Friday, April 28, 2017

No Modification of Injunction Against Direct Competitor to Allow Infringing Sales for Orders Placed Before Trial

​ The court denied defendant's motion to modify a permanent judgment to allow it to fulfill orders of infringing products that were placed long before trial. "[T]he evidence at trial indicated that [the parties] are the only two suppliers of two-wire APS systems. The Court thus finds that modifying the injunction will cause [plaintiff] irreparable harm. . . . [T]he Court cannot help but observe that the Court’s permanent injunction did not arrive suddenly or without warning, thus diminishing the persuasiveness of [defendant's] public-interest argument. [The Court] found that the [accused] device was infringing and granted partial summary judgment nearly three years ago, the jury verdict rejecting [defendant's] invalidity and unenforceability defenses was handed down almost ten months ago, and [plaintiff] moved for a permanent injunction over seven months ago."

Polara Engineering, Inc. v. Campbell Company, 8-13-cv-00007 (CACD April 26, 2017, Order) (McCormick, MJ)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Gaps in Expert’s Market Analysis Warrant Summary Judgment on Plaintiff’s Lost Profits Claim

The court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment that plaintiff was not entitled to lost profits damages because plaintiff failed to provide an adequate market share analysis. "Defendants first argue that [plaintiff] did not undertake a meaningful market analysis that would support a lost profits calculation. The Court agrees. . . . There are multiple layers of guesswork in [plaintiff's expert's] analysis. . . . [The expert] makes no effort to account for other competitors, but claims [plaintiff] would have made all of [defendant's] accused sales for the six identified products. . . . Also, to claim lost profits from the customer defendants, [plaintiff] needed to analyze other competitor products in the overall KVM switch market in the United States (not just the OEM market). An accounting needs to be made for these gaps in 'but for' causation."

ATEN International Co., Ltd. v. Uniclass Technology Co., Ltd. et al, 2-15-cv-04424 (CACD April 24, 2017, Order) (Guilford, USDJ)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Meritless Claim for Declaration of ANDA Infringement by Possible Future Drug Formulation Justifies Award of Attorney Fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285​

The court granted defendants' motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because plaintiffs' infringement claim against defendant's operative ANDA and plaintiff's claim for a declaration of infringement by possible future products were baseless. "While Plaintiffs repeatedly argued that it only alleged current patent infringement to trigger Hatch-Waxman review of 'the product that Defendant . . . will likely market if its ANDA receives final FDA approval,' the Court found that [plaintiff's] legal theory was completely unsupported by case law and ignored the existing legal safeguards against Defendants’ potential future infringing conduct. . . . [Plaintiffs] failed to allege that Defendants were engaged in any specific activities to alter their drug formulation to infringe the patents-in-suit and even acknowledged in briefing that the focus of the case was to determine through discovery how [plaintiffs] intended to proceed through the FDA approval process. Ultimately, the absence of credible allegations or evidence that [plaintiffs] would face immediate, irreparable harm absent declaratory relief, caused the Court to conclude the declaratory judgment counts were 'not ripe for adjudication.'"

Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. et al v. Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al, 2-16-cv-02290 (NJD April 24, 2017, Order) (Walls, USDJ)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Proportionality of Electronic Document Request is Best Achieved With Search Terms, Not Designated Custodians​

The court granted defendants' motion to compel the production of emails "from seventeen named inventors of the fourteen asserted patents and licensing executives involved in the parties’ FRAND negotiations" and rejected plaintiff's argument that the requests were not proportional and should be limited to certain document custodians. "As other courts have explained in complex cases such as this, [plaintiff's] proposed limitations on e-discovery or the number of email custodians is not typically warranted. The emails from the inventors and licensing executives appear to at least meet the 'reasonably calculated' standard articulated in Rule 26(b)(1). [Plaintiff's] proportionality argument is not persuasive because [defendant] provides adequate limitations on the discovery by requiring particular search terms."

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd v. T-Mobile US, Inc. et al, 2-16-cv-00052 (TXED April 21, 2017, Order) (Payne, MJ)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Human Tissue Remodeling Patent Claiming “Application and Synthetization of Natural Law Into a Concrete Process” Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101​

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s human tissue remodeling patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward a natural law or phenomenon. "Defendants first argue that claim 51 is directed to unpatentable subject matter because it is covers a law of nature: namely, 'the natural phenomenon that heat denatures collagen and causes remodeling – i.e., tightening, or any change in the structure – of the heated tissue.'. . . [H]ere the Court is presented with a method patent comprising concrete steps, premised upon a discovery of natural law rendering the relevant subject matter amenable to certain processes. . . . The [patent-in-suit] stands in stark contrast to those patents which the Federal Circuit has invalidated as directed to a natural law or natural phenomenon. In those cases, the patents typically encompass the pure observation or identification of the natural law at issue. . . . In this case, however . . . [the patent] claims the application and synthetization of a natural law into a concrete process, which builds upon the subject matter’s capability of undergoing the process."

Viveve, Inc. v. ThermiGen, LLC et al, 2-16-cv-01189 (TXED April 20, 2017, Order) (Gilstrap, USDJ)

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top Law Firms by Number of Accusations in 2016

What is a Patent Accusation?

A Patent Accusation is a more granular way to measure the volume of litigation activity than counting the number of cases or litigants. As used in this report, the term means a request for relief in a U.S. district court, the ITC or the PTAB (AIA proceedings), the resolution of which could determine if a patent has been infringed or the patent’s validity or enforceability.
For example, a civil case with one plaintiff asserting one patent against one defendant would involve one patent accusation, whereas a case with one plaintiff asserting 5 patents against 10 defendants would result in 50 infringement accusation. Multiple claims involving the same parties and patents (e.g., a claim of infringement and a declaratory judgment counterclaim of invalidity or unenforceability) are counted as a single accusation. In a PTAB proceeding, each challenge to the patentability of a patent would create one patent accusation.


Sale of Software and Separate Plug-In Capable of Infringing When Combined Does Not Constitute Direct Infringement​

The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that it did not directly infringe plaintiff's dynamic web page generation patent. "[Plaintiff] contends that [defendant] infringed the asserted claims by storing (separately and in different locations) [its] Server software and ARR plug-in on its severs and by selling [the] Server software to customers while also making its optional ARR plug-in available for download. That infringement theory is problematic in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Deepsouth Packing Co. v. Laitram Corp., 406 U.S. 518, 526-29 (1972). . . . The Court . . . explained that a patent 'does not cover the manufacture or sale of separate elements capable of being, but never actually, associated to form the invention.' But contrary to the decision in Deepsouth, [plaintiff] argues that [defendant] directly infringed the asserted claims even though, under this theory, [defendant] did not assemble the software components into the accused product."

Parallel Networks Licensing LLC v. Microsoft Corporation, 1-13-cv-02073 (DED April 10, 2017, Order) (Jordan, CJ)