Retail Patent Litigation

Illinois Patent Trial Attorney | R. David Donoghue

July 2014 Retail Patent Litigation Report

Posted in Retail Litigation Report

Trolls continued their summer vacation in July.  Repeat filers included Antennatech, EMG Technology, Eclipse IP, GPNE, Hawk Technology and Interface IP.

As usual, I prepared the report in partnership with and using Docket Navigator and its powerful database.  Docket Navigator is a valuable resource, and the place to go if you want to keep track of new patent litigation filings or want to know what is happening in particular cases, how your judge has historically handled a particular type of motion, or a particular plaintiff’s litigation history.

Finally, please let me know if you have thoughts about the report or changes you would like to see.  I am preparing it as a service for retailers and their supply chain who may want an overview of the patent litigation landscape.  So, I am very open to ways to improve the report for you.

Market Track, LLC v. Efficient Collavorative Retail Marketing, (N.D. Ill.).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendant:     Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing, LLC

Plaintiff:         Market Track, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Latham & Watkins

Patent:            7,849,083 (Automatic creation of output file from images in database).

ServiceMax v. Eclipse IP LLC, (C.D. Cal.).

Claim:            Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:     Eclipse IP, LLC

Plaintiff:         ServiceMax

Pls. Cnsl:        Durie Tangri

Patents:          7,064,681 Response systems and methods for notification systems; 7,113,110 (Stop list generation systems and methods based upon tracked PCD’s and responses from notified PCD’s); and 7,119,716 (Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications).

Hawk Technology Systems, LLC v. Tampa Bay Downs, Inc., (M.D. Fla.; W.D. Wis.; N.D. Ill.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           Magistrate Judge Thomas B. McCoun, III; District Judge Mary S. Scriven; Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker; District Judge James D. Peterson; District Judge Andrea R. Wood; District Judge Milton I. Shadur

Claim:                        Infringement

Defendants:

  • Tampa Bay Downs, Inc.
  • Kwik Trip, Inc.
  • Benedictine University
  • De Paul University

    Plaintiff:        Hawk Technology Systems, LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:        Lipscomb Eisenberg & Baker; Schulz Law

    Patent:           RE 43,462 (Video monitoring and conferencing system); 5,860,946 (Instrument for inserting a suppository); and 7,018,992 (Hormone composition).

    GPNE Corp. v. Cassens Transport Company, (N.D. Ill.)

    Judge:             District Rebecca R. Pallmeyer

    Claim:              Infringement

    Defendant:    Cassens Transport Company

    Plaintiff:         GPNE Corp.

    Pls. Cnsl:        Niro Haller & Niro; and O’Kelly Ernst & Bielli

    Patents:          7,570,954 (Communication system wherein a clocking signal from a controller, a request from a node, acknowledgement of the request, and data transferred from the node are all provided on different frequencies, enabling simultaneous transmission of these signals); and 8,086,240 (Data communication system using a reserve request and four frequencies to enable transmitting data packets which can include a count value and termination indication information).

    Eclipse IP LLC v. Cobra Electronics Corporation, (N.D. Ill., E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

    Judge:            District Judge Ronald A. Guzman; District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

    Claim:             Infringement

    Defendants:

  • Cobra Electronics Corporation
  • Deckers Outdoor Corporation
  • ABT Electronics, Inc
  • Ashford, Inc.

    Plaintiff:        Eclipse IP LLC; Olavi Dunne; Wawrzyn; and Tadlock Law Firm

    Patents:          7,479,900 (Notification systems and methods that consider traffic flow predicament data); 7,482,952 (Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications); 7,319,414 (Secure notification messaging systems and methods using authentication indicia); 7,479,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to cause connection between a notified PCD and a delivery or pickup representative); and 8,068,037 (Advertisement systems and methods for notification systems).

    Gonzalez v. Anastasia International, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

    Claim:                        Infringement

    Defendants:

  • Homes.com, Inc.

    Plaintiff:        Emmanuel C. Gonzalez

    Pls. Cnsl:        Locke Lord

    Patents:          7,558,807 (Host website for digitally labeled websites and method); 7,647,339 (Method for digitally labeling websites); 7,873,665 (Method for digitally labelling websites); 8,065,333 (Method for digitally labelling websites); and 8,296,325 (Method for digitally labelling websites).

    Antennatech, LLC v. BMW of North America, LLC, (D. Del.) (multiple cases).

    Claim:                        Infringement

    Defendants:

  • Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
  • Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC

    Plaintiff:    Antennatech, LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:   Stamoulis & Weinblatt

    Patent:       6,885,845 (Personal communication device connectivity arrangement); and 8,180,279 (Wireless hotspot arrangement).

    Interface IP Holdings LLC v. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., (D. Del.) (multiple cases).

    Claim:         Infringement

    Defendants:

  • The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

    Plaintiff:        Interface IP Holdings LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:       Black & Hamill; and Farnan

    Patent:           7,500,201 (Data input method and system with multi-sub-field matching of user entries into a graphical input device; and 7,406,663 (Graphical input device with dynamic field width adjustment for input of variable data via a browser-based display).

    Icon Laser Solutions LLC v. Gap Inc, (N.D. Tex.).

    Judge:             District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater

    Claim:              Infringement

    Defendant:    Gap, Inc.

    Plaintiff:         Icon Laser Solutions LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:        Friedman Suder & Cooke

    Patent:            5,567,207 (Method for marking and fading textiles with lasers).

    EMG Technology, LLC v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases)

    Claim:          Infringement

    Defendants:

  • Rite Aid Corporation
  • Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund
  • Toys “R” Us – Delaware, Inc.

    Plaintiff:        EMG Technology, LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:        Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell; Parker Bunt & Ainsworth

    Patents:          6,600,497 (Apparatus and method to navigate interactive television using unique inputs with a remote control); 7,194,698 (Method to advertise and search on television for web content using a simplified interface); and 7,441,196 (Apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content).

