustees of Boston University (“BU”). BU moved for enhanced damages after … Continue Reading

LED Dispute Blazes Through Summary Judgment

A 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 … Continue Reading

Laches Defense Loses its Luster in LED Patent Dispute

In 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 … Continue Reading

Bottom of the Ninth Disclosure of New Damages Theory Warrants More Discovery

In a recent opinion in a patent infringement case concerning a baseball pitching simulator, Judge Vanessa Bryant in the District of Connecticut issued an order to administratively close the case, pending further damages discovery. The discovery was needed because the plaintiff ProBatter apparently disclosed a new damages theory late in the case, just months before trial. … Continue Reading

Sensor Maker Cannot Shake Infringement Suit on Summary Judgment

A New Hampshire District Court recently denied defendant sensor makers’ attempt to tilt the case in their favor by denying summary judgment of invalidity and non-infringement. SignalQuest asserted three patents relating to tilt and vibration sensors against the defendants. During the case, the U.S. Patent Office instituted ex parte reexaminations for each of the patents, … Continue Reading

Wisp of a Possibility of Gas Kit Lawsuit May Establish Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction

In a recent case concerning propane gas kits used as an alternative fuel conversion system, the District of Massachusetts found that declaratory judgment jurisdiction exists, even though the parties in the case had entered into an extended covenant not to sue. The opinion reasoned that because the accused infringer, New England Gen-Connect, is presently making and selling the accused products and … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Takes the Temperature of Defendant’s Inequitable Conduct Claim on Summary Judgment

In a recent decision out of the District of Massachusetts, Judge Stearns assessed Kaz’s inequitable conduct defense on summary judgment – and found it to come up short by a degree. The opinion is an important reminder that to make out an inequitable conduct defense, a litigant must make a strong showing as to both … Continue Reading

Serial Adversaries Are Still No Big Deal

Judge Indira Talwani issued an order on plaintiff Erik Cherdak’s renewal of his motion to disqualify, which we talked about last year in Serial Adversaries Are No Big Deal. And once again, she found that for Cooley, serial adversaries are still no issue. Judge Talwani again found no evidence that Cooley’s representation of two separate … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Sheds Light On Deposition Privilege Waiver Issues

Chief Judge Patti Saris of the District of Massachusetts has issued a significant opinion on privilege waivers in the Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics case. The opinion concerned a deposition in the case where the deposition witness apparently disclosed a little too much. The issue arose out of a line of questioning common in … Continue Reading

Conflicting Expert Opinions Prevent Summary Judgment

A recent summary judgment opinion by Judge Patti B. Saris highlights the importance of expert testimony in substantiating factual disputes and withstanding summary judgment. In denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment on infringement, Judge Saris relied heavily on the opposing opinions of the parties’ experts. Here, Boston University sued Everlight Electronics, a manufacturer of light-emitting … Continue Reading

LevelUp’s Pursuit of Attorney’s Fees Goes Up to the Federal Circuit Level

In an interesting case before Judge Timothy S. Hillman in the District of Massachusetts, a dispute over whether attorney’s fees should be granted is moving up to the Federal Circuit. The case brings back before the Federal Circuit the question of the proper standard for granting attorney’s fees – a standard that has been in … Continue Reading

Foreign Corporations and the Long Arm of the Law

Can foreign corporations avoid the long arm of the law? A recent order in a Massachusetts declaratory judgment patent case suggests that the answer may be, “sometimes.” The case began when Venmill Industries, Inc. filed a complaint in Massachusetts federal court seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,342,905, titled, “Optical Disk Restoration … Continue Reading

Locating Time Frames for the Hypothetical Negotiation

In determining a reasonable royalty for patent infringement damages, district courts often use the hypothetical negotiation analysis: that is, what is the royalty rate that the patent owner and the infringer would have agreed to in a hypothetical negotiation at the time the infringement began (assuming the patent owner was hypothetically willing to license the patent). … Continue Reading

Limiting the Number of Patent Claims at Trial

Trial was scheduled for next week, but Boston-based Skyhook and Google, Inc.  reached a settlement, according to a Court paper filed yesterday. The lead up to the trial in Skyhook v. Google was filled, though, with interesting litigation practice notes. One such matter was what Judge Rya Zobel did with the large number of patent claims being … Continue Reading

Google Remains on the Hook After Summary Judgment Denied

Judge Rya W. Zobel’s recent decision denying a set of Google’s summary judgment motions has cleared the way for trial. Skyhook initially sued Google for infringement of thirteen patents. Currently, eight patents remain at issue: U.S. Patent Nos. 7,433,694 (the “’694 patent”); 7,474,897 (the “’897 patent”); 7,856,234 (the “’234 patent”); 8,031,657 (the “’657 patent”); 8,054,219 … Continue Reading

Skyworks’ Infringement Claims Grounded

In an order dated February 4, 2015, the Honorable George A. O’Toole, Jr. effectively ended Woburn-based Skyworks Solutions, Inc.’s effort to enforce patent rights against manufacturers of LED driver products used in cellphones. Skyworks’ amended complaint, filed in October 2013, accused California-based Kinetic Technologies, Inc. and Hong Kong-based Kinetic Technologies HK Limited (“Kinetic HK”) of … Continue Reading

Serial Adversaries Are No Big Deal

Massachusetts District Court Judge Indira Talwani reminded litigants that for lawyers to be conflicted out of a case, they must be on the other side of the “v” from a former client, not a former adversary, since the issue is ultimately whether counsel will be constrained from vigorous representation of their new client.  The order concerned a case … Continue Reading

A Trademark Licensor Is Not Its Licensee’s Keeper

It appears Oban’s case against Nautilus now has no pulse.  In a recent opinion in Oban US, LLC v. Nautilus, Inc. and Sports Beat, Inc., Judge Arterton granted Nautilus’ motion to dismiss Oban’s claims against Nautilus for contributory trademark infringement, vicarious copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act and “unspecified” state … Continue Reading

Judicial Efficiency: Judges Young and Stearns Agree to Single Claim Construction Hearing

Presiding over separate but related patent infringement suits against tech-industry giants can be neither straightforward nor efficient. The limits of judicial efficiency are further exacerbated when lawsuits involving the same patents are assigned to two or more judges, as each judge must separately construe the terms of the patents. Addressing this problem, Judges Young and … Continue Reading
LexBlog