August Image LLC v. Uncoached Corp. (20-cv-10579).

August Image, a photography rights management entity, accuses Uncoached of willful copyright infringement. August Image says that Uncoached placed copies of five photographs on websites that Uncoached owns, including www.tvovermind.com. According to the complaint, copyright in only one of the photographs was registered prior to the filing of suit, leading to the complaint only charging copyright infringement as to the one photograph. The willfulness allegation appears to be based solely on the fact that the photographs appear on the website. The matter is before Magistrate Judge Dein.

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. v. Stilla Technologies, Inc. et al. (19-cv-11587).

Judge Young granted Stilla’s motion for a 90 day stay of this patent litigation related to droplet digital PCR technology. Bio-Rad accuses Stilla’s Naica™ System of infringement. Stilla sought to stay the case to allow its France-based staff, who are under severe travel and work restrictions, to focus on their development of a COVID-19 diagnostic test kit that uses the Naica™ System. Deciding to prolong a litigation is not the norm for Judge Young, who in December refused to accept a joint schedule that proposed trying the case in mid-February, 2021, stating that the case would go to trial no later than January 2021. The pandemic changes things, however, and the stay was granted just three days after it was sought, despite Stilla’s notice that Bio-Rad opposed the stay.

Plastipak Packaging, Inc. v. Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. et al. (19-cv-11193).

Judge Talwani denied Ice River’s motion to stay pending resolution of a third party’s petition for inter partes review of all of the claims asserted in this case. She indicated that, as inter partes review had not yet been instituted, she was denying the motion without prejudice to renew should the review move forward. While not expressed in her brief order, Judge Talwani was likely influenced by the fact that the case is in the middle of what appears to be contentious discovery and with a Markman hearing scheduled for April. Further, Ice River did not agree to be bound by the outcome of the IPR, should it be instituted (as the IPR was requested by a third party, Ice River would not be precluded from reasserting issues that were or reasonably could have been raised in the way that the third party would).

Temporary Closure of Springfield Division

After an employee of the clerk’s office at the Springfield courthouse reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts closed the Springfield court facilities pending further order from the Court.  The clerk has been directed to try to maintain continuity of operations, to the extent it is reasonable and safe to do so, which likely means court activities will take place by telephone or video conference, if at all.

SynKloud Technologies, LLC v. Nuance Communications, Inc. (20-cv-10564).

SynKloud accuses Nuance of infringing U.S. Patent No. RE 44,248, directed towards enhanced voice recognition technologies. The ‘248 patent is a reissue of U.S. 7,689,416. SynKloud asserts that certain of Nuance’s Dragon products infringe through allowing users to transfer voice model files between computers, enhancing the speech recognition accuracy in the destination computer. SynKloud first notified Nuance of the ‘248 patent in April of 2015, but Nuance continued to sell the accused Dragon products. SynKloud specifically pleads that neither it nor any predecessors in interest have made, sold or licensed any products covered by the ‘248 patent and thus requiring marking. SynKloud claims direct, induced and contributory infringement. Judge Saris has the case.

Federal Circuit Modifies Court Operations.

Citing the coronavirus emergency and the resultant reduction in the number of staff members on-site at the Markey National Courts Building, the Federal Circuit announced modifications to its operations. Significant among these modifications, are:

  • The courthouse will be closed to the public, with only arguing counsel, parties, and credentialed members of the press permitted in the building;
  • Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been in contact with a person with the virus, who have ben asked to self-quarantine or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms are barred from the courthouse;
  • parties appearing before the Federal Circuit are directed not to provide paper copies of any filings until further notice, other than documents that can only be filed by paper; and
  • travel restrictions due to COVID-19 will not qualify as a scheduling conflict due to the availability of telephonic hearings.

The Court specifically stated that all existing deadlines in cases remain in effect.

Anyone appearing at the Federal Circuit should refer to the court’s website for the specific details and further updates.

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Biogen, Inc. et al. v. Creative Biolabs Inc. (20-cv-10543).

Biogen, along with the University of Zurich, accuses New York-based Creative Biolabs of infringing U.S. Patent No. 8,906,367. The patent is said to cover an antibody, Aducanumab, that Biogen is investigating as a treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease. Biogen licensed the antibody from a Swiss biotech company, Neurimmune Therapeutics, who had itself licensed the antibody and accompanying intellectual property from the University of Zurich. The antibody was developed from antibodies in healthy, aged donors who did not have Alzheimer’s, under the theory that these individuals’ immune systems had successfully resisted the disease, and the treatment has reduced the plaques that are a marker of the disease in animal studies. Biogen is presently working in collaboration with pharmaceutical company Eisai in clinical development and commercialization of the antibody, which is also known by the widely-used designation “BIIB037,” and is currently seeking regulatory approval for its use, currently back in trials after having previously been pulled. In addition to patent infringement, Biogen asserts that Creative Biolabs infringes Biogen’s trademark rights in the “BIIB037” alternate designation, which Biogen believes will cause confusion or mistake as to the origin, sponsorship or approval of Creative Biolabs’ aducanumab products. Biogen also asserts violation of 93A. The case is with Magistrate Judge Cabell.