Thursday, February 19, 2015

Drew Technologies, Incorporated v. Palmer Performance Engineering

Case Name: Drew Technologies, Incorporated v. Palmer Performance Engineering
Docket Number: 2:11-cv-10946-NGE-MJH
Date Filed: 3/10/2011
Judge: Hon. Nancy G. Edmunds
Status: Closed

On March 10, 2011, Plaintiff Drew Technologies filed suit against Defendant Palmer Performance Engineering, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,786,851 (“the ‘851 patent”), entitled “Data Acquisition and Display System of Motor Vehicle,” and false patent marking. The ‘851 patent generally relates to a display device for use in a motor vehicle that integrates with a vehicle's on-board computer as well as peripheral devices for display of information in a user configurable format. Although the parties are competitors in the market for vehicle diagnostic and communications products, Plaintiff and Defendant worked together in 2005 to develop vehicle interface technology. That relationship ended in 2006, with Defendant not having its own software program that would allow users to configure display gauges communicating information from a vehicle’s on-board computer. Shortly thereafter, however, Defendant introduced its own “DashXL” technology that allowed users to configure displays. This triggered the instant litigation, with Plaintiff alleging the Defendant’s technology infringed upon its newly acquired patent. Further, Plaintiff alleged that by advertising the “DashXL” and related “DashCommand” technology as “patent pending” when no patent applications were issued for the technology in the twenty-two months prior, Defendant had also engaged in false marking. Defendant answered by denying infringement and counterclaiming that Plaintiff’s patent was unenforceable. On October 21, 2011, the case settled.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

General Scientific Corporation v. Rose Micro Solutions LLC

Case Name: General Scientific Corporation v. Rose Micro Solutions LLC
Docket Number: 2:11-cv-10880-DPH-MAR
Date Filed: 3/4/2011
Judge: Hon. Denise P. Hood
Status: Closed

On March 4, 2011, Plaintiff General Scientific Corp. filed suit against Defendant Rose Micro Solutions. In its complaint, Plaintiff alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,704,141 (“the ‘141 patent”) entitled “Ocular Mounting Assembly.” The ‘141 patent generally relates to mounting telemicrosopic instruments to eyeglasses or headbands for use in precision work such as delicate surgery, dental work, inspection of circuitry, and assembly of miniature parts. Plaintiff also alleged Defendant’s advertisements made false and misleading statements of fact regarding Plaintiff’s products.

Shortly after discovery ended on April 2, 2012, the parties settled the case, with Judge Hood entering an order of dismissal on April 16, 2012.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc. et al v. Mahle GmbH et al

Case Name: Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc. et al v. Mahle GmbH et al
Docket Number: 2:11-cv-10675-JAC-MAR
Date Filed: 2/18/2011
Judge: Hon. Julian A. Cook
Preliminary Injunction: Denied
Status: Closed

On February 18, 2011, Plaintiffs Federal-Mogul World Wide, Inc. and Federal-Mogul Corp. filed suit against Defendants Mahle GmbH and Mahle Engine Components USA, Inc. infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,260,472 (“the ‘472 patent”) and 6,557,457 (“the ‘457 patent”) related to piston designs and assemblies.

Plaintiffs and Defendants are large competitor suppliers of engine components. In 1998, Plaintiffs acquired T&N Industries, a company once owned by Defendants, after the FTC issued an order to Defendants to divest themselves of T&N. Plaintiffs argued that Defendants, using trade secrets taken from T&N, were violating the ‘472 patent for a one-piece engine piston formed by a friction welding process by producing the “MonoWeld” piston. Plaintiffs similarly argued that Defendants violated the ‘457 Patent, a method patent relating to piston assembly that utilizes a coating of special chemical material on various components in place of conventional bushings. Plaintiffs also brought claims of unfair competition, violations of the Michigan Uniform Trade Secrets Act (MUTSA), and breach of contract against Defendants. On May 23, 2011, Defendants brought a motion requesting dismissal and judgment regarding all of Plaintiffs’ claims. Ruling on the motion on September 27, 2011, Judge Cook dismissed Plaintiffs’ claims concerning the ‘457 patent, breach of contract, and acts of unfair competition, but denied the motion with respect to the ‘472 patent and MUTSA violation. The same day, the Judge also denied Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunctive relief. On November 8, 2012, Judge Cook ordered the case dismissed after Plaintiffs filed notice of voluntary dismissal.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Berry v. Ford Motor Company

Case Name: Berry v. Ford Motor Company
Docket Number: 5:11-cv-10569-JCO-RSW
Date Filed: 2/11/2011
Judge: Hon. John Corbett O'Meara
Status: Pending

On February 11, 2011, Plaintiff Joseph J. Berry filed suit against Defendants Ford Motor Company and Ford Global Technologies. The case involves Ford's in-car communications and connectivity system, SYNC, and specifically, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,352,186; 8,355,871; 8,036,634; 8,010,281; 8,285,439; 8,346,310; 8,396,449; 8,718,632.

