Recent patent infringement cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas

By Marilyn Tennissen | May 14, 2009

Marshall Division

May 12

  • Inc. vs. John Veenstra et al

    Cityhub claims to own the rights to U.S. Patent No. 5,930,474. According to the complaint, in December 2002, defendants John Veenstra and his wife Lisa Morgan improperly caused the '474 Patent to be transferred away from Cityhub without its knowledge.

    Veenstra is affiliated with Geomas Inc. and was actively involved in the prosecution of Geomas et al vs. Ideark et al (Case No. 2:06-cv-475 in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.) The case resulted in a settlement.

    The suit alleges that Veenstra devised a scheme to misappropriate the '474 Patent, and purportedly called a meeting of Cityhub's board of directors and then obtained shareholders' consent to transfer the patent to another entity he owned.

    Cityhub claims neither its board nor shareholders authorized the transfer and that no such board meeting ever occurred.

    It also claims no reassignment of the patent was ever recorded with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until May 13, 2006.

    In 2007, Veenstra and Morgan caused Cityhub to be formally dissolved without actual votes from the board or notice to shareholders.

    Cityhub also claims the unauthorized licensure of the '474 Patent by Veenstra, Morgan and Geomas defendants constitutes patent infringement.

    Cityhub seeks monetary and treble damages for infringement.

    It also seeks equitable relief, including reassignment of the '474 Patent, imposition of a constructive trust upon the settlement proceeds of the Geomas litigation, disgorgement of all other monies received by defendants in connection with the patent and other just and equitable relief.

    J. Rodney Gilstrap of Smith & Gilstrap in Marshall is representing the plaintiff. Co-counsel pending Pro Hoc Vice admission include Andrew Staes, Stephen Scallan and David Duggan of Chicago, Il., and Joseph Kromholz of Milwaukee, Wisc.

    The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward and referred to Magistrate Judge Charles Everingham for pre-trial proceedings.

    Case No. 2:08-cv-143-TJW-CE

  • API Technologies LLC vs. Facebook Inc. et al

    Plaintiff API Technologies in a Texas limited liability company with its principal place of business in Marshall. It claims to be the owner by assignment of U.S. Patent No. 6,859,699 issued Feb. 22, 2005, for a Network-Based Method and System for Distributing Data.

    Anthony Carroll, Brain McAuliffe, Joe Gibbs, Brian O'Sullivan, Michael J. King III, George M. Gill, Michael L. Baird, Jean deBelleville and Steven W. Rogers are named inventors of the '699 Patent.

    The plaintiff alleges 24 companies are infringing the '699 Patent, including Facebook,, AOL, MapQuest, Bebo, Truveo, Best Buy, CBS, Google, Thomson Reuters and Yahoo!.

    According to the complaint, defendants provide user interfaces for soliciting selections desired data. Using the data transmission network, defendants receive an input signal representing a selection of desired data and retrieve and transmit that data.

    Further, the suit states that the defendants generate license codes with embedded information that is related to a valid product code associated with a specific devise or system. Defendants require the use of such license codes to access the desired data. Therefore, the plaintiff claims, defendants are liable for infringement of the '699 Patent.

    API claims it has suffered monetary damages in an amount not yet determined and will continue to suffer damages in the future unless defendants' infringing activities are enjoined by the court.

    In addition to compensatory damages, API is seeking costs, expenses, interest and attorneys' fees.

    Andrew Spangler of Spangler Law Firm PC in Longview is lead attorney for API.

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

    Case No. 2:08-cv-147-TJW

    Tyler Division

    May 6

  • Fractus S.A. vs. LG Electronics Mobilecomm USA Inc. and UTStarcom Telecom Co. Ltd.

    Plaintiff Fractus is a foreign corporation with its principal place of business in Barcelona, Spain.

    Fractus claims it owns the rights to nine U.S. patents dealing with internal antennas for use in mobile phones.

    The patents-in-suit are:
    U.S. Patent No. 7,015,868 issued March 21, 2006, for a Multilevel Antennae.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,123,208 issued Oct. 17, 2006, for a Multilevel Antennae.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,148,850 issued Dec. 12, 2006, for Space-Filling Miniature Antennas.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,202,822 issued April 10, 2007, for Space-Filling Miniature Antennas.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,312,762 issued Dec. 25, 2007, for a Loaded Antennae.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,394,432 issued July 1, 2008, for a Multilevel Antennae.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,397,431 issued July 8, 2008, for a Multilevel Antennae.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,411,556 issued Aug. 12, 2008, for a Multi-Band Monopole Antennae for a Mobile Communications Device.
    U.S. Patent No. 7,528,782 issued May 5, 2009, for a Multilevel Antennae.

    The plaintiff alleges defendants LG and UTStarcom are infringing the patents-in-suit through the manufacture, use, sale or importation of certain mobile phones with internal antennas.

    "Defendants LG and UTStarcom's acts of infringement have caused damage to Fractus, and Fractus is entitled to recover from Defendants the damages sustained by Fractus as a result of Defendants' wrongful acts in an amount subject to proof at trial," the complaint states.

    Fractus also alleges the infringements have been willful and deliberate.

    The plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief, compensatory and enhanced damages, interest, costs, attorneys' fees and other just and proper relief.

    T. John "Johnny" Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview is representing the plaintiff, with attorneys from Capshaw Derieux LLP in Longview; Susman Godfrey LLP in Houston and Seattle, Wash.; and Heim, Payne & Chorush LLP in Houston.

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

    Case No. 6:09-cv-205-LED

    May 11

    Joao Bock Transaction Systems of Texas LLC vs. AT&T Inc. et al

    Plaintiff Joao Bock Transaction Systems is a Texas limited liability company located in Marshall. It claims to own the rights to U.S. Patent No. 7,096,003 issued Aug. 22, 2006, for a Transaction Security Apparatus.

    Raymond Anthony Joao and Robert Richard Bock are listed as inventors.

    The plaintiff alleges that several communications, banking and financial companies are infringing the '003 Patent.

    Defendants named in the complaint are AT&T, Zions First National Bank, Northern Trust Co., Wells Fargo Bank, M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank, Regions Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America, Visa, American Express, Discover, JP Morgan Chase, Chase Bank, Citibank, Lindale State Bank and Texas National Bank of Jacksonville.

    Joao Bock is seeking damages adequate to compensate it for the defendants' acts of infringement, interest, treble damages, attorneys' fees, injunctive relief and other relief deemed just and proper.

    Andrew Spangler of Spangler Law PC in Longview and Doug Bridges of Heninger Garrison Davis in Atlanta, Ga., are representing the plaintiff. John F. Ward and John W. Olivo Jr. of Ward & Olivo in New York, N.Y., are of counsel.

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

    Case No. 6:09-cv-208-LED

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