Recent patent infringement cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas, Feb. 11-17, 2010

Marilyn Tennissen Feb. 18, 2010, 8:31am

Tyler Division

Feb. 10

  • Cross Match Technologies Inc. vs. Suprema Inc. and Mentalix Inc.

    According to the complaint, plaintiff Cross Match, founded in 1996, is a pioneer and leading global provider in the field of biometric identity management solutions. Cross Match's products include fingerprint and palmprint scanners which are used to capture and process the unique physiological characteristics of individuals to verify identities.

    The company's customers use the technology to perform background checks for job applicants, verify identities at borders and other checkpoints, register for individual's driver's licenses or voter programs, control access to office buildings and other secure areas and to help prevent identity fraud. The products are also used by the U.S. military for security purposes in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In this complaint, Cross Match is alleging infringement of four U.S. patents.

    The patents-in-suit are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 5,900,993 issued May 4, 1999, for Lens Systems for Use in Fingerprint Detection.

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,483,932 issued Nov. 19, 2002, for a Method and Apparatus for Rolled Fingerprint Capture to inventors Chris J. Martinez and Walter Guy Scott. The '932 Patent was assigned to plaintiff Cross Match.

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,203,344 issued April 10, 2007, for a Biometric Imaging System and Method to inventors George W. McClurg, John F. Carver, Walter G. Scott and Gregory Zyzdryn. The '344 Patent has been assigned to plaintiff Cross Match.

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,277,562 issued Oct. 2, 2007, for a Biometric Imaging Capture System and Method to inventor Gregory Zyzdryn. The '562 Patent has been assigned to plaintiff Cross Match.

    Cross Match alleges defendant Suprema, a "recent entrant into the U.S. market for biometrics and fingerprint scanning," has infringing products which compete with Cross Match's products, including the Cross Match L Scan, Guardian and Verifier.

    It claims thousands of Suprema's infringing fingerprint and palmprint scanners are being provided to Mentalix for use by U.S. Census workers.

    "Cross Match had also bid for the Census contract, but was underbid by Mentalix and Suprema," the complaint states. "On information and belief, the competing products Suprema and Mentalix submitted in this bid infringe the patents-in-suit, and Suprema has begun shipping the infringing scanners to the U.S. from its facilities in Korea."

    In addition, the plaintiff claims Suprema is "seeking other inroads into the U.S. market" and is working on sales certification from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Cross Match claims Suprema's and Mentalix's use and sale of infringing products is damaging and causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law unless defendants' wrongful acts are enjoined by the court.

    The plaintiff alleges defendants' infringement has been willful and deliberate.

    Cross Match is demanding a trial by jury and is seeking injunctive relief, compensatory damages, costs, treble damages, attorneys' fees and other relief deemed just and proper.

    Michael E. Jones of Potter Minton PC in Tyler and Maximilian A. Grant of Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington, D.C., are representing the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis.

    Case No. 6:10-cv-00028-LED

    Marshall Division

    Feb. 16

  • Affinity Labs of Texas LLC vs. Nike Inc. and Apple Inc.

    Plaintiff Affinity Labs of Texas, a Texas limited liability company based in Frisco, is seeking relief against Nike and Apple, alleging the companies violated Affinity patents when developing the Nike+ line of sports gear.

    According to the complaint, Affinity is currently developing a software application to integrate a portable media player with a performance monitoring system as described in the patents-in-suit as well as a pending patent application.

    The patents-in-suit are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,062,225, issued June 14, 2006, for a Pedometer System and Method of Use

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,251,454, issued July 31, 2007, for an Athletic Performance Monitoring System and Method

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,519,327, issued April 14, 2009, for an Athletic Monitoring System and Method.

    The plaintiff alleges Nike infringes the patents through shoes, apparel, equipment and accessories which integrate with Apple's iPod Nano, iPod Touch and iPhone products, including the Nike+ line of shoes, Nike+iPod Sport Kit, Nike+Sensor and Nike+Armband.

    Affinity claims that in June 2006 it sent letters to Nike and Apple which included notification of its patent portfolio and suggestions that the companies enter into a business agreement.

    However, Affinity alleges that after learning about its portfolio, Nike and Apple began to sell their first product to integrate Apple's portable media player with Nike's running shoes, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit.

    The suit states that Affinity corresponded with Apple and Nike for more than three years, but the companies declined to respond.

    "By late 2009, it became apparent to Affinity that Nike and Apple would not entertain a business solution despite profiting from the manufacturing and marketing of Affinity's patented technology," the complaint states.

    Affinity states it has since developed its own Sport+ product line.

    The plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction against defendants, compensatory damages, increased damages for willful infringement, costs, attorneys' fees and other relief deemed proper. A jury trial has been demanded.

    Thomas W. Sankey of Duane Morris LLP in Houston is lead attorney for the plaintiff. Norwood Jameson of Duane Morris LLP in Atlanta, Ga., and Brian McQuillen of New York, N.Y., are of counsel.

    Court assignment is pending.

    Case No. 2:10-cv-00054

  • Datatern Inc. vs. Suntrust Bank Inc. et al

    Plaintiff Datatern, a Texas corporation, claims to be the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 6,101,502. The '502 Patent was issued Aug. 8, 2000, for an Object Model Mapping and Runtime Engine for Employing Relational Database with Object Oriented Software.

    Datatern alleges that more than a dozen companies are infringing the '502 Patent on various Web sites by using object oriented software applications that rely on mapping information between a relational database and an object model and a runtime engine for invoking one or more objects with information from a relational database.

    The defendants named in the suit are Suntrust Banks Inc., Suntrust Bank, BP America Inc., ConocoPhillips, Inc., HSN Inc., HSN Interactive LLC, The Allstate Corp., Allstate Insurance Co., Allstate Life Insurance Co., Discover Financial Services Inc. and Halliburton Co.

    "Unless a permanent injunction is issued enjoining these Defendants and their agents, servants, employees, representatives, affiliates and all others acting in active concert therewith from infringing the '502 Patent, Plaintiff will be greatly and irreparably harmed," the complaint states.

    Datatern is seeking compensatory and enhanced damages, costs, expenses, interest, attorneys' fees and other relief to which it may be entitled. A jury trial has been demanded.

    Court assignment is pending.

    Marc A. Fenster of Russ, August & Kabat in Los Angeles, Calif., Patrick Anderson of Patrick R. Anderson PLLC in Flint, Mich., and Andrew Spangler of Spangler Law PC in Longview are representing the plaintiff.

    Case No. 2:10-cv-00055

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