This ongoing case stems from Plaintiff’s former work as a contractor for Defendants to implement his inventions for Defendants’ SYNC Technology, an integrated in-vehicle communications, and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls, control music, and perform other functions with the use of voice commands. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants fraudulently acquired Plaintiff’s consent to assign patent documents to Defendants, that the assignments were unenforceable, that Defendants breached Plaintiff’s work contract, and that Defendants were unjustly enriched at the expense of the Plaintiff. Further, Plaintiff requested correction of inventorship of the patents-at-issue. Defendants denied the allegations, filing a counterclaim asking for declaratory judgment on its sole ownership of the patents at issue and damages for breach of contract by Plaintiff.

The case is ongoing. Discovery ended on December 1, 2014 and the final pretrial conference will be held on March 18, 2015. On January 14, 2015, Plaintiff’s filed a motion for summary judgment as to Count I (unjust enrichment) under seal. Defendant also filed a motion for summary judgment. A hearing regarding both motions for summary judgment is set for April 2, 2015. 



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dura Global Technologies, LLC et al v. Magna International Inc. et al

Case Name: Dura Global Technologies, LLC et al v. Magna International Inc. et al
Docket Number: 2:11-cv-10551-SFC-MKM
Date Filed: 2/10/2011
Judge: Hon. Sean F. Cox
Status: Closed

On February 10, 2011, Plaintiffs Dura Global Technologies, LLC, Dura G.P., and Dura Operating LLC filed suit against Defendants Magna International Inc., Magna Mirrors of America, Inc., Magna Exteriors and Interiors Corp., Magna Exteriors and Interiors of America, Inc., Magna Exteriors and Interiors USA, Inc., and Magna Exteriors and Interiors of America Holdings, Inc. alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,766,617 covering power sliding rear windows used commonly in pick-up truck cabs.

In their complaint, Plaintiffs detailed other extensive litigation in the Eastern District between the two companies, direct competitors that frequently bid against each other for automotive glass product contracts. In particular, Plaintiffs mentioned other patent infringement litigation, Case Nos. 2:10-cv-11566 and 2:10-cv-12283, where Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants had infringed on four of Plaintiffs’ patents relating to rear sliding windows for vehicles. Here, Plaintiffs argued that Defendants’ manufacturing of Toyota Tundra rear sliding windows infringed on Plaintiffs’ patent and asked for a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as damages. Defendant answered on May 17, 2011, denying the allegations of infringement and counterclaiming that the Plaintiff’s patent was invalid and unenforceable.

After litigation commenced, Plaintiffs sought to add hundreds of additional claims to its patent. This led Defendants to file a motion to stay the litigation pending the USPTO’s reexamination of the patent. On October 7, 2011, Judge Cox granted Defendants’ motion. On November 2, 2011, Judge Cox ordered the case dismissed as stipulated to by all parties.




Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Commercial Imports & Assembly, Inc. v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc.

Case Name: Commercial Imports & Assembly, Inc. v. Illinois Tool Works, Inc.
Docket Number: 2:11-cv-10547-DML-RSW
Date Filed: 2/1/2011
Judge: Hon. David M. Lawson
Status: Closed

On February 1, 2011, Plaintiff Commercial Imports & Assembly, Inc. filed suit against Defendant Illinois Tool Works, Inc., alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,435,031 and 6,857,809 that generally relate to articulating fastener assemblies used for securing the decorative interior panels of cars to the sheet metal of car cabs.

Plaintiff argued that Defendant made, sold, used, and offered to sell articulated fastener assemblies covered by the Plaintiff’s patents. Defendant counterclaimed that the fastener assemblies failed to meet conditions for patentability and that the patents at issue were unenforceable because the original patentee failed to disclose material information to the USPTO during prosecution of the patents, which Defendant alleged could be shown in discovery. On December 27, 2012, the parties agreed to mediation, leading to the case’s dismissal on February 6, 2013 pursuant to the mediator’s decision.