Posts Tagged: "patent infringement"

Patent Monetization Entities Filed 58% of Lawsuits in 2012

Our analysis of the full set of cases across the chosen years confirms what we saw in the smaller sample: patent infringement litigation by patent monetization entities has risen dramatically over a remarkably short period of time. One of the most striking results is the following: in 2012, litigation by patent monetization entities now represents a majority of the patent litigation filed in the United States. Specifically, patent monetization entities filed 58% of the patent lawsuits in 2012. This is a sharp rise from 2007, when patent monetization entities filed only 24% of patent infringement litigations.

Frito-Lay Loses SCOOPS!® Patent, Trademark Infringement Case

Frito-Lay brought a lawsuit against Medallion Foods for allegedly trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition, and dilution under United States Trademark Act. Frito-Lay also alleged willful patent infringement under the patent laws of the United States.

In its amended complaint Frito-Lay alleged that Medallion Foods’ tortilla chips result from processes, which infringe one or more claims of United States Patent No. 6,610,344 either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Additionally, Frito-Lay contends that Medallion Foods is liable for infringing the ‘344 Patent under U.S.C. § 271, as well as the infringement being willful, entitling Frito-Lay to enhanced damages under §284.

Both sides tried to limit the scope of trial through pre-trial motion practice. On October 4, 2012, Frito-Lay filed a motion for summary judgment on Medallion Foods’ sale or public use affirmative defenses and counterclaims. Frito-Lay “contends that it is entitled to summary judgment because Defendants [Medallion Foods] failed to produce clear and convincing evidence that the chip sold by Frito-Lay in a test market had fluted edges, and all testing of a bowl-shaped chip with fluted edges occurred under confidentiality agreements.” The Court went through a thorough analysis and granted in part, and denied in part the motion.

Carve Outs: Into The Belly of the Hatch-Waxman Beast Part 2

“Carve outs” essentially involve a situation where there is an FDA approved drug for which the generic drug maker seeks to market that drug, again through an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), but instead for an FDA approved use, where also that FDA approved use is unpatented. While these “carve outs” also involve the filing of a Paragraph IV Certification, there is a slight but important twist in that Certification: inclusion of what is called a “section viii statement” that the generic drug maker “is not seeking approval for a method of use that is claimed in the patent.” When submitting the “section viii statement,” the generic drug maker must also provide a proposed label that removes or “carves out” the claimed method of use.

China’s Great Leap Forward in Patents

On March 28, Apple Inc. appeared in court in Shanghai to defend charges that Siri, its voice-recognition, personal-assistant software, allegedly infringes a Chinese patent. The plaintiff and owner of the patent, Zhizhen Internet Technology Co., claims its version of the software has over 100 million users in China and is requesting the court to ban all manufacturing or sales of Apple’s product in China. This was not the first time Apple faced patent infringement claims in China. Last summer a Taiwanese man sued the company in China for alleged infringement relating to its Facetime technology.

Heightened Judicial Deference for Patent Claim Constructions?

Patent litigants have long expected an appeal to follow nearly every jury verdict and that a key question (if not the key question) on appeal will be the district court’s construction of one or more disputed claim terms. Syntrix’s recent infringement verdict against Illumina would be seen as no exception if not for what happened the very next day — the Federal Circuit’s decision to rehear en banc the panel’s decision in Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics N. Am. Corp. to consider whether to reset the standard of review for claim construction, long recognized as a question of law reviewed de novo on appeal.

Intellectual Ventures Brings Second Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Symantec

Patent and technology firm, Intellectual Ventures (IV), recently brought a new complaint against computer security company, Symantec, claiming that the company infringed on three of its patents. To be specific, the complaint alleges that three of Symantec’s products (Replicator, Veritas Volume Replicator, and ApplicationHA) “actively, knowingly and intentionally” infringed on three separate IV patents. Symantec was also sued as part of a different complaint by IV back in 2010, along with Trend Micro, McAfee, and Point Software Technologies.

Manhattan Jury Orders Nintendo to Pay $30 Million for Patent Infringement

A Manhattan federal jury recently ordered Nintendo Co. Ltd. to pay Tomita Technologies International, Inc. (“Tomita”) over $30 million in damages in a patent infringement case that concerned certain 3D technologies. Tomita, which originally filed the claim against Nintendo back in June of 2011, claimed that Nintendo’s 3DS hand-held video game system (which launched in March of 2011) infringed on Tomita’s patent called “Stereoscopic image picking up and display system based upon optical axes cross-point information” (also known as the ‘664 patent), which is technology that shows 3D images that can be viewed without the use of special 3D glasses. Nintendo has made it clear that it is confident that the verdict will be set aside and that it will not impact its continued sales of that gaming system or any of its other systems, software and accessories.

