Hybrid Audio, LLC v. Foster Electric (USA), Inc. et al. (18-cv-10245).

Hybrid Audio accuses home recording equipment company Foster of infringing RE40,281, a reissue of U.S. 6,252,909.  The ‘281 Patent claims priority to an application filed on September 12, 1992; Hybrid claims to have sent letters to Foster in January 2012, providing notice of its belief that Foster infringed the patent.  Shortly thereafter, reexamination of the patent was sought and granted through a different lawsuit.  All of the claims were confirmed via a reexamination certificate that issued on December 1, 2015.  The patent expired on September 21, 2012, while reexamination was pending; Hybrid contends, however, that it was constrained from seeking royalties or filing lawsuits while the reexamination was pending; additionally, Hybrid asserts that the entire period from the notice letter to the expiration of the patent falls within the six-year limitation on patent damages set forth in 35 U.S.C. § 286.  Hybrid seeks RAND royalties for Foster’s use of MP3 technology, at least a portion of which is asserted to be covered by the ‘281 patent, in its Fostex FR-2 and UR-2 products.  Hybrid further seeks a declaration that the case is exceptional and an award of attorney’s fees.

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