Tagged: Telecommunications (Telecom)

District of New Jersey Grants Motion to Dismiss Inequitable Conduct Counterclaim and Strike Affirmative Defenses

In 2109971 Ontario Inc. d/b/a Xcella Furniture v. Best Deals Discount Furniture LLC, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently granted plaintiff 2109971 Ontario Inc.’s (“Xcella Furniture”) motion to dismiss defendant Best Deals Discount Furniture’s (“Best Deals”) counterclaim for inequitable conduct as well as strike 29 of Best Deals’s affirmative defenses. The underlying case relates to Best Deals’s alleged infringement of a design patent related to articles of furniture. With respect to the inequitable conduct counterclaim, the district court found that Best Deals had failed to apply the correct legal standard for evaluating such a claim, which is that set forth in the Federal Circuit’s decision in Exergen Corp. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 575 F.3d 1312, 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2009). The district court noted that under Exergen, inequitable conduct “‘must be pled with particularity under Rule 9(b),’” which requires that the pleading “‘identify the specific who, what, when, where, and how of the material misrepresentation or omission committed before the PTO.’” Id. at *5 (quoting Exergen, 575 F.3d at 1326-28). Best Deals, relying on cases from the District of Delaware that pre-dated Exergen, had argued that it needed only to “‘allege that there has been relevant prior art and acts sufficient to allege fraud.’” Id. at *4. The district court...

District of New Jersey Citing Litigation Tactics Orders Related Hatch-Waxman Cases to Be Tried Together

In Corcept Therapeutics, Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently ordered that two separate, but related, Hatch-Waxman cases must be tried together. The cases involve patents covering plaintiff Corcept Therapeutics, Inc.’s (“Corcept”) KORLYM® product for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome. Each case involves two patents, all of which involve methods of treatment involving mifepristone. Defendant Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (“Teva”), citing the similarities between the patents and issues in the two matters, submitted to the district court a proposed stipulation of judgment whereby the parties agreed that the outcome in the first case would govern the outcome in the second case. Corcept would not sign the stipulation. While it agreed that the validity issues between the two matters were identical, it disagreed that the infringement issues were the same and argued that the second matter would require additional discovery. The district court agreed with Teva, stating “Corcept’s decision to belatedly file [the second action] was of its own making and at its own peril.” (ECF No. 239 at 1.) And, the district court rejected Corcept’s argument that the case could have been resolved faster had Teva filed a declaratory judgment action when the patents in the second matter issued (the second set of patents...

Southern District of California Strikes Defendant’s Invalidity Theories and References for Failing to Comply With District’s Patent Local Rules

In Taction Technology, Inc. v. Apple Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of California recently granted plaintiff Taction Technology, Inc.’s (“Taction”) motion to strike portions of defendant Apple Inc.’s (“Apple”) amended invalidity contentions. The case is a patent infringement action that addresses the distinctions between discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and contention disclosure requirements under a district’s local patent rules. In Taction, following the district court’s claim construction order, Apple served “Post Claim Construction Amended Invalidity Contentions” in which it alleged for the first time that two prior art references anticipate the asserted claims of two of the patents-in-suit and that the same prior art references satisfy a claim limitation at issue. Taction filed a motion to strike the two new prior art references. Apple raised multiple issues in opposition. First, Apple argued that the motion was not timely because it was not brought within the period to raise discovery disputes in the court’s case management order. The court rejected that argument because, in the Southern District of California, a challenge to a party’s infringement or invalidity contentions is not a “discovery dispute.” Second, Apple argued that the motion should be denied because it merely “supplemented” its invalidity contentions, as is allowed by Patent Local Rule 3.6. The...

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Signed into Law

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law. President Obama publicly supported this legislation and efforts generally directed to strengthen trade secret protections within the U.S. economy. As we previously reported on May 3, 2016 and November 24, 2015, trade secret misappropriation was formerly treated exclusively as a matter of state law, governed by varied versions of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act as enacted in most states. A lack of uniform enactment of this Act resulted in differences in the application of the law between states, which presented difficulties for trade secret owners seeking to enforce their rights in the general commerce.

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 Passes House, Heads to President Obama’s Desk

On April 27, 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) passed the House of Representatives with a 410-2 vote. The two no votes were from Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY). Earlier this month, on April 4, the Senate passed the DTSA by a unanimous vote of 87-0. Now, the DTSA heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

Safe Harbor 2.0: Still a Work in Process

Last month, judges from the European Court of Justice, the European Union’s top court, issued a judgment striking down a 15-year old agreement, known as the Safe Harbor framework, which allowed American and European businesses to freely move personal data between the two regions. This ruling impacts nearly 4,000 businesses that currently rely on Safe Harbor framework to transfer data between the U.S. and Europe and requires all businesses to revaluate their compliance with Europeans standards.

Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 Would Create a Federal Private Right of Action for the Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

On July 29, 2015, with bipartisan support, Congressional leaders in both the House and the Senate introduced identical bills, HR 3326 and S. 1890, respectively, entitled, the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” (“DTSA 2015”). The proposed legislation attempts to authorize a private civil action in federal court for the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce. Additionally, the proposed legislations seeks to (a) create a uniform standard for trade secret misappropriation; (b) provide parties pathways to injunctive relief and compensatory damages; and (c) create remedies for trade secret misappropriation that are similar to other violations of intellectual property rights, for example, including exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees available in the event of willful and malicious misappropriation of a trade secret. An interesting feature of the DTSA 2015 is the availability of an ex parte seizure order for plaintiffs fearful of the dissemination of their trade secret(s). The proposed ex parte seizure allows for the government to seize property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret prior to giving notice of the lawsuit to the defendant.

New Jersey Law to Stimulate High Tech Investment

This past week, Governor Christie signed into law S. 581, entitled the “New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act.” The new law is designed to stimulate investment in New Jersey’s high tech start ups by providing investment incentives for “angel investors.” The law provides credits against corporation, business and gross income taxes for investing in New Jersey’s emerging technology businesses, including: advanced computing; advanced materials; biotechnology; electronic devices; information technology; life sciences; and mobile communications, among others. Angel investors in these start-ups will be eligible for tax credits equal to 10 percent of their investments, up to a maximum allowed credit of $500,000 for the tax year. Other criteria for the start-ups require that they employ fewer than 225 employees, 75 percent of whom must work in New Jersey. The overall program has an annual cap of $25 million.

Apple v. Motorola – An End to the Smart Phone Wars or the Harbinger of New Standards for Proving Damages and Injunctions?

Judge Posner’s ruling in Apple v. Motorola last week may have brought an end to the patent war between the parties, but may be a harbinger for tougher standards for proving patent damages and injunctions. Apple and Motorola have accused each other of infringing patents directed to cell phone technology. Following a Daubert hearing, Judge Posner excluded the parties’ damages experts as unreliable. Because the parties cannot prove their respective damages without admissible expert opinion, the Court dismissed the case with prejudice.

REGISTER NOW: NJIPLA’s First Annual Electronics, Telecom and Software Patent Practice Update

The New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association (“NJIPLA”) will be hosting its first annual “Electronics, Telecom and Software Patent Practice Update” next Wednesday, November 9, 2011, from 12:00-5:15 pm at the New Brunswick Hyatt. This informative event is co-chaired by Robert E. Rudnick, a Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department and Vice President of the NJIPLA, who will also be a panelist at the event speaking on the recently enacted Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and its impact on patent protection in the electrical arts.