    Aeritas, LLC v. GameStop Corp., (N.D. Tex.).

    Judges:           District Judge Ed Kinkeade; District Judge Sam A. Lindsay

    Claim:              Infringement

    Defendant:    GameStop Corp.

    Plaintiff:         Aeritas, LLC

    Pls. Cnsl:        Law Office of David H Judson

    Patents:          7,706,819 (Mixed-mode interaction; and 8,055,285 (Mixed-mode interaction).

    Bank of America, NA v. Wolf Run Hollow, LLC., (N.D. Ill.).

    Claim:              Declaratory Judgment

    Defendant:    Wolf Run Hollow, LLC

    Plaintiff:        Bank of America, NA

    Pls. Cnsl:        Goodwin Procter; and Reed Smith

    Patent:           6,115,817 (Methods and systems for facilitating transmission of secure messages across insecure networks).

June 2014 Retail Patent Litigation Report

Posted in Retail Litigation Report

June continued May’s trend of reduced filings.  Repeat filers included Inventor Holdings, LBS Innovations, NeoMedia Technologies and Antennatech.

As usual, I prepared the report in partnership with and using Docket Navigator and its powerful database.  Docket Navigator is a valuable resource, and the place to go if you want to keep track of new patent litigation filings or want to know what is happening in particular cases, how your judge has historically handled a particular type of motion, or a particular plaintiff’s litigation history.

Finally, please let me know if you have thoughts about the report or changes you would like to see.  I am preparing it as a service for retailers and their supply chain who may want an overview of the patent litigation landscape.  So, I am very open to ways to improve the report for you.

Advanced Marketing Systems, LLC v. The Kroger Company, (N.D. Tex.).

Judge:            District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn

Claim:            Infringement

Defendant:     The Kroger Company

Plaintiff:        Advanced Marketing Systems, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Bracewell & Giuliani; and Miles & Stockbridge

Patents:          8,219,445 (Promotion processor and management system); 8,370,199 (Promotion processor and management system); and 8,538,805 (Promotion on processor and management system).

SimpleAir, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., (E.D. Tex.).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendant:     Amazon.com, Inc.

Plaintiff:        SimpleAir, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Capshaw DeRieux; and Dovel & Luner

Patents:          7,035,914 (System and method for transmission of data); 8,090,803 (System and method for transmission of data); 8,572,279 (System and method for transmission of data); 8,601,154 (System and method for transmission of data); and 8,639,838 (System and method for transmission of data).

Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Sears Holdings Corporation et al,  (D. Del.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Sears Holdings Corporation
  • Sears Holdings Management Corporation
  • Sam’s West, Inc. d/b/a Sam’s Club
  • Target Corporation

Plaintiff:        Inventor Holdings, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Stamoulis & Weinblatt; Bayard; and Russ August & Kabat

Patent:           6,381,582 (Method and system for processing payments for remotely purchased goods); and 5,970,470 (System and method for establishing and managing subscription purchase agreements including commitments to purchase goods over time at agreed upon prices).

Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers, Inc. v. Eclipse IP, LLC, (D.S.C.).

Judge:             District Judge Richard M. Gergel

Claim:             Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:     Eclipse IP, LLC

Plaintiff:        Rogers & Brown Custom Brokers, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Barnwell Whaley Patterson and Helms

Patents:          7,479,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to cause connection between a notified PCD and a delivery or pickup representative); 7,482,952 (Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications); and 7,876,239 (Secure notification messaging systems and methods using authentication indicia).

LBS Innovations, LLC v. Foursquare Labs, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple caases).

Judges:           District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Foursquare Labs, Inc.
  • GasBuddy OpenStore, LLC
  • Berroco, Inc.
  • Boa-Franc, Inc.
  • Clark Equipment Company
  • Discount Tire Co., Inc.
  • Doosan Infracore International, Inc.
  • Mirage Flooring, Inc.
  • Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack of Delaware, Inc.
  • Pizzeria Uno Corporation
  • Rain Bird Corporation
  • Transworld Entertainment Corporation
  • UMB Bank, NA

Plaintiff:        LBS Innovations, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Buether Joe & Carpenter

Patent:           6,091,956 (Situation information system).

NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. v. Just Born, (D. Colo.) (multiple cases).

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Marriott International, Inc.

Plaintiff:        NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.

Pls Cnsl:         Global IP Law Group

Patent:           8,131,597 (System and method for using an ordinary article of commerce to access a remote computer).

Antennatech, LLC v. AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. (D. Del.) (multiple cases).

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
  • BP America, Inc.
  • Chevron Corporation
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • The Container Store Group, Inc.
  • Jack In The Box, Inc.
  • Jamba, Inc.
  • McDonald’s Corporation
  • Office Depot, Inc.
  • Regal Entertainment Group
  • Sunoco, Inc.
  • The Home Depot, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Antennatech, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patent:           8,112,131 (Radiative focal area antenna transmission coupling arrangement).

Traffic Information, LLC v. Ally Financial, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • The Allstate Corporation
  • BeBe Stores, Inc.
  • Fandango, LLC
  • Farmers Group, Inc.
  • Hyatt Corporation
  • Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.
  • Michaels Stores, Inc.
  • Smoothie King Co., Inc.
  • State Farm International Services, Inc.
  • WebMD, LLC

Plaintiff:        Traffic Information, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Capshaw DeRieux; and Polasek Quisenberry & Errington

Patent:           6,785,606 (System for providing traffic information agent); 7,634,666 (Crypto-engine for cryptographic processing of data); 7,757,298 (Method and apparatus for identifying and characterizing errant electronic files); and 8,215,816 (Light emitting panel assemblies).

May 2014 Retail Patent Litigation Report

Posted in Retail Litigation Report

After a legislation-fueled spike of cases in April, the trolls slowed considerably in May.  Repeat filers included Cascades Branding, Clear With Computers, Eclipse IP, Olivistar, and TQP Development.

