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

Marilyn Tennissen Jan. 9, 2008, 9:39am

Marshall Division, Eastern District of Texas

Jan. 2

  • Monster Cable Products Inc. vs. Systemax Inc. and Ultra Products Inc.

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

    "Monster is now the world's leading manufacturer of high performance cables that connect audio/video components for home, car and professional use as well as computers and computer games," the complaint states. "Among other things, Monster is known for its High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cables. These cables are designed to handle the large volume of data characteristic of the latest generation of high definition televisions, DVD players and gaming systems."

    Monster says it packages its HDMI in distinctive source-indicative packaging for which it holds a number of intellectual property rights.

    "Monster has patented its unique package design to prevent competitors from copying its products and confusing consumers as to the source of goods that are not genuine Monster products," the complaint states. "Specifically, Monster owns U.S. Design Patent No. D471,442 for its unique package design."

    Monster alleges that Ultra Products, which sells a line of HDMI cables, uses packaging that is "indistinguishable" from Monster's patented packaging.

    Additionally, Monster sells a line of cleaning products for use with computer and television screens under the name Monster ScreenClean, which is packaged "in distinctive bottles together with a distinctive blue cloth."

    "Ultra Products sells a similar product, Ultra Screen Cleaning Gel, for use with computer and television screens," the complaint states. "Ultra Screen Cleaning Gel is sold in a bottle that is nearly identical to that used for Monster Screen Clean and is packaged with a blue cloth in the same manner as Monster's products."

    Monster is suing the defendants for patent infringement and trade dress infringement.

    By selling cables and cleaning products in packages that copy Monster's unique design "Ultra Products has misappropriated Monster's trade dress and falsely represented the origin of the relevant products in violation of the Lanham Act," the complaint states.

    The plaintiff is seeking lost profits, defendants' profits, disgorgement or restitution, punitive, exemplary and treble damages, attorneys fees, costs, injunctive relief and other relief the court may deem just and proper.

    Eric Findlay of Tyler is representing the plaintiff.

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

    Case No. 2:08-CV-001-TJW-CE

    Jan. 7

  • Credit Card Fraud Control Corp. vs. Full Spectrum Telecommunications Inc. et al

    Plaintiff Fraud Control claims to be the exclusive licensee of U.S. Patent No. 6,282,276 issued Aug. 28, 2001, for a Method of Billing a Value-Added Call.

    Fraud Control alleges that defendants Full Spectrum Telecommunications, National A-1 Advertising, Network Telephone Services, SPG Solutions, Utel Networks and Teligence (US) "manufacture, make, have made, use, practice, import, provide, supply, distribute, sell and/or offer for sale systems that infringe one or more claims in the '276 Patent."

    "Defendants' acts of infringement generally involve their provision of pay-per-call value-added services, and more specifically, their provision of the request, connection and billing platforms for various value-added services (phone psychic operations, for instance)," the original complaint states.

    The plaintiff is seeking adequate compensation for defendants' infringement, in an amount no less than a reasonable royalty. Fraud Control is also asking for treble damages, interest, attorney fees, costs and other relief that the court may deem just and proper.

    Eric Albritton of the Albritton Law Firm in Longview, T. John Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview and Edward R. Nelson III of Friedman, Suder & Cooke in Fort Worth are representing the plaintiff.

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

    Case No. 2:08-cv-006-DF

    Jan. 8

  • Traffic Information LLC vs. Alpine Electronics of America et al

    Traffic Information, a Texas limited liability corporation, claims it is the owner of all rights to U.S. Patent No. 6,785,606. The '606 Patent was issued Aug. 31, 2004, for a System for Providing Traffic Information.

    The plaintiff alleges that defendants Alpine Electronics, Magellan Navigation and Sanyo North America have infringed the '606 Patent. The suit does not give any specifics regarding the infringing products or services.

    "Each defendant's acts of infringement have caused damage to Traffic, and Traffic is entitled to recover from each defendant the damages sustained by Traffic as a result of each defendant's wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial," the plaintiff's original complaint states.

    The plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, interest, fees, costs and other just and proper relief.

    Traffic Information is represented by Charles Ainsworth of Tyler, Franklin Jones Jr. of Marshall and Dale Quisenberry of Bellaire.

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

    Case No. 2:08-cv-007-TJW-CE

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