New England IP Blog

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

Category Archives: Procedure/Jurisdiction

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Court Makes Motion to Dismiss in Trademark Dispute Magically Disappear

A basic tenet of litigation is that the court must have personal jurisdiction over the parties to the case.  In one recent decision, an out-of-state defendant in a trademark infringement dispute could not use a motion to dismiss to escape from the reach of the District of Connecticut court.  The court found sufficient evidence to show that it had personal … Continue Reading

Complaint Sheltered From Dismissal In Patent Row Over Personal Tents

A recent opinion from Judge Shea in the District of Connecticut sheds important light on the sufficiency of pleadings in declaratory judgment patent cases.  Noting that declaratory judgment actions are of particular importance in the intellectual property sphere, Judge Shea denied a motion to dismiss a complaint – even though the complaint included patents issued after the action … Continue Reading

Judge Saris Opines on Copyright Infringement in 3-D Greeting Card Case

On February 22, Chief Judge Saris in the District of Massachusetts issued an opinion on a motion to dismiss implicating several complex copyright infringement issues.  The Chief Judge’s ruling analyzed whether several allegedly infringing works could be considered “substantially similar” to the copyrighted works, as required to support a claim of copyright infringement.  The “substantial similarity” analysis produced different results … Continue Reading

Scope of Brain Imaging Patent Dispute Comes into Focus

Judge Stearns recently clarified the scope of an almost five-year-old multi-district patent dispute in the District of Massachusetts.  Since early 2013, Judge Stearns has presided over NeuroGrafix’ allegations of patent infringement after ten actions encompassing dozens of defendants were consolidated in the District of Massachusetts.  In the suit relevant to Judge Stearns’ most recent order, … Continue Reading

Anticipation Bounces Back Electronic Return Receipt Patent as Invalid

Although patentees may delight at the allowance of broad claims in their granted patents, those same claims prove more difficult to defend against invalidity arguments at trial. A recent decision from a Massachusetts court underscores this tightrope walk, and serves as a warning that claims drafted too loosely—while allowed by the USPTO—can leave the patent … Continue Reading

First-to-File Rule Brings Venue of Camera Patent Fight into Focus

Federal courts have long honored the age-old principle of “first come, first served”—when presented with two competing lawsuits involving the same parties in different courts, priority is generally awarded to the first-filed lawsuit with a few, specifically-defined exceptions.  In one recent decision, a Massachusetts court shuttered a declaratory judgment plaintiff’s request for resolution of the … Continue Reading

Court Extinguishes Parties’ Motions to Strike in LED Patent Dispute

Although motions to strike are generally difficult to win, when successful they can significantly dim the opposing party’s prospects for victory on particular claims or defenses.  In one recent patent infringement action out of Massachusetts, each party moved to strike certain elements of the other side’s pleadings–but the Court quickly snuffed out the dueling motions.… Continue Reading

Court Bounces Untimely Extrinsic Evidence in Claim Construction Phase

In order to carry out the “just, speedy, and inexpensive determination” of the cases before them, courts rely on scheduling orders to ensure that cases move forward in a timely and efficient manner.  In patent cases, where there are several complex phases—including claim construction and expert depositions—the deadlines set forth in the scheduling order must … 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

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

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

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

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

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

A 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

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

A 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

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

The Federal Circuit’s Standing Requirement to Appeal Patent Office Decisions

In a recent landmark decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announced that not all inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings at the U.S. Patent Office can be appealed. While anyone can file an IPR petition, not all persons can appeal. For petitioners without standing, i.e., an “injury in fact,” the Patent Office’s Patent Trial and … 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

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
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