As usual, I prepared the report in partnership with and using Docket Navigator and its powerful database.  Docket Navigator is a valuable resource, and the place to go if you want to keep track of new patent litigation filings or want to know what is happening in particular cases, how your judge has historically handled a particular type of motion, or a particular plaintiff’s litigation history.

Finally, please let me know if you have thoughts about the report or changes you would like to see.  I am preparing it as a service for retailers and their supply chain who may want an overview of the patent litigation landscape.  So, I am very open to ways to improve the report for you.

Cascades Branding Innovation LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch, Co., (N.D. Ill.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly; District Judge Robert W. Gettleman; District Judge Edmond E. Chang

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch, Co.
  • GameStop Corp.
  • Jo-Ann Stores, LLC

Plaintiff:        Cascades Branding Innovation LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Flachsbart & Greenspoon

Patents:          7,768,395 (Brand mapping); 8,106,766 (Brand mapping); and 8,405,504 (Brand mapping).

TQP Development, LLC v. Allied Electronics, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • American Airlines, Inc.
  • American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc.
  • Brooks Brothers Group, Inc.
  • Carestream Dental LLC
  • Columbia Sportswear USA Corporation
  • eBags, Inc.
  • Estee Lauder Inc.
  • Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.
  • Groupon, Inc.
  • Hayneedle, Inc.
  • Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
  • Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation
  • Kaiser Permanente Ventures, LLC
  • LL Bean, Inc.
  • Marriott International, Inc.
  • Hilton Worldwide, Inc.
  • J Crew Group, Inc.

Furnitureland South, Inc.

Plaintiff:        TQP Development, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley PLLC

Patent:           5,412,730 (Encrypted data transmission system employing means for randomly altering the encryption keys).

BSG Tech LLC v. Inteladerm LLC, (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judge:             District Judge Rodney Gilstrap

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Konarqui Internet Services LLC
  • Spiraledge Inc. d/b/a SwimOutlet.com
  • Toolup.com LLC
  • Albee Baby Carriage Co., Inc.
  • Costume Craze, LLC
  • Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc.
  • J.A. Cosmetics, Corp.

Plaintiff:        BSG Tech LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Direction IP Law

Patents:          6,035,294 (Wide access databases and database systems); 6,195,652 (Self-evolving database and method of using same); and 6,243,699 (Systems and methods of indexing and retrieving data).

NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. v. Target Corporation, (D. Colo.)

Judge:              Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe

Claim:              Infringement

Defendant:    Target Corporation

Plaintiff:        NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Global IP Law Group

Patents:          6,199,048 (System and method for automatic access of a remote computer over a network); 8,131,597 (System and method for using an ordinary article of commerce to access a remote computer).

Olivistar, LLC v. Legrand North America, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judge:             District Judge Rodney Gilstrap

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Legrand North America, Inc.
  • Smartlabs, Inc.
  • Trane Inc.

VTech Electronics North America, LLC

Plaintiff:        Olivistar, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley PLLC

Patents:          6,839,731 (System and method for providing data communication in a device network); and 8,239,481 (System and method for implementing open-control remote device control).

Eclipse IP LLC v. McKinley Equipment Corporation, (C.D. Cal.).

Judges:           District Judge Andrew J. Guilford; Magistrate Judge Arthur Nakazato

Claim:              Infringement

Defendant:     McKinley Equipment Corporation

Plaintiff:        Eclipse IP LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Newport Trial Group

Patents:          7,064,681 (Response systems and methods for notification systems); 7,113,110 (Stop list generation systems and methods based upon tracked PCD’s and responses from notified PCD’s); and 7,119,716 (Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications).

EMG Technology, LLC v. CenturyLink, Inc., (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:           Infringement

Defendants:

  • Doctor’s Associates, Inc.
  • Fluor Corporation
  • Safelite Group, Inc.

Plaintiff:        EMG Technology, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell; and Parker Bunt & Ainsworth

Patent:           7,441,196 (Apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content).

CYVA Research Holdings, LLC v. eBay Inc., (E.D. Tex.).

Claim:               Infringement

Defendant:     eBay Inc.

Plaintiff:        CYVA Research Holdings, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Ni Wang & Massand

Patent:           8,195,569 (E-bazaar featuring personal information security).

Hawk Technology Systems, LLC v. Xtreme Indoor Karting, LLC, (S.D. Fla., C.D. Cal., E.D. Mich., M.D. Fla.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge William J. Zloch, District Judge Audrey B. Collins; Magistrate Judge Michael R. Wilner; Magistrate Judge Michael J. Hluchaniuk; Magistrate Judge Gregory J. Kelly; District Judge Gregory A. Presnell

Claim:              Infringement

Defendants:

  • Xtreme Indoor Karting, LLC
  • California Cinema Investments, Inc.
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • NCL Corporation Ltd.

Plaintiff:        Hawk Technology Systems, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Lipscomb Eisenberg & Baker; and Law Office of Mark I Shulman

Patent:           RE 43,462 (Video monitoring and conferencing system).

Clear With Computers, LLC v. eBags, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judge:             District Judge Leonard Davis

Claim:              Infringement

Defendants:

  • eBags, Inc.
  • Karmaloop, Inc.
  • Ellison Systems Inc. dba Shoplet.com

Plaintiff:        Clear With Computers, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Spangler Law; and Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patents:          5,625,776 (Electronic proposal preparation system for selling computer equipment and copy machines); and 7,606,739 (Electronic proposal preparation system).

April 2014 Retail Patent Litigation Report

Posted in Retail Litigation Report

The trolls became drastically more active in April, with a large cluster of filings in the days before the Senate’s patent reform bill would have made patent reform retroactive to.  Of course, the reform legislation that seemed so certain died in the Senate.  Repeat filers included Antennatech, c4cast, Clear With Computers, Eclipse IP, eDekka, GPNE, Joao Bock, Landmark Technology, Marshall Feature Recognition, NeoMedia Technologies, Olivistar, and TQP Development.

