Marshall Feature Recognition, LLC v. Wendy’s Int’l., Inc., No. 14 C 865, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 25, 2016) (Coleman J.).

Judge Coleman denied plaintiff Marshall Feature Recognition’s (“MFR”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) & 59(e) motion for reconsideration of the Court’s order dismissing MFR’s patent complaint regarding QR codes for want of prosecution.

Morningware, Inc. v. Hearthware Home Prods., Inc., No. 09 C 4348, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 12, 2011) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve granted defendant Hearthware’s motion for reconsideration holding that the claim term cooking enclosure required no construction. The Court originally construed “cooking enclosure” to mean “an oven housing and a metallic oven pan supported by a base.” The Court held that the instruction imported a claim limitation. Furthermore, the doctrine of claim differentiation required broader constructions because other independent claims that further defined the cooking enclosure as having a metallic oven pan as a base were made superfluous by the original construction.
The Court also held that Hearthware’s motion should have been brought pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) which gives the Court authority to reconsider its interlocutory decisions, not Rule 59(e) which only applies once the Court has entered judgment.

Continue Reading Court Reconstrues “Cooking Enclosure”

Trading Techs. Int’l., Inc. v. eSpeed, Inc., No. 04 C 5312, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 29, 2011) (Dow, J.).
Judge Dow amended the final judgment in this case to reflect the jury verdict and post-remittitur damages award of about $2.5M — go to the Blog’s archives for much more on this case and related cases. The Court also, after a de novo review, adopted Judge Schenkier’s report and recommendation on the motion. Plaintiff Trading Technologies (“TT”) sought to amend the Court’s final judgment, entered by the late Judge Moran, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) or 60(a), to reflect the damages award, and sought its fees for bringing the instant motion. The Court held as follows:
While it may have been too late to amend the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e), the Court had discretion to amend pursuant to Rule 60(a) to correct an “oversight or omission.” The record established that TT and defendants (collectively “eSpeed”) understood that there was a money judgment. For example, eSpeed moved the Court to waive the supersedes bond normally required to appeal a case with money damages.
The Federal Circuit and the parties understood the appeal to be on all issues, not just injunctive relief. As such, eSpeed cannot argue that it held back arguments on appeal, that it might otherwise have made if eSpeed had known the appeal went beyond injunctive issues.
Whatever TT’s reason for not seeking to correct the judgment with Judge Moran while the case was still pending before him, all parties understood that the judgment included the money damages.
Finally, the Court denied TT’s request for it fees incurred bringing the motion. First, both parties should have sought to correct the judgment when it was entered. Second, TT’s fee request was undermined by its unreasonable demand in the initial motion that eSpeed pay the money damages within five days.

Continue Reading Trading Technologies: Final Judgment Amended to Include Monetary Damages

Ho v. Taflove, No. 07 C 4305, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Apr. 9, 2010 (Bucklo, J.)
Judge Bucklo denied plaintiffs’ motion for reconsideration of the Court’s order granting defendants summary judgment as to plaintiffs’ Copyrights, Lanham Act and related state law claims in this dispute over whether defendants took plaintiffs’ mathematical model (the “Model”). As an initial matter, the Court noted that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not provide for “motions to reconsider.” Rather, parties file either a Rule 59(e) motion to alter or amend judgment (within 28 days of the judgment) or a Rule 60(b) motion for relief from judgment (within a “reasonable time”). The substance of the motion determines whether it is heard pursuant to Rule 59(e) or Rule 60(b). Plaintiffs’ motion was brought pursuant to Rule 60(b), but the Court treated it as a Rule 59(e) motion because it sought to alter the judgment, not for relief from it.
A Rule 59(e) motion requires newly discovered evidence or manifest errors of law. Plaintiffs’ motion as to their state law conversion, copyright and Lanham Act claims relied upon additional facts that were available during the initial briefing, but not raised at that time. The Court, therefore, did not consider the evidence and the plaintiffs’ arguments were denied.
As to the Court’s decision that the Model was not copyrightable as a mathematical formula pursuant to §102(b) of the Copyright Act, plaintiffs provided no convincing authority showing that it was copyrightable. And plaintiffs provided not even a single example of an alternate expression of the Model to satisfy the merger doctrine.

