Bobel v. MaxLite, Inc., No. 12 C 5346, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 5, 2014) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve construed the disputed terms in this patent litigation related to compact fluorescent lamps. Of particular note, the Court held as follows:
- Resonate Boosting Circuit was construed as “a circuit comprising (i) boosting inductance connected in circuit between the AC input terminals and (ii) boosting capacitance, comprising one or more capacitors, connected in parallel with selected one or more diodes of the rectifier circuit.”
- Power Line Voltage Rectifier was construed as “a device that converts the AC signal from an alternating voltage source into a pulsating DC signal at the output of the rectifier, with such device including at least two diodes, each of which connects on one side to the AC power line.”
- Integrated Into was construed as “physically combined into.”
- A Resonant Boosting Circuit Integrated Into the Power Line Voltage Rectifier was construed as “a circuit operable to provide between the DC terminals a variable DC voltage having an absolute peak magnitude higher than the absolute peak magnitude of a rectified voltage of the alternative voltage source, and the resonant boosting circuit comprising: (i) boosting inductance connected in circuit between the AC input terminals and the alternating voltage source, and (ii) boosting capacitance comprising one or more capacitors connected in parallel with one or more unidirectional devices of the rectifier circuit.” Because the term was a combination of the previously construed terms, the term was construed consistent with those constructions.
- Parallels was construed as “of or denoting electrical components or circuits connected to common points at each end, rather than one to another in sequence.” This construction was based upon a dictionary definition.
The Court helpfully closed its opinion with a chart listing its constructions.
Malibu Media, LLC v. Doe, No. 14 C 693, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 7, 2014) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte ordered plaintiff Malibu Media to serve a courtesy copy of its copyright complaint on the Court in compliance with Local Rule 5.2(f) and the Court’s website. Malibu Media also was ordered to pay a $100 fine for delayed compliance with Local Rule 5.2(f).
Tellabs Ops., Inc. v. Fijitsu, Ltd., No. 09 C 4530, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 13, 2014) (Cole, Mag. J.).
Judge Cole denied plaintiff/counter-defendant Tellab’s motion to expedite ruling upon Tellab’s motion to reclassify certain confidential documents or that Tellab’s executives could review the documents before a looming mediation. The Court denied the motion for several reasons:
- Tellabs should not have waited until four weeks before a mediation to complete briefing about documents that were reviewed as much as one year ago.
- With the motion noticed four days before the mediation and eight categories and hundreds of pages to review, the Court could not meaningfully consider the issues.
- The motion to expedite was the 1,185th document filed in the five-year-old case, with two prior mediations. Parties and counsel should already be well-versed in the case and ready for mediation based upon the already extensive schedule to date.
- Tellabs offers no reason it could not postpone the mediation instead of expending the Court’s limited resources.
Having denied to expedite its decision, the Court said it would attempt to decide the motion before the mediation.
On March 5, 2014 from 5:30 to 7:30, the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) is hosting its annual Federal Judicial Panel at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Margaret Duncan of McDermott, Will & Emery will moderate a panel consisting of N.D. Illinois Judges Coleman, Darrah, and Kendall. The panel will discuss:
- N.D. Illinois 2013-2014 IP litigation trends
- The Supreme Court’s IP docket
- Patent Office litigation and its effect on district courts
- Electronic discovery
The panel costs $30 (members) or $35 (non-members). Register here.
Sonic Indus., LLC v. iRobot Corp., No. 13 C 9251, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 17, 2014) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte ordered the parties to explain their positions as to whether venue for this patent case was proper in the N.D. Illinois. Based upon the complaint, plaintiff Sonic was a Delaware company and iRobot was a Massachusetts company. The Court saw no connection to the Northern District except, perhaps Sonic’s interest in the Court’s Local Patent Rules.
Sonic Industry, LLC v. iRobot Corp., No. 13 C 9251, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 14, 2014) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte fined plaintiff Sonic Industry for failure to comply with Local Rule 5.2(f). Several days after filing its complaint, Sonic Industry still had not provided chambers with a courtesy copy of the complaint.
Alliance for Water Efficiency v. Fryer, No. 14 C 115, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 15, 2014) (Shadur, Sen. J.).
Judge Shadur sua sponte ordered plaintiff Alliance for Water Efficiency (“AWE”) to correct two deficiencies in its diversity jurisdiction pleading:
- AWE pled that it was headquartered in Illinois, but did not plead its corporate citizenship.