As usual, I prepared the report in partnership with and using Docket Navigator and its powerful database.  Docket Navigator is a valuable resource, and the place to go if you want to keep track of new patent litigation filings or want to know what is happening in particular cases, how your judge has historically handled a particular type of motion, or a particular plaintiff’s litigation history.

Finally, please let me know if you have thoughts about the report or changes you would like to see.  I am preparing it as a service for retailers and their supply chain who may want an overview of the patent litigation landscape.  So, I am very open to ways to improve the report for you.

Bank of America, NA v. Wolf Run Hollow, LLC (N.D. Ill.)

Claim:            Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:    Wolf Run Hollow, LLC

Plaintiff:        Bank of America, NA

Pls. Cnsl:       Goodwin Procter; and Reed Smith

Patent:           6,115,817 (Methods and systems for facilitating transmission of secure messages across insecure networks).

Lone Star WiFi LLC v. Marriott International Inc., (S.D. Cal.) (multiple cases).

Judges:          District Judge Roger T. Benitez; Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major; District Judge Roger T. Benitez; Magistrate Judge Nita L. Stormes

Claim:          Infringement

Defendants:

  • Marriott International Inc.
  • Omni Hotels Corporation
  • Omni Hotels Management Corporation

Plaintiff:        Lone Star WiFi LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Nelson Bumgardner Casto

Patents:          7,490,348 (Wireless network having multiple communication allowances); 8,312,286 (Wireless network having multiple communication allowances); and 8,583,935 (Wireless network having multiple communication allowances).

GPNE Corp. v. BP America Inc., (D. Del.).

Claim:
              Infringement

Defendant:    BP America Inc.

Plaintiff:         GPNE Corp.

Pls. Cnsl:        Niro Haller & Niro; and O’Kelly Ernst & Bielli

Patent:           8,086,240 (Data communication system using a reserve request and four frequencies to enable transmitting data packets which can include a count value and termination indication information).

Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC v. Capital One Financial Corporation et al., (D. Del.).

Claim:         Infringement

Defendants:

  • Capital One Bank (USA), NA
  • Capital One Financial Corporation
  • Capital One, NA

Plaintiff:        Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC

Pls. Cnsl
:       Heninger Garrison Davis; and Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patent:
           7,096,003 (Transaction security apparatus).

Landmark Technology, LLC v. Abercrombie & Fitch
(TXED) (multiple cases)


Claim
:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Boyd Gaming Corp.
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp.
  • Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.
  • Harley-Davidson, Inc.
  • Hitachi America Ltd.

Plaintiff:        Landmark Technology, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell; and Parker Bunt & Ainsworth

Patent:
           6,289,319 (Automatic business and financial transaction processing system).

Clear With Computers, LLC v.
Northern Tool & Equipment Company, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).


Claim
:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Northern Tool & Equipment Company, Inc.
  • OpticsPlanet, Inc.
  • Rag & Bone Holdings, LLC

Rag & Bone, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Clear With Computers, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Spangler Law; and Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patents:          5,625,776 (Electronic proposal preparation system for selling computer equipment and copy machines); and 7,606,739 (Electronic proposal preparation system).

Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc., (D. Del.).

Claim:             Infringement

Defendant:   Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Inventor Holdings, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patent:           6,381,582 (Method and system for processing payments for remotely purchased goods).

Stambler v. MasterCard Incorporated et al, (S.D. Fla.).

Judge:            District Judge Joan A. Lenard

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • MasterCard Incorporated

MasterCard International Incorporated

Plaintiff:        Leon Stambler

Pls. Cnsl:        Nelson Bumgardner Casto; and Perlman Bajandas Yevoli & Albright

Patent:           5,793,302 (Method for securing information relevant to a transaction).

Klever Marketing, Inc. v. LivingSocial, Inc., (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement; Amended Complaint

Defendants:

  • Jo-Ann Stores, LLC

Office Max, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Klever Marketing, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:       Tiburon Intellectual Property

Patent:           5,420,606 (Instant electronic coupon verification system).

Z-Dimensional, LLC v. Hammacher Schlemmer & Co., Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • The Bradford Group
  • JVC Americas Corp.

Plaintiff:        Z-Dimensional, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:       Burns IP Law

Patent:           7,729,530 (Method and apparatus for 3-D data input to a personal computer with a multimedia oriented operating system).

