Civix-DDI, LLC v. National Assoc. of Realtors, No. 05 C 6869, 2006 WL 3210504 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 6, 2006) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve denied defendant Yahoo! Inc.’s ("Yahoo") summary judgment motion which argued that plaintiff Civix-DDI’s ("Civix") patent infringement claims were barred by Civix’s covenant not to sue in its settlement agreement (the "Settlement Agreement") with third party Navteq, a provider of relevant navigation data to Yahoo. The Court held that Yahoo was a third party beneficiary of the Settlement Agreement because Yahoo purchased the data at issue from Navteq and that the Settlement Agreement protected such third parties from suit. But the Court found an issue of material fact as to whether each of Yahoo’s accused activities "relate in any way" to the Navteq technology and information, as required by the covenant not to sue.
Practice Tip: Make sure to both make all of your arguments and respond to each of your opponent’s arguments. In this opinion, the Court repeatedly noted that neither party offered sufficient arguments to allow for a definitive ruling regarding the scope of the covenant not to compete. For example, the Court stated:
Civix and Yahoo! offer insufficient arguments to support their respective positions and they do not rebut each other’s arguments as to whether the scope of "with respect to or in any way relating" is a "function" within a "service" or an entire "service."
It is much harder for a court to rule in your favor if you do not explain (and support) why it should.