Spanx v. Yummie Tummie – Design Patent Lawsuit Takes the Fashion World by Storm

Patent stories don’t normally make the evening news or the major outlets unless one of the antagonists is called Apple. That changed this week when news broke that Spanx, makers of shapewear undergarments for women, founded by Sara Blakely had filed an action for Declaratory Relief against Times Three Clothiers, doing business as Yummie Tummie, in the Northern District of Georgia. Once the story got to The Huffington Post, as they say, it was on, and quickly went viral being picked up by all of the major television networks, Forbes, Business Week and most of the major newspapers around the country.

Apple vs. Samsung: Decision Costs Apple $450 Million

On Friday March 1, 2013 Judge Lucy Koh handed down her decision regarding various motions that were filed on behalf of Apple Inc. (“Apple”) and Samsung Electronics Co. (“Samsung”) over the past few months post-trial. Specifically, Apple requested additur, supplemental damages, and prejudgment interest, while Samsung moved for a new trial on damages or remittitur. Judge Koh determined that the “Court has identified an impermissible legal theory on which the jury based its award, and cannot reasonably calculate the amount of excess while effectuating the intent of the jury.” The total amount stricken from the jury’s award was $450,514,650 –pending a new trial on damages. The jury awards stands for the remaining 14 products for a total of $598,908,892 in favor of Apple.

Austin-Based MONKEYmedia Gets New User Interface Patents

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently awarded over 200 new claims to user interface designer Eric Gould Bear, co-founder of MONKEYmedia. The two most recently issued patents that have 72 claims between them fall under MONKEYmedia’s “Relativity Controller” family of patents, and the Patent Office has stated that an additional 153 claims spread across three pending patent applications in the same family will issue soon. MONKEYmedia is currently suing both Apple and various Hollywood Studios for patent infringement.

Should Ongoing Royalties be Enhanced for Bad Attitude?

In January 2013, Taiwan’s InnoLux Corp. filed an appeal with the Federal Circuit, requesting the Court to overturn an award of enhanced post-judgment (“ongoing”) royalties that appeared to be enhanced, at least in part, because the trial judge took offense at an out-of-court remark made by the defendant’s CEO, after losing at trial. Following the verdict, the defendant’s CEO was quoted in a Taiwan newspaper as having said, “The issue of patent infringement is being taken too seriously sometimes.”

Patent Trolling? ExoTablet Sues Over Allegedly Infringing PadFone

The complaint alleges that two ASUS products sold by Negri Electronics violate a patent that ExoTablet currently holds for combination laptop/cell phone devices: the PadFone and the PadFone 2. ExoTablet is seeking compensation for infringement, lost profits due to infringement, prejudgment interest and treble damages. Negri Electronics does not seem to be too concerned, or at least believes that it has a very strong legal case in defense. Ryan Negri said that the company was very surprised by the legal action, and that they consider the case to be “frivolous.” “The technology industry has been rife with patent trolling in recent years,” Negri said, “which we believe is a fair and accurate characterization of this current lawsuit.”

Harris Corp. v. Fed Ex: “Black Box” Claim Construction by Split Federal Circuit Panel Leaves us in the Dark

Over a dissent by Judge Wallach, Judges Clevenger and Lourie strictly interpreted the “antecedent basis” in the claims, resulting in a reversal of the trial judge’s claim interpretation, and a remand for him to reconsider his patent infringement judgment. It would probably have helped the patentee if the description had included broadening statements regarding the type of data that may be generated, stored and transmitted. Claim language is given the “broadest reasonable interpretation” during examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but a Federal Court’s “entirely reasonable” interpretation will often be significantly narrower, even when the claim has a “comprising” transition and generic terminology.

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory v. Yujiro Nagata: Assignor Estoppel is Affirmative Defense, No Supplemental Jurisdiction

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (“SEL”) appealed the decision of the District Court of California that dismissed with prejudice SEL’s complaint versus Yujiro Nagata (“Nagata”) due to a violation of Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) –lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The CAFC also declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a number of state law claims. Ultimately, the CAFC affirmed the decision of the district court stating in part: “[b]ecause the district court did not err in holding that there is no federal cause of action based on assignor estoppel and did not abuse its discretion in declining supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, we affirm.”

Planting Progeny Seeds Without Consent is Patent Infringement

In its amicus brief, CLI responds by arguing that the term “makes,” as used in Section 271(a), has its plain and ordinary meaning, which embraces the concepts of “bringing about” or “causing.” CLI contends that Bowman, through his acts of planting and cultivating, brought about and caused the formation of a next-generation of herbicide-resistant soybeans. Alternatively, CLI argues that, even if the concept of a “making” only literally reaches the acts of the herbicide-resistant soybean plants Bowman cultivated, Bowman would still be liable for those acts under principles of agency-instrumentality law. Based on his acts of planting and cultivating, CLI asserts that Bowman exercised sufficient control over the herbicide-resistant soybean plants he raised that they should be treated as mere instrumentalities of his, the conduct of which can and should be attributed to him.