eDekka LLC v. ABT Electronics Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • ABT Electronics Inc.
  • Beachbody LLC
  • Crutchfield Corporation
  • Crutchfield New Media, LLC
  • Edible Arrangements LLC
  • Ellison Systems Inc.
  • Foster and Smith Inc.
  • Oakley Inc.
  • The Tire Rack Inc.
  • US Auto Parts Network Inc.
  • Vitacost.com Inc.
  • Aeropostale, Inc.
  • Amway Corp.
  • AT&T Services, Inc.
  • B&H Foto & Electronics Corp.
  • Barnesandnoble.com, LLC
  • Barneys New York, Inc.
  • Benchmark Brands, Inc.
  • Big Fish Games, Inc.
  • Bluestem Brands, Inc.
  • BPS Direct, LLC
  • Brooks Brothers Group Inc.
  • Brown Shoe Company, Inc.
  • Build.com, Inc.
  • Buy.com Inc.
  • Cabela’s Incorporated
  • CardLab, Inc.
  • Carter’s, Inc.
  • Coach, Inc.
  • Crocs, Inc.
  • CTD, Inc.
  • Deckers Outdoor Corporation
  • Deluxe Corp.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
  • Dillard’s, Inc.
  • Disney Interactive Studios, Inc. f/k/a Disney Interactive, Inc.
  • eBags, Inc.
  • Estee Lauder, Inc.
  • Etsy, Inc.
  • Fab.com, Inc.
  • Fanatics, Inc.
  • Follett Higher Education Group, Inc.
  • Footlocker.com, Inc.
  • Foot Locker, Inc.
  • FragranceNet.com Inc.
  • Fresh Direct, LLC
  • FTD.com Inc.
  • GameFly, Inc
  • General Nutrition Centers, Inc.
  • Gerler & Son, Inc.
  • Gilt Groupe, Inc.
  • Golfsmith International Inc.
  • Harry and David, LLC
  • Hayneedle, Inc.
  • ideeli Inc.
  • J Crew Group, Inc.
  • Jos A Bank Clothiers, Inc.
  • JP Boden USA LLC
  • Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
  • Kohl’s Corporation
  • Lamps Plus, Inc.
  • Mason Companies, Inc.
  • The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc.
  • MLB Advanced Media, LP
  • Motorsport Aftermarket Group, Inc.
  • Multimedia Commerce Group, Inc.
  • Nasty Gal Inc.
  • NFL Enterprises LLC
  • Northern Tool & Equipment Company, Inc.
  • OpticsPlanet, Inc.
  • O’Reilly Automotive, Inc.
  • PC Connection, Inc.
  • PCM, Inc.
  • Peapod, LLC
  • Potpourri Group, Inc.
  • Power Equipment Direct Inc.
  • Recreational Equipment, Inc.
  • Saks Direct, LLC
  • Scholastic Inc.
  • School Specialty, Inc
  • Shoebuy.com, Inc.
  • Star Creations, Inc. d/b/a AJ Madison
  • The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Inc.
  • The Container Store Group, Inc.
  • The Dress Barn, Inc
  • The Jones Group, Inc.
  • The Net-A-Porter Group, LLC
  • The Orvis Company Inc.
  • Tory Burch, LLC
  • VF Corporation
  • Vera Bradley Sales, LLC
  • VistaPrint USA, Inc.
  • Wayfair, LLC
  • YOOX Corporation
  • Zale Corporation
  • Zones, Inc.
  • 1 SaleADay, LLC
  • 1-800-Contacts, Inc.
  • 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.

Plaintiff:        eDekka LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Tadlock Law Firm

Plaintiff:        eDekka LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Tadlock Law Firm

Patent:           6,266,674 (Random access information retrieval utilizing user-defined labels).

Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC v. The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Darden Concepts, Inc. d/b/a Olive Garden
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
  • KitchenAid, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley

Patent:           6,886,750 (Method and apparatus for accessing electronic data via a familiar printed medium).

Antennatech, LLC v. American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (E.D. Del.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
  • CVS Caremark Corporation
  • Foot Locker, Inc.
  • Guess? Retail, Inc.
  • Macy’s, Inc.
  • Sports Authority, Inc.
  • Doctor’s Associates, Inc.
  • Geoffery, LLC d/b/a Toys “R” Us

Walgreen Co.

Plaintiff:        Antennatech, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Stamoulis & Weinblatt

Patent:           8,112,131 (Radiative focal area antenna transmission coupling arrangement).

Interface IP Holdings, LLC v. Six Continents Hotels, Inc., (D. Del.).

Claim:              Infringement

Defendant:    Six Continents Hotels, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Interface IP Holdings, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Black & Hamill; and Farnan

Patent:           7,406,663 (Graphical input device with dynamic field width adjustment for input of variable data via a browser-based display).

Shoes For Crews, LLC v. Eclipse IP, LLC (S.D. Fla.).

Judge:             District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks

Claim:             Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:    Eclipse IP LLC

Plaintiff:        Shoes For Crews, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        McHale & Slavin

Patent:           8,564,459 (Systems and methods for a notification system that enable user changes to purchase order information for delivery and/or pickup of goods and/or services).

Quxuz LLC v. Wedding Window, Inc., (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Wedding Window, Inc.
  • Zoho Corporation

Striking.ly, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Quxuz LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Spangler Law; and Weisbrod Matteis & Copley

Patent:           7,353,199 (Method of moderating external access to an electronic document authoring development and distribution system).

Olivistar, LLC v. American Traffic Solutions, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judge:            District Judge Rodney Gilstrap

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • American Traffic Solutions, Inc.
  • Belkin International, Inc.
  • Boxee, Inc.
  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Global Media Group, LLC.
  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • OnStar, LLC
  • Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
  • Somfy Systems, Inc.
  • Sony Corporation of America
  • Vizio, Inc.
  • ADT, LLC d/b/a ADT Security Services
  • BrickHouse Electronics LLC
  • The Chamberlain Group, Inc.
  • Control4 Corporation
  • CPI Security Systems, Inc.
  • General Electric Company
  • Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
  • Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
  • Loxone, Inc.
  • Philips Electronics North America Corporation
  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • D-Link Systems, Incorporated
  • LG Electronics USA, Inc.
  • Panasonic Corporation of North America
  • Tivo, Inc.
  • Protection One, Inc.
  • Roku, Inc.
  • Skype Inc.
  • Technical Consumer Products, Inc.
  • Uniden America Corporation
  • Vivint, Inc.
  • BlackBerry Corporation
  • Lennox Industries, Inc.
  • Logitech, Inc.
  • Lorex Inc.
  • Motorola Mobility LLC
  • Aliph, Inc. d/b/a Jawbone
  • Nautilus, Inc.
  • Fitbit, Inc.
  • Garmin International, Inc.
  • Nike, Inc.
  • Oregon Scientific, Inc.
  • Polar Electro, Inc., USA
  • Netgear, Inc.
  • Pelco, Inc.
  • Rain Bird Corporation
  • Summer Infant, Inc.
  • Digital Peripheral Solutions, Inc.
  • Crestron Electronics, Inc.
  • Sharp Electronics Corporation
  • Toshiba America, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Olivistar, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley

Patents:          6,839,731 (System and method for providing data communication in a device network); 8,239,481 (System and method for implementing open-control remote device control); and 7,944,469 (System and method for using self-learning rules to enable adaptive security monitoring).