Continue Reading Court Will Not Amend Summary Judgment Based Upon “New” Evidence

Lorillard v. Montrose Wholesale Candies & Sundries, Inc., No. 03 C 5311 & 4844, 2008 WL 1775512 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 17, 2008) (Aspen, J.).
Judge Aspen adopted Magistrate Judge Cole’s Report and Recommendation, denying defendants’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) motion to alter the Court’s judgment against defendants – click here to read more about that Report and click here to read more about this case in the Blog’s archives. The Court awarded plaintiff Lorillard $2.5M in statutory damages for defendants’ sales of counterfeit cigarettes using Lorillard’s trademarks. Defendants objected to, among other things, a statutory damages award in excess of $1M. Defendants argued that 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c)(2) only allowed $1M in statutory damages per type of goods sold. Because this case only involved one type of goods, cigarettes, defendants argued statutory damages could not exceed $1M. But the Court held that the limitation was $1M per counterfeit mark per type of good. Because Lorillard alleged five counterfeit marks were used, the statutory damages limit was $5M.

Continue Reading Counterfeiting Statutory Damages are up to $1M/Trademark

Lexion Medical, LLC v. Northgate Techs., Inc., No. 04 C 5705, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 29, 2007).*
Judge Rosenbaum (a visiting judge, who is the chief Judge for the District of Minnesota) granted in part plaintiff’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(a) motion to alter or amend the judgment, altering the judgment to include all post-verdict sales of infringing product. The court held a trial in October 2006 resulting in a jury verdict that defendants’ insufflator (a device that blows a powder, gas or vapor into a body cavity) infringed plaintiff’s patent, but that the infringement was not willful. The Court entered judgment in February 2007. Shortly after the judgment, defendant Northgate Technologies (“Northgate”) informed plaintiff that after the verdict, but before the judgment was entered, Northgate sold its remaining inventory. Plaintiff sought damages for the post-verdict sales and argued that the Court should find the post-verdict sales willful and declare the case exceptional. The Court held that the post-verdict sales infringed the patent, but that they were not willful because Northgate received an oral opinion of counsel prior to shipping any post-verdict product. The oral opinion was based upon three factors: 1) a belief that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable; 2) the fact that the Court had not yet entered a permanent injunction; and 3) Northgate’s post-trial arguments that were pending before the Court. The Court noted that the second factor could not support Northgate’s decision. But the remaining justifications were not “so flawed as to alert Northgate to reject [the oral opinion] as ‘obviously bad legal advice.”
But because Northgate’s decision to sell infringing product post-verdict “needlessly multiplied” the case, the Court held that the post-verdict sales were exception and awarded plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs incurred by the post-verdict sales motion. Additionally, the Court entered a permanent injunction.
*You can read the opinion here.

Continue Reading Post-Verdict Infringing Sales Exceptional, But Not Willful

Scholz Design Inc. v. Jaffe, __ F. Supp.2d __, 2007 WL 1276910 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 24, 2007) (Grady, J.).
Judge Grady treated plaintiff’s untimely motion to reconsider as a Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) motion to vacate judgment (Judge Grady’s previous order is discussed in the Blog’s archives) and denied the motion because it simply rehashed previously rejected arguments. After a bench trial, the Court entered judgment on behalf of defendants because they had neither directly nor contributorily infringed plaintiff’s copyrighted home design. The Court held that, while defendants approved the design, any actual copying of the copyrighted design was done by defendants’ architects without defendants knowledge. In the instant motion, plaintiff argued that defendants infringed its copyrighted designs as a matter of law because the Court had deemed admitted — for failure to respond to requests for admission — that the interior and exterior designs of the house at issue were derivative works based upon plaintiff’s design. But the Court explained that the admission of infringement did not include an admission as to which parties committed the infringement. As a result, the Court denied plaintiff’s motion and allowed its prior judgment to stand.

Continue Reading Untimely Rule 59 Motion Considered Under Rule 60