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

Marilyn Tennissen Jun. 19, 2008, 5:57am

Marshall Division, Eastern District of Texas

June 11

  • Monster Cable Products Inc. vs. Timex Corp.

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

    "Monster packages its cables and other products in distinctive source-indicative packaging for which it holds a number of intellectual property rights, including design patent and trade dress rights," the suit states. "Monster has patented its unique package designs to prevent other marketers from confusing consumers as to the source of goods that are not Monster products."

    Specifically, Monster claims it owns the rights to U.S. Design Patent No. D466,405 for a unique package design. Monster alleges that defendant Timex uses packaging for its watches that infringe the '405 Patent.

    "Watches sold by Timex and particularly watches sold under the Timex Kids brand use packaging that is insubstantially different from Monster's own patented packaging," the complaint states.

    Monster is seeking damages for patent and trade dress infringement including: defendant's profits or other compensation or monetary remedy; punitive, exemplary or treble damages; attorneys' fees; costs; injunctive relief; and other just and proper relief.

    Eric Findlay of Ramey & Flock PC in Tyler is representing the plaintiff with Robert W. Payne of LaRiviere Grubman & Payne LLP in Monterey, Calif.

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

    Case No. 2:08-cv-238-TJW

    June 18

  • Santech Indutries Inc. vs. Global Parts Distributors LLC

    Plaintiff Santech, a Texas corporation having a principal place of business in Fort Worth, claims to own the rights to U.S. Patent No. 7,325,809 titled Seal Kit for Vehicle Air Conditioning System and Associated Methods. The patent was issued Feb 5, 2008, to Ron C. Brezina and Michael Deese and assigned to Santech.

    Santech alleges that Global Parts Distributors makes and sells seal kits for vehicle air conditioning systems which infringe the '809 Patent.

    "Plaintiff has informed defendant of the existence of the '809 Patent and has informed defendant of its infringement of the '809 Patent," the original complaint states. "Despite defendant's knowledge of the '809 Patent, defendant has willfully, deliberately and intentionally infringed claims of the '809 Patent."

    Santech is seeking injunctive relief, damages including lost profits and no less than a reasonable royalty, interest, costs, attorneys' fees and other just and equitable relief.

    Ross D. Kennedy of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP in Houston is attorney-in-charge for the plaintiff.

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

    Case No. 2:08-cv-240-DF

  • Convolve Inc. vs. Dell Inc. et al

    Plaintiff Convolve Inc. is a New York-based private engineering company that specializes in generating optimized trajectories to improve the performance of a wide range of devices, including motion control systems and computer hard disk drives.

    According to the original complaint, U.S. Patent No. 4,916,635 for Shaping Command Inputs to Minimize Unwanted Dynamics was issued Sept. 12, 1988.

    The named co-inventors of the patent are Neil Singer, PhD., Ken Pasch, PhD., and Warren Seering, PhD. who began and completed their work on the invention during their tenure at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Plaintiff Convolve is a private engineering company founded by Dr. Singer in 1989 and is MIT's exclusive licensee under the '635 Patent.

    The invention described in the '635 Patent addresses the problem of controlling machines exhibiting unwanted dynamics such as vibrations. The plaintiff claims that utilization of the technology disclosed in the patent permits a machine to move an object quickly with minimal vibration, which has applications in the hard drive industry to remedy vibrations of the drive's actuator arm.

    "The technology disclosed in the '635 Patent has already been incorporated into a variety of specialty applications, including the NASA Space Shuttle robot arm training system, X-ray inspection machines, flat panel inspection machines and cranes handling nuclear materials," the plaintiff's complaint states.

    The suit also addresses U.S. Patent No. 6,314,473 issued Nov. 6, 2001, with Singer, Pasch and Mark Tanquary named as co-inventors and Convolve as the sole assignee.

    According to the complaint, in early 1998 Singer contacted a representative of Dell regarding a possible licensing agreement relating to the technology in the '635 Patent. Convolve claims it communicated several times with Dell for the next year, disclosed confidential and proprietary information including its application for the '473 Patent and presented Dell simulations and hardware demonstrations using its technology under a non-disclosure agreement.

    However, the suit states that Dell never entered into a licensing agreement with Convolve regarding the technologies in the '635 or '473 Patents.

    Convolve alleges that defendants Dell, Western Digital and Hitachi produce and distribute hard disk drives and computers that infringe the technology described in the '635 and '473 Patents.

    In addition, Convolve alleges that the defendants are "in possession of certain hard disk drive firmware source codes and engineering software utilities and documentation, not within the public domain, which will provide additional evidence of said infringement."

    Convolve is seeking injunctive relief, compensatory damages, costs and attorneys' fees. From defendant Dell, the plaintiff is also seeking treble damages for willful infringement.

    Eric Albritton and T. John Ward Jr. of Longview are representing the plaintiff, with assistance from attorneys with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP in Atlanta, Ga.

    The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge David Folsom and has been referred to Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham.

    Case No. 2:08-cv-244-DF-CE

  • More News