TQP Development, LLC v. 8X8, Inc. (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Aliph, Inc. d/b/a Jawbone
  • AOL Inc.
  • Barnesandnoble.com, LLC
  • Canon USA, Inc.
  • Chegg, Inc.
  • Citrix Systems, Inc.
  • ESET, LLC
  • Extreme Networks, Inc.
  • Fujitsu America, Inc.
  • Hitachi America Ltd.
  • HTC America, Inc.
  • IAC/InteractiveCorp.
  • InFocus Corporation
  • LG Electronics USA Inc.
  • LinkedIn Corporation
  • Mad Catz, Inc.
  • NetGear, Inc.
  • Nikon Americas, Inc.

Plaintiff:        TQP Development, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley

Patent:           5,412,730 (Encrypted data transmission system employing means for randomly altering the encryption keys).

c4cast.com, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. (E.D. Tex.)

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Amazon.com, Inc.
  • Barnesandnoble.com, LLC
  • Barnes & Noble, Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Valve Corporation

Plaintiff:        c4cast.com, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Ni Wang & Massand

Patent:           7,958,204 Community-selected content

Eclipse IP LLC v. Dogeared Jewels and Gifts LLC, (C.D. Cal.) (multiple cases).

Judges:        District Judge Fernando M. Olguin; and Magistrate Judge Carla Woehrle; District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez; Magistrate Judge Stephen J. Hillman; Magistrate Judge Paul L. Abrams; District Judge John A. Kronstadt; Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi; District Judge Margaret M. Morrow

Claim:          Infringement

Defendants:

  • Dogeared Jewels and Gifts LLC
  • Vapour Organic Beauty Inc.
  • Title 9 Sports Inc.
  • Backcountry.com, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Eclipse IP LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Newport Trial Group

Patents:          7,319,414 (Secure notification messaging systems and methods using authentication indicia); and 7,479,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to cause connection between a notified PCD and a delivery or pickup representative).

NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (D. Colo.).

Claim:               Infringement

Defendant:     Costco Wholesale Corporation

Plaintiff:        NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Global IP Law Group

Patents:          6,199,048 (System and method for automatic access of a remote computer over a network); and 8,131,597 (System and method for using an ordinary article of commerce to access a remote computer).

Federal Circuit Opens the Door to Transferring Cases

Posted in Patent Litigation Tips

A common frustration of retailers is finding themselves one of many defendants in a series of suits brought by a patent troll in a district in which the retailer has at most very limited activity.  It is a set of facts routinely repeated in the districts most favored by trolls, including D. Delaware and E.D. Texas.  Generally, being one of many defendants all but kills any chance of transfer to the retailer’s home district.  But the Federal Circuit has provided retailers that want to defend suits in their home district considerable hope, at least to the extent that the retailer can identify witnesses in its home district.

In In re Apple, Inc., No. 2014-143, Slip Op. (Fed. Cir. Sep. 11, 2014), the Federal Circuit overturned an E.D. Texas decision denying transfer on a writ of mandamus, based upon at least the following factors:

  • The district court erred in not considering party and non-party witnesses within the transferee district – N.D. California.
  • The compulsory process factor weighed in favor of transfer because six non-party witnesses resided in the N.D. California, outside E.D. Texas subpoena power.
  • The Court erred by failing to consider the convenience of the eight party witnesses that resided in the N.D. California.
  • The fact that the E.D. Texas had experience with the patents did not weigh heavily in favor of transfer where the N.D. California also had experience with them.  To the extent that litigation would be required in multiple districts, the parties could avail themselves of multi-district litigation procedures.

This is an important decision in that it provides relatively clear guidance as to the types of facts that will weigh heavily in favor of transfer.  Unfortunately, the opinion is not precedential.

March 2014 Retail Patent Litigation Report

Posted in Retail Litigation Report

March continued to be a pleasantly slow months for trolls.  Repeat filers included Cascades Branding, Eclipse IP, Hawk Technology, Marshall Feature Recognition, and SFA Systems.

As usual, I prepared the report in partnership with and using Docket Navigator and its powerful database.  Docket Navigator is a valuable resource, and the place to go if you want to keep track of new patent litigation filings or want to know what is happening in particular cases, how your judge has historically handled a particular type of motion, or a particular plaintiff’s litigation history.

Finally, please let me know if you have thoughts about the report or changes you would like to see.  I am preparing it as a service for retailers and their supply chain who may want an overview of the patent litigation landscape.  So, I am very open to ways to improve the report for you.

Hawk Technology Systems, LLC v. United Supermarkets LLC, (E.D. Tex., S.D. Fla.) (multiple cases).

Judge:            District Judge Jose E. Martinez

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • United Supermarkets LLC
  • The Old Evangeline Downs, LLC
  • Columbia Sportswear USA Corporation

Plaintiff:        Hawk Technology Systems, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Law Office of Everett Upshaw

Patent:            RE 43,462 (Video monitoring and conferencing system).

Plaintiff:        Hawk Technology Systems, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Law Office of Everett Upshaw; and Lipscomb Eisenberg & Baker

Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC v. Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.(E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • CVS Caremark Corporation
  • HJ Heinz Company
  • Target Corporation
  • Toni&Guy USA, LLC
  • Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
  • ValPak Direct Marketing Systems, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley

Patent:            6,886,750 (Method and apparatus for accessing electronic data via a familiar printed medium).

Plaintiff:        Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Austin Hansley

Patent:           6,886,750 (Method and apparatus for accessing electronic data via a familiar printed medium).

Eclipse IP LLC v. Safeway Inc., (C.D. Cal., E.D. Cal.) (multiple cases).

