Cozy was founded in 1997 to develop new child car seat designs. Cozy owns a number of patents relating to foam-filled side airbags on child car seats, dating back to an application filed in 1999. According to the complaint, Cozy hired an engineer in 2006 to assist in developing the product, and had him sign an NDA, as he would have access to confidential design and technical information as a part of his work. Two years later, the engineer left Cozy and went to work for Dorel Juvenile as Engineering Director. Shortly thereafter, Dorel filed a provisional application for foam-filled airbags for use in car seats.
Cozy and Dorel subsequently executed an NDA to collaborate on development of further car seat technology, with Cozy disclosing confidential information to Dorel under the agreement. Cozy says that this information was used by Dorel to make its Air Protect seats, which it introduced in June 2009. Cozy notified Dorel of Cozy’s patents that are asserted to cover the Air Protect seats that year, and notified Dorel of subsequent issuance of Cozy patents that were also said to be infringed. Cozy accuses Dorel of infringing four patents – two, U.S. 7,156,416 and 8,136,835 titled “Easy Ejector Seat with Skeletal Crash Safety Beam,” and two, U.S. 9,669,739 and 9,902,298 titled “Vehicle Occupant Support.” Each of these claims priority to a 1999 application, meaning that all have expired. It is unclear why Cozy waited so long to file suit, as it exposes Cozy to defenses of laches and estoppel.
Magistrate Judge Dein is assigned to this case