There have been many new trademark infringement lawsuits filed in the Northern District of Texas over the last several weeks, including:
- Gateway Buick v. Behlmann Automotive Services. (Complaint available here).
- Gearbox Software v. Apogee Software. (Complaint available here).
- Heinz v. Figueroa Brothers. (Complaint available here).
- RE/MAX v. Meridian Business Centers. (Complaint available here).
- Sprint Solutions v. Zoubi Imports and Exports. (Complaint available here).
- TRB IP Holdings v. Twisted Root Restaurant & Bar. (Complaint available here).
Over the last several weeks, there have been many new patent infringement cases filed in the Northern District of Texas, including:
- Richmond v. Forever Gifts. The patent in suit claims technology relating to solar-powered garden lighting. (Complaint available here).
- J.W. Pet Company v. Gramercy Products. The patents in suit relate to animal toys. (Complaint available here).
- Smith’s Consumer Products v. Fortune Products. The patents in suit claim technology relating to abrasive sharpeners. (Complaint available here).
- Summit 6 v. HTC, LG, Motorola, Apple, and Twitter. The patents in suit relate to web-based media submission tools. (Complaint available here).
- Vehicle IP v. Basic Energy Services; Frozen Food Express; Oldcastle; Schneider National. The patents in suit claim technology relating to a method and apparatus for determining the tax of a vehicle. (Complaints available here, here, here, and here).
- Super Resolution Technologies v. Nikon. The patents in suit claim methods relating to fluorescent nanoscopy. (Complaint available here).
- Wingard v. Southwest Kia. The patent in suit claims technology relating to anti-theft devices. (Complaint available here).
- Employment Law Compliance v. HRSmart. The patent in suit claims technology relating to employment law compliance, establishment, evaluation and review. (Complaint available here).
The Federal Bar Association, Dallas Chapter is inviting attorneys to attend a presentation by Kathleen J. Love on “The Effective Use of Electronic Media in the Courtroom.” The presentation will occur on Thursday, February 27, 2014 (from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on the Fifteenth Floor of the Federal Court House). More details can be found here.
On February 21, 2014, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in Lighting Ballast v. Phillip Electronics (decision available here). The case had been appealed from Judge O’Connor’s earlier decision, and the Federal Circuit sat en banc to determine what standard of appellate review applies to claim construction. The Federal Circuit ultimately concluded that de novo review of claim construction should continue to be applied (i.e., the scope of the patent grant is reviewed de novo as a matter of law).
The Federal Bar Association, Dallas Chapter, is hosting its annual Federal Civil Practice Seminar on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:00 a.m. at the Belo Mansion. This will be a great program, with speakers including Judges Ferguson, Boyle, O’Connor, Cureton, Kinkeade, and Horan. The keynote address will be given by Rusty Hardin, and there will also be a panel of general counsels from Exxon Mobile, JCPenney, and Southwest Airlines.
It is anticipated that the seminar will be approved for 5.5 total preparatory hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education by the State Bar of Texas, including 2.5 hours of ethics.
On November 18, 2013, Judge O’Conner issued an Order (available here), ruling upon issues regarding, among other things, Travelocity’s bill of costs and Travelocity’s request for attorney’s fees. Judge O’Conner found that costs were appropriate and awarded $75,524. Judge O’Conner denied Travelocity’s request for attorney’s fees, finding that ICON’s attempt to oppose summary judgment was not objectively or subjectively unreasonable.
On December 2, 2013, Judge Kinkeade issued a Final Judgment And Agreed Permanent Injunction (available here) in Red Dog Mobile Shelters v. Rising S. The injunction prohibits defendant from selling certain shelters during the term of the patent-in-suit.
On November 26, 2013, Judge O’Conner entered an Order (available here) in Summit 6 v. Samsung. The Order resolved issues regarding Summit 6’s bill of costs. Summit 6 sought $168,000 in costs; Samsung contended that costs should be taxed at $61,000. The Court sustained Samsung’s objection to costs associated with travel of officers and employees of Summit 6, sustained Samsung’s objection to certain copying costs (resulting in a reduction of such costs by 50%), overruled Samsung’s objection as to electronic discovery costs, sustained Samsung’s objection to trial demonstrative costs, and sustained Samsung’s objections to special-order demonstrative magnets, a Dry Erase board, audiovisual setup, preparation, and “tear down” expenses. Judge O’Conner concluded that Summit 6 was entitled to $78,000 in costs.
On November 14, 2013, Judge Kinkeade issued a transfer opinion (available here) in Victualic v. Romar Supply. Judge Kinkeade granted the defendant’s motion to transfer venue, finding that transfer was appropriate in light of the first-t0-file rule.
On November 1, 2013, Chief Judge Rader of the Federal Circuit gave a speech in Plano, Texas (at the Eastern District of Texas’ Bench/Bar Conference), on Patent Law and Litigation Abuse (the speech is available here). Among the many notable aspects of the speech is that studies concerning patents demonstrate that patents spur innovation, the patent system does not inhibit invention, and that skeptics of the patent system use the “litigation abuse problem” as a “weapon to erode confidence in the patent system.” Chief Judge Rader noted that several options exist for the Courts to control any abuses in patent litigation, including (i) summary judgment, (ii) fee reversal, and (iii) litigation expense reforms (such as model orders designed to reduce discovery costs and to narrow litigable issues at an early stage of the proceedings).