Judges:           District Judge Virginia M. Kendall; Magistrate Judge Stanley A. Boone;  District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill

Claim:             Infringement

Defendants:

  • Safeway Inc.
  • Hailo Network USA, Inc.
  • Tri Starr Management Services, Inc.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Plaintiff:        Eclipse IP, LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Newport Trial Group; Howard & Howard

Patents:          8,232,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling selection of arrival or departure times of tracked mobile things in relation to locations); 8,531,317 (Notification systems and methods enabling selection of arrival or departure times of tracked mobile things in relation to locations); 7,064,681(Response systems and methods for notification systems); 7,479,901 (Mobile thing determination systems and methods based upon user-device location); 7,538,691 (Mobile thing determination systems and methods based upon user-device location); 7,479,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to cause connection between a notified PCD and a delivery or pickup representative); 7,482,952 (Response systems and methods for notification systems for modifying future notifications); 7,876,239 (Secure notification messaging systems and methods using authentication indicia); 7,113,110 (Stop list generation systems and methods based upon tracked PCD’s and responses from notified PCD’s)’ 7,479,900 (Notification systems and methods that consider traffic flow predicament data); 7,561,069 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to change particulars of delivery or pickup).

Con-way, Inc. v. Eclipse IP, LLC, (E.D. Mich.).

Judges:           District Judge Terrence G. Berg; Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen

Claim:            Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:     Eclipse IP, LLC

Plaintiff:        Con-way, Inc.

Pls. Cnsl:        Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn

Patents:          7,479,899 (Notification systems and methods enabling a response to cause connection between a notified PCD and a delivery or pickup representative); 7876239       Secure notification messaging systems and methods using authentication indicia

Microsoft Corporation v. Neomedia Technologies, Inc. (W.D. Wash.).

Claim:            Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:     NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Microsoft Corporation

Pls. Cnsl:        Perkins Coie

Patent:           8,131,597 (System and method for using an ordinary article of commerce to access a remote computer).

Starbucks Corporation v. NeoMedia Technologies, Inc., (W.D. Wash.).

Claim:           Declaratory Judgment

Defendant:     NeoMedia Technologies, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Starbucks Corporation

Pls. Cnsl:        Perkins Coie

Patent:            8,131,597 (System and method for using an ordinary article of commerce to access a remote computer).

Cascades Branding Innovation LLC v. Marriott International Inc., (N.D. Ill.) (multiple cases).

Judge:            District Judge James B. Zagel; District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • Marriott International Inc.
  • Michelin North America, Inc.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Plaintiff:        Cascades Branding Innovation LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Flachsbart & Greenspoon

Patents:          7,768,395 (Brand mapping); 8,106,766 (Brand mapping); and 8,405,504 (Brand mapping).

eDekka LLC v. American Girl Brands, LLC (E.D. Tex.) (multiple cases).

Judge:            District Judge Rodney Gilstrap; Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne

Claim:            Infringement

Defendants:

  • CafePress Inc
  • Eddie Bauer LLC
  • OmahaSteaks.com, Inc.
  • The Swiss Colony, LLC
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Appleseeds, Inc.
  • Art.com Inc.
  • Coastal Contacts Inc.
  • Coldwater Creek, Inc.
  • Karmaloop LLC
  • Lululemon Athletica Inc.
  • One Kings Lane Inc.
  • Safeway Inc.
  • Zazzle Inc.

Plaintiff:        eDekka LLC

Pls. Cnsl:        Tadlock Law Firm

Patent:           6,266,674 (Random access information retrieval utilizing user-defined labels).

Hurricane Alice: The broad impact of the Supreme Court’s Software Patent Decision

Posted in Patent Litigation Tips, Patent Trolls

Reactions to the Supreme Court’s CLS Bank v. Alice decision were mixed on both sides of the debate.  Everyone seemed to agree that software patents were not dead, but whether the decision would change the software patent landscape was unclear.  Just three months later, however, there is good news for retailers.  Both the Federal Circuit and district courts across the country are holding many software patents unpatentable based upon Alice.  Fourteen decisions have invalidated software patents since July, including three Federal Circuit decisions, and critical district courts, including C.D. California, D. Delaware, M.D. Florida and E.D. Texas.  Timothy B. Lee at Vox (previously at the Washington Post) has continued his excellent reporting on software patent issues and looks at the decisions in his most recent article, along with links to each decision.

This is an important trend focused upon the patents most commonly asserted against retailers and the retail supply chain.  Anyone that becomes the target of a software patent should take a hard look at whether the asserted patent is susceptible to a Section 101 challenge.  This is especially true because district courts are frequently willing to decide Section 101 issues as Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) motions on the pleadings at the outset of a case.  That also can make a Section 101 challenge viable even where the troll makes a fairly low initial settlement demand.  It also should lower the initial demands in many software patent assertion programs, hoping to prevent targets from filing Section 102 motions.

JUDGES PANEL

Posted in Legal Seminars

In late January, I had the opportunity to attend Michigan’s 40th Annual Intellectual Property Law Summer Institute on Michigan’s Mackinac Island (a great location).  As with every time I have attended Michigan’s IP Summer Institute, it was an excellent conference.  One particularly interesting session was a judge’s panel including Hon. Robert Holmes Bell of the Western District of Michigan and Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen of the Eastern District of Michigan.  The panel was moderated by Professor David C. Berry, of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School who asked probing questions about how the judges perceive patent litigation and pointers for patent litigators.  Here are my notes from the session:

1.         How can IP litigators advocate better?

Bell:  Get to know a personal injury lawyer and watch what they do in court; have them critique you.

Rosen:  Echoes Bell’s point, and adds that you should also look to criminal lawyers — prosecutors or defense lawyers.  They are universally good at organizing a trial around a story/theme.

Bell:  Tell a story in a brief (take four or five pages, if necessary) and in argument.  We are all used to stories and they help the court follow you “deep” into arguments.

Rosen:  Lawsuits are like jigsaw puzzles.  Evidence developed during discovery are the pieces of the puzzle and counsel’s job is to fit the evidence together to make a picture.  The only difference is that you do not have a box with the picture on it to match the pieces to.

Bell:  Abbreviations (particularly meaningless acronyms) are okay, but only if used sparingly.

Bell:  Use demonstratives.  Often seeing the device live can make a case gel as part of a tutorial or at other points in the case.

2.         How do litigators balance need for making the record for the Federal Circuit & telling the story?

Bell:  You should be able to do both.  The record should revolve around the story.

