HOUSTON - DeNiece Designs LLC has filed suit in an effort to stop a torrent of cease and desist letters from a Kentucky woman accusing it of patent infringement.
Recent court documents filed Sept. 19 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas show Elaine Braun claimed DeNiece Designs infringed on U.S. Patent No. 7,255,299 entitled "Fabric Storage Panel," which the plaintiff refutes.
DeNiece Designs claims it conceived of a fabric organizer on Jan. 30, 2004, and filed it under provisional patent No. 60/676,215 on Apr. 29, 2005.
A year later, the complainant filed application No. 11/381,086, which claimed the benefit of 60/676,215 but went abandoned on June 14, 2010.
Meanwhile, the "Fabric Storage Panel" patent that is the focus of the litigation was filed on Aug. 13, 2004, and issued on Aug. 14, 2007.
The suit explains Braun first sent demand correspondence calling for an end to the "encroachment of the '299 patent" on Aug. 15, 2007, stating DeNiece Designs responded in kind that there are distinctions between her products and the claims of the defendant's patent.
A period of five years in which the complainant did not hear from Braun went by prior to last June 13 when it reportedly received a second cease and desist letter.
According to the suit, several of the plaintiff's retailers have also received demand letters.
"These cease and desist letters have caused [the proprietress] Ms. Herrod to lose customers and/or business," the original petition says.
A jury trial is requested.
DeNiece Designs is represented by attorney Edward W. Goldstein with Goldstein & Lipski PLLC in Houston.
Case No. 4:12-cv-2814