News & Updates From Docket Navigator

Defendants’ Improper Jury Arguments and Discovery Misconduct Justify Award of Attorney Fees

Following a jury verdict of $21 million, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because defendant's litigation conduct was exceptional. "⁠[T]here cannot be serious doubt that [defendant's] litigation strategies unnecessarily complicated the proceedings and needlessly increased costs. . . . At trial, [defendant] repeatedly argued claim construction positions -- that the Court had rejected -- to the jury, despite the Court’s admonitions not to do so. . . . [Defendant's] conduct was so egregious that the Court gave the jury a limiting instruction. . . . [Defendant] also seemed to purposefully ignore the Court’s [...]

2018-04-25T12:01:03+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Copyright Misuse Not Allowed as Counterclaim​

The court granted plaintiff's motion to dismiss defendants' copyright misuse "counterclaim" and found that copyright misuse could not be raised as a stand-alone cause of action. "Defendants bring a counterclaim for copyright misuse to invalidate [plaintiff's] copyright and award the Defendants damages and attorneys' fees . . . . Copyright misuse is recognized as an affirmative defense. However, the Fifth Circuit has not recognized copyright misuse as a stand-alone cause of action. The Court therefore finds the . . . Counterclaim is better raised as an affirmative defense and not a stand-alone cause of action." Olive v. Boatner et al, [...]

2018-04-24T11:50:02+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Alleged 10,000% Mark-up Supports Refusal-to-Deal Claim

The court denied defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's Sherman § 2 claims and determined plaintiff sufficiently asserted defendants refused to deal. "⁠[Defendants] argue that it appears on the face of the complaint that [they] did offer to deal with [plaintiff], pointing to allegations that [defendants] offered StarStar leases to [plaintiff] at approximately a 10,000% mark-up. . . . Another court in this district has held that a 400% price increase was tantamount to a refusal to deal. This Court concludes that [plaintiff's] allegation of the mark-up in the lease rate from $500 per month per StarStar number to $500,000 per [...]

2018-04-24T11:43:02+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegedly Infringing YouTube and Satellite Radio Ads Available in Forum Support Exercise of Personal Jurisdiction

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's infringement suit and concluded defendant purposely availed itself of Nebraska. "There is evidence that [defendant's] representatives had communicated with the plaintiff about the trademark at issue. . . . It is undisputed that the Nebraska resident is the owner of the trademark. By knowingly appropriating the plaintiff’s mark, [defendant] expressly aimed the conduct at Nebraska. . . . [Plaintiff] has shown that [defendant] has conducted transactions with Nebraska customers as well as maintains a nationally accessible website and advertises nationwide. The website alone may not be a sufficient contact to confer jurisdiction, [...]

2018-04-24T11:39:02+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Claims of Dietary Supplement Patent Not Directed to Unpatentable Natural Phenomena

The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment that the asserted claims of its dietary supplement patent did not encompass unpatentable subject matter and found that the claims were not directed toward a natural phenomena. "Notwithstanding that the plain claim language refers to producing oxidized CoQ[10] on an industrial scale, Defendants contend that the asserted claims are 'directed to' the natural phenomenon that certain microorganisms have the natural ability to produce at least 70 mole % reduced CoQ[10] under standardized culturing conditions. . . . [T]he claims are 'directed to' a superior method of producing a certain end product -- [...]

2018-04-24T11:34:03+00:00 April 24th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Creating an Online Account with a Company​ Known to Be Forum-Based Deemed Evidence of Purposeful Direction

The court denied an individual defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint because the defendant's contacts with Illinois via the Illinois-based plaintiff and its website were sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction. "⁠[Plaintiff] alleges that [the defendant] sought out [plaintiff's] website and services and used his access to copy its intellectual property. [Plaintiff] also alleges that it is located in Illinois and submits evidence that multiple communications with [the defendant] made [plaintiff's] home state clear, thus allowing the reasonable inference that [the defendant] knew [plaintiff's] location. Specifically, [plaintiff] alleges that '⁠[the defendant] intended to and did create a competing entity to [plaintiff] [...]

2018-04-23T12:09:02+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|

Loss of Staff Privileges at Hospital Does Not Constitute Antitrust Injury To Ousted Physician

The court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment that a physician stripped of staff privileges at a medical center suffered no antitrust injury. "The alleged injuries in this case relate solely to the harm [plaintiff] personally suffered from defendants’ action. In support of the Sherman Act claim, the complaint alleges that defendants interfered with plaintiff’s business relationships with patients, did harm to [plaintiff's] reputation and income, and caused him severe emotional distress. The court finds that plaintiff has failed to establish any market-wide injury or any competition-reducing result of defendant’s action. Defendants correctly compare this case with Gentile v. Fifth [...]

2018-04-23T12:05:02+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Antitrust, Docket Report|

Allegation Defendants’ Products Wrongly Bear Quality Certification Does Not Support Claim of Proximate Injury for False Advertising Claim

The court denied plaintiff's motion for default judgment on its false advertising claims as conclusory. "Plaintiff alleges that it is informed and believes that Defendants' products 'falsely bear the certified mark of the Water Quality Association,' the use of which 'is likely to deceive purchasers and potential customers as to the sponsorship or approval' of Defendants' goods. However, Plaintiff fails to allege facts that would show, if proven true, that Defendants' use of the WQA mark was deceptive or false. Nor does Plaintiff plausibly allege that any injury it suffered was proximately caused by Defendants' use of the WQA mark. [...]

2018-04-23T11:55:03+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Docket Report, Trademark|

Ordinary Observer Test for Design Patent Infringement Requires More than “Quick Glance” to Determine “Same Basic Shape”

The court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment of noninfringement of plaintiffs' vacuum cleaner design patents and rejected plaintiffs' argument that the ordinary observer test may be satisfied with a "quick glance" to determine "the same basic shape." "⁠[Plaintiffs' infringement expert] opined that when an ordinary observer is cognitively processing visual design, the process 'proceeds to a point where recognition takes place,' and '⁠[o]nce this happens, the ordinary observer does not (de facto) continue to view the product at greater levels of detail but simply confirms that the product matches the knowledge they have about a product and then moves [...]

2018-04-23T11:51:02+00:00 April 23rd, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|

Disgorgement of Profits For Design Patent Infringement Does Not Preclude Award of Pre-Judgment Interest

The court granted plaintiff's motion for pre-judgment interest and rejected defendant's argument that plaintiff was not entitled to any interest because the jury awarded design patent profits under 35 U.S.C. § 289. "Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a patent owner may recover 'damages adequate to compensate for the infringement . . . together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.' Under 35 U.S.C. § 289, a patent owner may recover an infringer’s 'total profit' made from the infringement. In this case, the jury awarded [plaintiff] $3,018,174 under § 289, the 'total profit' from [defendant's] infringement of the Design [...]

2018-04-20T14:59:02+00:00 April 20th, 2018|Docket Report, Patent|