Intellectual Property Development (“IPD”) sued Warren Trask Company, Inc., National Lumber Co. and others in state court. After the case was removed to Federal court, Judge Gorton referred all pretrial matters to Magistrate Judge Boal. Both defendants asserted counterclaims seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of certain patents, and National Lumber asserted state law claims against and Glenn Robbell, IDP’s CEO and the sole inventor and apparent owner of the two patents. In December, IPD’s and Robbell’s attorney moved to withdraw from representation, citing breakdown of communications, fundamental disagreements over the handling of the litigation, and failure of the plaintiffs to pay for legal services. This motion was granted in January. Trask and National Lumber each then moved for sanctions and dismissal, citing the plaintiffs’ continuous failures to engage in discovery, to provide a list of claim terms to be construed or file a claim construction brief, and failure to participate in conferences regarding claim construction. The motions also noted that plaintiffs had failed to obtain new counsel, and that IDP, being a corporation, could not represent itself pro se. Judge Boal recommended dismissing IDP’s claims and entering default judgment against IDP, noting that the corporation had been given four months to find new counsel and had been warned of the consequences of failure to so do. She recommended denial of the motion with respect to Robbell, who (as an individual) can represent himself pro se, and declined to recommend other sanctions against Robbell.
Richard Liebowitz strikes again, filing three more copyright infringement and DMCA Violation cases in Massachusetts to go along with the seven he filed earlier this month. In these cases, as with the previous set, he alleges that copyrighted photographs were used on the defendants’ websites without license, and that digital watermarks were removed from the photographs. Each of these acts is alleged to be willful and knowing, without any further elaboration, and Liebowitz seeks actual and/or statutory damages and attorney’s fees. The cases are before Judges Boal, Saris, and Stearns.
Magistrate Judge Boal granted in part and denied in part SiOnyx’s motion to compel testimony and documents concerning Hamamatsu’s customer agreements. Hamamatsu had previously been compelled to produce sales agreements pertaining to the accused products. SiOnyx asserts that as a result of that production, it learned that Hamamatsu had actively negotiated with a major (sealed) customer of SiOnyx during the course of the litigation. SiOnyx sought additional depositions concerning the late-produced agreements as well as documents concerning the agreements. Judge Boal found SiOnyx’s requests overly broad, in that they covered not only the newly-discovered information but also topics that SiOnyx could have covered in prior depositions, but acknowledged that SiOnyx was entitled to some additional discovery as a result of the late production She ordered Hamamatsu to respond to depositions by written question pursuant to FRCP 31.
Acushnet filed an amended complaint, adding a claim that Golf Gods infringes Acushnet’s D763,682 design patent covering the ornamental design of its golf ball packaging. This adds to the trademark and trade dress infringement claims previously filed by Acushnet, which makes Titleist and Footjoy golf products.
Acushnet, the maker of Titleist golf equipment, filed suit against Australia’s Golf Gods, accusing them of violating Titleist trademarks through Golf Gods’ sale of apparel bearing a “TITTIES” mark in the Titleist stylized script, “HOE V1” (instead of “PRO V1,” a Titleist golf ball), and a few other racy take-offs on Titleist marks. Titleist also asserts that golf balls sold by Golf Gods infringes the trade dress of Acushnet’s TITLEIST PRO V1 packaging.
Titleist asserts (and is almost certainly correct) that its marks are famous, and accuses Golf Gods of intentionally creating an “unwholesome and undesirable association” in consumers’ minds, thereby tarnishing the Titleist marks. Titleist asserts trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution under both state and federal law. Judge Boal has the case.
Magistrate Judge Boal denied SiOnyx’ motion for evidentiary sanctions against Hamamatsu Photonics and Hamamatsu Corp.SiOnyx and Harvard filed suit in 2015, asserting correction of inventorship, patent infringement, and breach of contract. In discovery, Hamamatsu produced summary spreadsheets of damages information without providing the underlying invoices and purchase orders. By order of October 2017, the court ordered Hamamatsu to provide that information and some additional sales data. SiOnyx asserts that Hamamatsu failed to produce the information prior to the taking of depositions of Hamamatsu personnel and provided inaccurate and shifting information relating to damages, and sought both to preclude Hamamatsu from relying on the summary data and to have sales figures taken from annual reports be deemed established pursuant to Rule 37. Citing the strong presumption of allowing cases to be decided on the merits, Judge Boal determined that the defendants’ conduct was no so extreme as to warrant evidentiary sanctions (which were the only sanctions sought by SiOnyx). Judge Boal next addressed a dispute as to the interpretation of the October order, which modified certain requests for sales data to exclude data on unaccused products. Hamamatsu chose to interpret this to require production only of documents expressly mentioning an accused product. Judge Boal corrected them and ordered production of all sales documents that pertained to an accused product, but did not find them to be in contempt of the October order.
Since 2010, plaintiff Ronald Lackey has owned and run a company under the names “South Shore Roofing” and “South Shore Roofing and Siding.” He filed a business certificate for “South Shore Roofing & Siding” in 2011 in Cohasset. He also owns the websites www.southshoreroofing.com and www.southshore roofers.com. In March, 2016, he filed for trademark registration on “South Shore Roofing.” At or around the same time, the defendant changed its corporate name from CS MASS LOGISTICS, INC. to “South Shore Roofing, Inc.,” and it registered this name with the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Plaintiff’s application was placed on the Supplemental Register. Lackey alleges that he has lost business due to customer confusion regarding defendant’s business name, and asserts federal and state claims of trademark infringement, dilution (although no particular facts are pled to suggest that the mark is famous), violation of M.G.L. c. 93A, and violation of M.G. L. c. 110H § 13, which prohibits the unauthorized counterfeiting of a Massachusetts-registered trademark (although the complaint does not specifically allege a Massachusetts registration). The case is before Magistrate Judge Boal.