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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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

Close Shave on Whether Cease and Desist Letter Creates DJ Jurisdiction

Rather 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

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

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

Need for Illumination of Maximum Recovery Rule Warrants Interlocutory Appeal

Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts recently issued an order paving the way for the Trustees of Boston University to seek an interlocutory appeal to clarify the Maximum Recovery Rule for remittitur. Back in November 2015, a jury awarded BU lump-sum damages of $9,300,000 from Epistar and $4,000,000 from Everlight after finding Epistar … Continue Reading

Edible Arrangements’ Trademark Case Bears Fruit

In a recent decision, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant shed some light on a significant new issue: trademark infringement in the world of internet keyword advertising. In a case with important implications for online marketing strategies, Judge Bryant denied Provide Commerce’s request for partial summary judgment against trademark owner Edible Arrangements, which had filed a suit … Continue Reading

Lights Out for Invalidity and Unenforceability Counterclaims After PTAB Invalidates Design Patent

Flipping the switch on the last remaining claims in the case, a Massachusetts Court recently dismissed as moot two defendants’ counterclaims for declaratory judgment of invalidity and unenforceability following a PTAB decision invalidating the asserted patent. In 2013, Maureen Reddy sued defendants Lowe’s and Evolution Lighting for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D677,423, alleging … 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

In Onboard Wi-Fi Case, Covenant Not To Sue Has Wide Range

Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer of the District of Connecticut recently released an opinion that is significant to litigants on either side of a covenant not to sue. In a complex case with a host of claims and counterclaims asserted among the parties, the patentee’s grant of a covenant not to sue on the asserted patent … 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

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly discovered that the Court is primed to flex its muscles when deciding jurisdictional questions presented in the franchisee’s motion to dismiss.… 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

Blink And You’ll Miss Your Window To Intervene In An Infringement Suit

Judge Indira Talwani emphasized the importance of timely intervention in any patent infringement suit, in a recent opinion out of the District of Massachusetts. In this case, an exclusive licensee of several patents was not permitted to intervene in a patent infringement suit, largely because its motion was filed many months too late. The Hilsinger Company, … 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

On Appeal, No Fee Shifting Credit for LevelUp

In a recent patent appeal involving a Boston-based mobile payment startup, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit signaled its reluctance to disturb district courts’ discretion in fee shifting decisions. The Federal Circuit affirmed, without a written opinion, the District of Massachusetts’ decision denying LevelUp an award of attorneys’ fees, even though LevelUp had won summary … Continue Reading

Relating a Software Copyright Infringement Claim Back to its Source

In a recent order, Judge Douglas P. Woodlock of the District of Massachusetts untangled a complicated timeline to decide motions for summary judgment regarding several copyright infringement and related claims on a statute of limitations basis. The analysis is instructive to prospective plaintiffs as to when a complaint should be filed, which potential defendants it … Continue Reading

Plaintiff Avoids Headache of Having Its Thermometer Patent Invalidated at Summary Judgment

In a recent District of Massachusetts case, a defendant attempted to use the crucible of summary judgment to invalidate the plaintiff’s body temperature detection patents. But, as shown in the Court’s ruling, sometimes that strategy does not produce the desired results.… Continue Reading

Tangle Between Hair Care Companies Stayed Pending IPR

Days after the PTAB instituted Inter Partes Review (IPR), Judge Alvin Thompson in the District of Connecticut has stayed a case between Conair and Tre Milano. Conair sued Tre Milano in October 2014, for infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,651,118, which relates to a hair styling device. On February 2, 2015, Tre Milano filed a petition … Continue Reading

Beware the Quagmire of Personal Jurisdiction

A plaintiff in the District of New Hampshire recently found itself stuck in an unenviable and inescapable jurisdictional hole. Plaintiff Presby Patent Trust sued Infiltrator Systems, a Connecticut-based manufacturer and distributor of septic systems, in New Hampshire for allegedly infringing Presby’s patent on a method for processing effluent. Presby asserted that Infiltrator’s Advanced Treatment Leachfield … Continue Reading
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