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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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

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

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

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

Hyper-Divergence: Halo and the Preliminary Injunction Requirement for Enhanced Damages

A recent report and recommendation issued in the District of Massachusetts is one of the first cases to interpret – and arguably, to extend – the Supreme Court’s recent decision on willful infringement, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. In Simplivity Corporation v. Springpath, Inc., plaintiff Simplivity alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,478,799, … 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

Rising Tide of State-Enacted Patent Reform

It started with Vermont in 2013. Since then, over half the states have enacted legislation aimed at curbing patent infringement suits from non-practicing entities. Now, the band may add another member: Massachusetts. Taking a page from those who came before it, Massachusetts styles its bill as one for consumer and business protection, and targets entities engaged in … Continue Reading

Forecast Unfavorable for Inventory Software Patent

Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank shifted the contours of patent-eligible subject matter, district courts have wielded the two-part test set forth in that decision to dispatch scores of business method patents as being directed to unpatentable abstract ideas.  In a recent example, the Massachusetts district court invalidated a patent … Continue Reading

Waiver Conundrum in Akamai v. Limelight Remand

In a lengthy litigation between Akamai Technologies, Inc. (“Akamai”) and Limelight Networks, Inc. (“Limelight”), the District of Massachusetts recently addressed whether Limelight waived issues presented in its Renewed Motion For Judgment As A Matter Of Law after the case was appealed, and then remanded, back to the District Court. The case was initially tried by … 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

IP Roundtable With Chief Judge Saris

The Boston Bar Association and the Boston Patent Law Association will be hosting Chief Judge Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts at their upcoming IP Roundtable event. The event is scheduled for May 4, 2016, from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, and is expected to include discussions on the current trends and issues concerning intellectual … 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

Massachusetts Jury Verdict Stands After Court Ruling on Laches

A Massachusetts court recently denied defendant Kaz’s motions for judgment on the defenses of laches and equitable estoppel, letting stand an earlier jury verdict that found Kaz had infringed Exergen’s patents for temporal thermometers.  As we previously reported, the verdict awarded the plaintiff almost $15 million in damages.… 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

Plaintiff Secures Sweeping Jury Verdict in Hotly-Contested Patent Fight

In a long-running patent fight involving two medical device manufacturers, a Massachusetts jury determined last week that the defendant Kaz had infringed two of plaintiff Exergen’s patents relating to temporal thermometers, and that the patents are not invalid. The jury also awarded Exergen nearly $15 million in damages.… 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

Defendant’s Argument to Exclude Damages Theory Heads in the Wrong Direction

Although courts and commentators have turned up the heat on the entire market value rule (EMVR) in recent years, it can be a useful tool for a patentee to obtain significant damages where the evidence shows that the patented feature is the basis of consumer demand for the accused product. Thus, defendants often try to … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Clears Patent Prosecutors of Malpractice Claims Arising From Representation of Clients in Same Technology Area

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a legal malpractice suit finding that, “simultaneous representation by a law firm in the prosecution of patents for two clients competing in the same technology area for similar inventions is not a per se violation,” of certain Massachusetts attorney professional conduct rules. The … 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

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

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet.  The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti B. Saris, granted defendants Orgill, Inc. (“Orgill”) and Farm & City Supply, LLC (“FSC”) a split ruling on their summary judgment … 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
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