- AWE pled that defendant was a resident of California, but not whether defendant was also a citizen of California.
Although the Seventh Circuit generally required dismissing complaints where an individual’s residence, but not citizenship, is pled the Court found that “Draconian” and afforded AWE five days to correct its complaint, if it could.
Osiris Entertainment, LLC v. Does 1-38, No. 13 C 4901, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 20, 2013) (Tharp, J.).
Judge Tharp granted plaintiff Osiris Entertainment’s Fed. R. Civ. P 26(d) motion to take expedited discovery prior to a Rule 26 conference in order to discover the potential identities of the thirty eight Doe defendants otherwise only identified by their respective IP addresses in this copyright case involving the alleged infringement of the movie Awaken via BitTorrent.
As an initial matter, the Court sua sponte considered whether the thirty-eight Does were properly joined. Recognizing a district split, that mirrors a national split among district courts, the Court held that members of the same swarm may be joined in a single suit even if their direct participation in the swarm did not overlap in time, explaining:
As noted above, BitTorrent requires a cooperative endeavor among those who use the protocol. Every member of a swarm joins that cooperative endeavor knowing that, in addition to downloading the file, they will also facilitate the distribution of that identical file to all other members of the swarm, without regard to whether those other members were in the swarm contemporaneously or whether they joined it later. In that light, permitting joinder among non-contemporaneous swarm participants does not seem novel or extreme; the law governing joint ventures and conspiracies, for example, clearly permits plaintiffs to proceed against groups of defendants who engaged in a cooperative endeavor to facilitate an unlawful object whether or not all of the members of the group took part in all of the actions of the group and without regard to when the members joined the group.
Citations omitted. The Court did, however, note that there would be some requirement of temporal proximity because at some amount of separation the analogy would break down. But in this instance, the alleged Does were involved over a “relatively brief” period.
Having determined that joinder was proper at least at the initial stages of the case, the Court granted Osiris Entertainment’s motion to issue subpoenas aimed at identifying the Does based upon their alleged IP addresses. The Court, however, prohibited Osiris Entertainment from publishing the Doe’s alleged identities without leave of Court, noting that there was a “substantial possibility[y]” that the individuals associated with a particular IP address were not the individuals that downloaded the allegedly copyrighted material.
Snap-On Inc. v. Robert Bosch, LLC, No. 09 C 06914, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2013) (Kocoras, J.).
Judge Kocoras denied defendant Beissbarth’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in this patent infringement case involving patents relating to an optical wheel alignment system. Plaintiff asserted jurisdiction over Beissbarth was proper pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(2) that establishes jurisdiction if: (1) the plaintiff’s claim arises under federal law: (2) the defendant is not subject to jurisdiction in any state’s court of general jurisdiction; and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction comports with due process. The first requirement was uncontested. The second requirement was satisfied because Beissbarth refused to identify another forum where jurisdiction would be proper. Under the Federal Circuit’s burden shifting approach, if a defendant asserts that it cannot be sued in the form state and refuses to identify any other state where suit is possible, Rule 4(k)(2) may be used to establish jurisdiction. The third requirement of Rule 4(k)(2) was satisfied under the Federal Circuit’s three-part test to determine if personal jurisdiction over a foreign defendant comports with due process: Beissbarth purposefully directed its activities at residents of the United States; the claims against Beissbarth “arise out of” and “relate to” Beissbarth’s activities in the United States; and, exercising jurisdiction would be reasonable and fair.
Flava Works, Inc. v. Gunter d/b/a myVidster.com, No. 10 C 6571, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 3, 2013) (Grady, Sen. J.).
Judge Grady granted in part plaintiff Flava Works’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss defendants’ (collectively “myVidster”) tortious interference and Digital Millenium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) claims in this copyright infringement suit involving videos posted on websites. To the extent the tortious interference claim was based upon the alleged wrongful filing of this suit it was dismissed because Illinois does not recognize a tortious interference claim based upon wrongfully filed suits. The claim, however, survived to the extent it was based upon Flava Works allegedly misrepresenting myVidster’s intellectual property infringement with the intent of causing myVidster’s server suppliers to terminate contracts with myVidster.
With respect to its DMCA claim, myVidster pled that Flava Works knowingly misrepresented that allegedly infringing content was available on myVidster to “improperly exaggerate the actual amount of infringing content available” on the website. Those allegations were sufficient to meet the intent requirement.