Autotech Techs. Ltd. Partnership v. Automationdirect.com, Inc. 237 F.RD. 405 (N.D. Ill. 2006). (Cole, Mag. J.).

In this impressively detailed opinion, Magistrate Judge Cole grants defendant’s motion for a protective order limiting plaintiff’s in-house counsel’s access to sensitive customer information and communications.  The parties faced a common problem, they had agreed that customer information, including customer identities and communications, would be limited to attorneys’ eyes only, but could not agree as to whether plaintiff’s in-house counsel could access the information.  Plaintiff argued that its in-house counsel played a lead role in the case and, therefore, required access to the information.  Defendant argued that in-house counsel were corporate decision makers, in addition to counselors, and would not be able to separate the knowledge of defendant’s customers they would be exposed to when performing business-related functions.


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Cummins-Allison Corp. v. Glory Ltd., __ F.Supp.2d __, 2006 WL 2931999 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 13, 2006) (Kendall, J.).

Judge Kendall performed a very thorough claim construction in this opinion, but what is most interesting about it is the procedural history.  The Court (with another judge presiding) initially construed the claims at issue in March 2005, without holding a Markman hearing.  Plaintiff then sought reconsideration regarding one of the patents at issue and defendant sought reconsideration regarding the other.  The Court ultimately granted both motions and held a Markman hearing, which is the basis of this opinion.   


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Gail Green Licensing & Design Ltd. v. Accord, Inc., No. 05 C 5303, 2006 WL 2873202 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 5, 2006) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve dismissed plaintiffs’s Lanham Act false advertising claim, but refused to dismiss plaintiffs’s breach of contract claim, among others.  Both claims are based upon defendants’s receipt of plaintiffs’s copyrighted designs for pet clothing and accessories pursuant to a Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement (the "NDA") and defendants’s subsequent alleged sale of  goods based upon plaintiffs’s copyrighted designs.


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Crafting proposed jury instructions is one of the first steps when preparing for trial.  And one of the first steps in drafting those instructions is looking for pattern or sample instructions that the court has previously used or endorsed.  In order to help speed that process, I am adding a new Blog feature.  I have gathered the jury instructions that each of the Northern District judges identify on their respective  web pages as either form or model instructions.  Most have general civil instructions and a few have specific sample instructions for various types of IP suits.
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