Bell:  One problem is the terminology of the patent, pointing to use of “hingedness” which is not a word in the claims of a patent before him.  Patents should use King’s english, not made up words.

Rosen:  The Federal Circuit is, more than any other court, a court of specialists.   Rosen respects the judges, but it is a uniquely difficult court for district judges because they engage in both legal analysis and factual analysis/review.  But if you are trying your case for appeal, more often than not you will be disappointed.  Try your case for the jury and make your record as you go.

3.         Seventh Circuit Judge Wood’s article arguing that the Federal Circuit is a failed experiment, good idea or bad?

Rosen:  It is a good idea.  Patent cases should be returned to the regional circuits.

Bell:  Bell is not as sure.  At least some patent cases should be heard by specialists.

4.         How can litigants better handle troll cases to resolve the problem?

Rosen:  About 60% of cases are said to be troll cases.  The judge has to be educated on that.  It is not unlike the class action arena where there are “bottom feeders” that are seeking to get quick settlements.  Courts are good at identifying those cases.

Bell:  A quick trial date is key — time is not on anyone’s side.  Bell gets to trial in 12-18 months.  He will give extensions, but only with good reasons, that are explained to the court.

5.         What about scheduling early Markman?

Bell:  Early Markman is valuable.

6.         How about heightened pleading standards (claim charts, specifically)?

Rosen:  Twombly/Iqbal should be the key to this.  He considers it Fed. R. Civ. P. 8.5 (between heightened Rule 9 pleading and Rule 8 notice pleadings).  The appellate courts should have held patent cases to Twombly/Iqbal standard, not form 18.  With removal of the Forms from the FRCP, Twiqbal will likely be held to apply to patent cases.

Rosen:  Sixth Circuit Judge Boggs wrote a unanimous decision last year that even where evidence is wholly within defendant’s control, plaintiff must still plead to the Twiqbal plausibility standards and you cannot meet that by amendment after receiving discovery.  So, patent filings should not be fishing expeditions.

7.         Any consideration of local patent rules?

Bell:  It is a “dead issue” in the W.D. Michigan.

Rosen:  The E.D. Michigan bench is pretty uniformly uninterested in specialized patent rules.

8.         Are post-issuance patent review proceedings valuable to the process 

Rosen:  He is not surprised that the overwhelming number of claims considered by the PTAB are overturned.

Bell:  District judges are best equipped to deal with infringement issues, but Bell is happy to leave the invalidity/prior art analysis with the Patent Office specialists.  Bell is concerned that the PTO is issuing so many patents that it subsequently overturns.

Rosen:  He thinks the PTAB overturning claims makes sense from the perspective of the PTAB being the technology experts, and because patent prosecution is not adversarial.  So, it makes sense that more patents get through that are later overturned.

9.         Should egregious NPE cases be penalized?

Rosen:  He would prefer to have more discretion to penalize egregious cases.

Bell:  Agrees that there should be more ability to penalize improperly filed or prosecuted suits.

Octane Fitness May Require a Summary Judgment Motion for an Exceptional Case Findings

Posted in Patent Litigation Tips

Federal Circuit Judge Dyk, sitting by designation in the E.D. Texas, recently denied a 35 USC Section 285 exceptional case motion in Stragent, LLC v. Intel Corp., No. 11 C 421, Slip Op. (E.D. Tex. Aug. 6, 2014) (Dyk, J.).  The opinion begins with a thorough and very useful explanation of the history of exceptional case law.  It will be a good place to start when you prepare your next exceptional case brief.  Judge Dyk draws the following “guidelines” based upon Octane Fitness:

1.  Attorney’s fees should only be awarded in “rare and unusual circumstances.”

2.  Courts must look to the totality of the circumstances in evaluating exceptional case motions.  The “predominant facts,” although not the exclusive factors, are laid out in Brooks Furniture.

3.  Merely losing does not make a case exceptional.  If it did, every case would be exceptional.  

4.  The conduct underlying an exceptional case need not be “independently sanctionable” to warrant a fees award.

5.  The case must be exceptional, not just individual actions or arguments.

6.  The winning party’s conduct is also relevant to an exceptional case determination.  This is especially true where the winning party made bad faith arguments or engaged in litigation misconduct.

After laying out the components of an exceptional case analysis, Dyk turns to what he decries as defendant’s “kitchen sink” approach to the motion.  In particular and of most interest to retailers, Dyk does not accept defendant’s argument that plaintiff Stragent’s infringement theory was “implausible” because defendant never sought summary judgment, as it allegedly should have had it believed the argument truly was implausible throughout the case, instead of simply in hindsight.  It was a “weak” argument, but had it truly been implausible, defendant have sought summary judgment to defeat the argument.  

This is an interesting and troubling position for retailers.  While there is a significant advantage in seeking summary judgment whenever possible, there are often “implausible arguments” that are not amenable to summary judgment because of potential questions of material fact, or even the timing of the motion and the Court’s time to decision relative to the trial date.  So, equating a lack of a summary judgment motion with a lack of confidence in a defendant’s arguments is an unfair link, even if it is sometimes true.  Hopefully, district judges will make this distinction and this will not become a standard view across district courts.

Disturbing Retail Patent Litigation Statistics Confirm What Retailers Already Know

Posted in Industry Issues, Patent Litigation Tips

The following is a post by my colleague Anthony J. Fuga.  Anthony and I regularly work together defending retailers against patent trolls.

MarketWatch’s recent blog post titled “Why retailers became a top target of patent trolls” contained a good, albeit short, rundown of some of the difficulties retailers are facing.  Unfortunately, much of the information contained in the blog post will not be news to you, as retailers routinely deal with trolls.  A few of the more interesting and/or troubling points from the post include:

  1. The retail sector is now the number 1 target of trolls;
  2. Trolls lose 92% of the cases that do not settle;
  3. 53% of the retailers sued had sales of less than $10 million; and
  4. Only about 2% of the 36,629 patent cases filed and terminated between 2000 and 2013 resulted in the awarding of compensatory damages.