New England IP Blog

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

Category Archives: Massachusetts

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Subpoenas on Customers Blocked in MRI Patent Case

In a recent multi-district case involving patent infringement allegations relating to MRI imaging, Judge Stearns granted motions for protective orders directed to untimely-served subpoenas on third party customers. The case stems from an action filed by NeuroGrafix and others against Brainlab, Inc., Brainlab AG, and Brainlab Medzinische Computersysteme GmbH (collectively, “Brainlab”), among other defendants, alleging infringement of its U.S. … Continue Reading

Judge Talwani Dismisses Diagnostic Patent Infringement Case under Section 101

In a recent patent infringement case relating to a method for diagnosing a neuro-muscular disorder, Judge Indira Talwani in the District of Massachusetts found the asserted patent claims to be patent ineligible because the claims were directed to a naturally occurring interaction. The case involved Athena Diagnostics and its licensees who sought to enforce U.S. … Continue Reading

Early Summary Judgment Denied in Stapler Patent Lawsuit

Judge Gorton in the District of Massachusetts recently denied an early summary judgment motion filed in a patent infringement suit, holding the motion to be premature on two grounds. First, a scheduled claim construction hearing had yet to occur, rendering a proper infringement analysis impossible. Second, material issues of fact remained regarding an estoppel claim. The decision serves as … Continue Reading

“Ruff” Start for Defendant in Pet Ramp Patent Dispute

Judge Saylor of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently narrowed the counterclaims and affirmative defenses available to a defendant in a consumer products dispute. The decision highlights not only the importance of pleading sufficient facts to meet the applicable standard, but also the potential effect of a parties’ representations when … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Decides to Transfer Case in View of TC Heartland Venue Standard

Less than two months ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group Brands LLC—which significantly changed the way that venue in patent infringement cases would be determined.  Under TC Heartland, infringement actions can only be filed where the defendant is incorporated, or where the defendant has committed acts of … Continue Reading

Computer-Based Publishing Patent Goes Offline after Alice Inquiry

In 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

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

In 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

A 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

Under 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

The 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

Judge Young Addresses Possibility Versus Plausibility in Patent Pleadings

Judge 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

In 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

For 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

Judge 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

District 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

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

Sunrise’s Infringement Complaint Gets the Green Light

In 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

In 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

Clean Bill of Health for Tuberculosis Testing Patents in Eligibility Challenge

After the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Alice, Mayo, and Myriad that narrowed the bounds of patentable subject matter, defendants have routinely asked courts to invalidate patents in certain technology areas—such as software and biotechnology—as patent ineligible. A recent decision out of the District of Massachusetts offers a prescription for success for patentees in surviving such an eligibility challenge. In … Continue Reading

Accused Infringer Puts the Screws on Patentee

We wrote recently about a summary judgment decision in which Judge Indira Talwani found certain asserted claims of two patents on a type of breakable screw to be obvious in light of the prior art. This ruling came even though the patentee had produced some evidence of copying, and even though the accused infringer had not shown a motivation … Continue Reading

Final Judgment Prescribed For Antibody Patent After Double Patenting Decision

We previously wrote about Judge Wolf’s decision to invalidate Janssen Biotech, Inc.’s (“Janssen”) biopharmaceutical patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,284,471 (the “’471 Patent”)), based on the doctrine of obviousness-type double patenting. Celltrion Healthcare Co. Inc. (“Celltrion”) subsequently moved the court for an entry of final judgment dismissing Janssen’s infringement claims premised on the ’471 Patent.  While … Continue Reading

Accused Infringer Secures Patent Invalidity in Eyeglass Screw Case

Declaratory judgment actions can be a useful way for entities threatened with patent infringement to go on the offensive.  In one such matter in the District of Massachusetts, a declaratory judgment plaintiff turned the tables on a patentee by invalidating two patents relating to eyeglass screw technology at the summary judgment stage.… Continue Reading

In Autoimmune Disorder Diagnosis Patent Case, Section 101 Motion to Dismiss Denied

In a recent decision from the District of Massachusetts, Judge Indira Talwani denied a motion to dismiss a patent suit under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim due to patent ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 . In their motion, defendants Mayo Collaborative Services LLC and Mayo Clinic (collectively “Defendants”) argued that the … Continue Reading

Double Patenting Decision Delivers Bitter Pill To Antibody Patent

In a recent decision on obviousness-type double patenting, Judge Wolf shortened the shelf life of a dispute between Janssen Biotech, Inc. (“Janssen”) and Celltrion Healthcare Co. Inc. (“Celltrion”), relating to a biopharmaceutical patent covering a particular antibody. In March, 2015, Janssen accused Celltrion of infringing (among other patents) U.S. Patent No. 6,284,471 (the “’471 Patent”), … Continue Reading
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