Recent patent/copyright infringement cases filed in U.S. District Courts

Marilyn Tennissen Dec. 5, 2007, 3:00pm

Marshall Division, Eastern District of Texas

Nov. 30

  • Autobytel Inc. vs. Insweb Corp. et al

    The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 6,282,517 for a Real Time Communication of Purchase Requests issued Aug. 28, 2001. Autobytel, a California company, claims it has all rights to the '517 Patent.

    On Sept. 24, 2004, Autobytel asserted the '517 Patent against Dealix Corp. in Case No. 2:04-cv-00338 in the Eastern District of Texas. The parties reached a settlement and the suit was dismissed on March 26, 2007.

    Autobytel now alleges that defendants Insweb, Leadpoint, Internet Brands and Auto Internet Marketing have infringed the claims of the '517 Patent on Web sites by making, using and selling systems or methods without permission that embody the invention.

    The plaintiff is seeking damages from the defendants to compensate for the infringement no less than reasonable royalty. Autobytel is also seeking interest, fees, costs, a permanent injunction against defendants and other relief it is entitled by law.

    Sam Baxter of McKool Smith PC in Marshall is representing the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.

    Case No. 2:07-cv-524-TJW

    Dec. 3

  • Klausner Technologies Inc. vs. Apple Inc. et al

    Plaintiff Klausner, a New York corporation, claims it owns the invention covered by U.S. Patent No. 5,572,576 and U.S. Patent No. 5,283,818 for Telephone Answering Device Linking Displayed Data with Recorded Audio Message.

    Klausner alleges that defendants including Apple Inc., AT&T, Comcast, eBay and GotVoice have used its patented technology in products that they make, use and sell without Klausner's permission.

    "Plaintiff has been damaged by Defendants' infringement and will suffer additional irreparable damage and impairment of the value of its rights unless Defendants are enjoined from continuing to infringe the patents," the original complaint states.

    The plaintiff also claims that the infringements have been committed with full knowledge and in willful and wanton disregard of plaintiff's rights.

    Klausner is seeking compensatory damages, enhanced damages, costs, fees, interest and other relief as justice requires.

    S. Calvin Capshaw of Brown McCarroll LLP in Longview is representing the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge David Folsom.

    Case No. 2:07-cv-525-DF

    Dec. 4

  • Benjamin Kwitek et al vs. Zebra Co. Ltd. et al

    Plaintiff Benjamin Kwitek is an individual residing in Canon City, Colo., and plaintiff Interform Inc. is a corporation in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Kwitek and Interform claim to own the rights to U.S. Patent No. 6,447,190 for a Viscoelastic Grip for a Writing Instrument, issued Sept. 10, 2002.

    "Defendants have been and continue to infringe on the '190 Patent by at least making, using, selling, offering to sell and importing numerous pens having a viscoelastic grip; including at least the pen Zebra Silver Select, the GR8gel and other like pens utilizing the technology of the '190 Patent as sold and manufactured by Zebra," the original complaint states.

    The plaintiffs claim the infringement is willful and request that the court treble any damages. Plaintiffs also seek interest, costs, fees and other relief as the court deems just and proper.

    Edward L. Von Hohn of Nix Patterson & Roach LLP in Irving are representing the plaintiffs.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.

    Case No. 2:07-cv-526-TJW

  • Joseph Smith vs. General Electric Co.

    Plaintiff Smith is an individual residing in Henderson, Texas, and claims to have the rights to U.S. Patent No. 6,611,686 B1 for a Tracking Control and Logistics System and Method issued Aug. 26, 2003.

    According to the plaintiff's original complaint, GE is a provider of real-time asset tracking and cargo monitoring. Using Global Positioning technology and the ORBCOMM low-earth satellite system, GE customers can monitor their assets via the Internet and report their positions accurately. The data is visible through the GE Trailer Fleet Premier Services Web interface. GE can also send the data directly to the client's computer via XML data exchange.

    The petition also states that GE's Veriwise two-way data transmission system consists of in-field data collection units that can monitor door and cargo status, temperature, location and other variables. The product allows the customer to communicate with in-field devices to make requests or modifications using over-the-air commands.

    Smith claims GE has infringed the '686 Patent by making, using and selling those products and services.

    "GE's unlawful infringement of this patent has caused immediate and irreparable injury, and unless they are enjoined, their continued infringement will cause Smith injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law," the original complaint states.

    Smith is seeking compensation for the infringement, fees, costs, interest and other just and proper relief.

    David K. Anderson of Houston is attorney-in-charge for plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward and referred to Magistrate Charles Everingham.

    Case No. 2:07-CV-527-TJW-CE

  • Monster Cable Products Inc. vs. Cables Unlimited

    According to the original complaint, plaintiff Monster Cable since 1978 has been designing, manufacturing and selling a broad array of electronic products and accessories with a particular focus on superior cables for high-end audio and video components.

    Plaintiff claims it is known for High Definition Multimedia Interface cables which are designed to handle the large volume of data characteristic of the latest generation of high definition televisions, DVD players and gaming systems.

    "Monster's HDMI cables bear a distinctive, source-indicative connector design," the original complaint states. "Monster has patented its unique connector design to prevent competitors from copying its products and confusing customers as to the source of goods that are not genuine Monster products."

    Specifically, Monster claims to own U.S. Design Patent No. D514,523 for its unique connector design.

    The complaint states that defendant Cables Unlimited sells electrical and cabling products and accessories, including a line of HDMI cables.

    "Many of the HDMI cables sold by Cables Unlimited use connectors that are indistinguishable from Monster's patented connector," the complaint alleges.

    The plaintiff claims that the defendant has infringed the '523 Patent by selling its products embodying the patented design and will continue to do so unless enjoined by the court. The plaintiff also alleges that the infringement was committed with willful intent and with knowledge of the lack of right to do so.

    The plaintiff also cites the Langham Act, which prohibits conduct that constitutes a false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact and/or a false or misleading representation of fact that is likely to cause confusion.

    "By selling cables that copy Monster's unique design, Cables Unlimited has misappropriated Monster's trade dress and falsely represented the origin of the relevant products," the complaint states. "The aforesaid acts are intended to and likely to cause confusion in the marketplace as to the source � of the products being offered and distributed by Cables Unlimited."

    The plaintiff is seeking damages including lost profits, defendant's profits, disgorgement, restitution or other compensation or monetary remedy according to proof at trial. Plaintiff also seeks punitive, exemplary and/or treble damages, fees, costs, injunctive relief and other relief the court may deem just and proper.

    Eric H. Findlay of Tyler is lead counsel for the plaintiff, with attorneys from LaRiviere Grubman & Payne LLP of Monterey, Calif., of counsel.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward.

    Case No. 2:07-cv-529-TJW

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