Caliper Life Sciences, Inc. v. Menarini Silicon Biosystems SpA (17-cv-12426).

Caliper filed suit against Menarini, accusing the Italian corporation’s DEPArray systems of infringing eight patents relating to microfluidic analytical systems and devices. Five of the asserted patents have already expired, while the rest are set to expire in just over a year. Willfulness is alleged, and direct, contributory and induced infringement are claimed.

Comerica Bank & Trust, NA as Personal Representative of the Estate of Prince Rogers Nelson v. Habib (17-cv-12418).

Comerica Bank, appointed by the probate court as the Personal Representative of the estate of Prince, sued Massachusetts resident Kian Andrew Habib over videos posted by Habib on YouTube that included live recordings of several Prince-written songs, including “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “Glam Slam,” and “Sign o’ the Times.” The complaint alleges that these videos were posted for commercial purposes, including at least advertising revenue generated by views of the videos by YouTube users, and that this commercial use negatively affected the value of the Prince estate by taking away from revenues legitimate Prince videos could realize.  YouTube removed the videos in response to a take-down notice.  In response, Habib provided a counter-notification pursuant to 17 U.S.C. 512(g), contesting their removal.  Comerica filed suit to prevent the videos from being reposted, and seeks damages and attorneys’ fees as well as injunctive relief.  (Full Disclosure – Comerica is represented by members of my firm, Lando & Anastasi).

Littelfuse, Inc. v. Mersen USA Newburyport-MA, LLC (17-cv-12375).

Littelfuse accuses Mersen of infringing its U.S. Patent No. 9,564,281 by sale of the Mersen HP15G family of photovoltaic fuses. In a somewhat bare-bones complaint, Littelfuse asserts that Mersen had actual knowledge of the ‘281 patent, entitling Littelfuse to a finding of willful infringement, treble damages and attorney’s fees, although the complaint does not specify exactly how Mersen came by its alleged knowledge of the patent.  The case has been assigned to Judge Talwani.

New England Anime Society, Inc. v. Fantastic Gatherings, Inc. et al. (17-cv-12339).

New England Anime Society (NEAS”) sued Fantastic Gatherings and Interactive Meet and Greet for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and cybersquatting. NEAS holds a three day convention every spring, known as “Anime Boston,” to celebrate Japanese pop-culture, including anime, manga, J-Pop, J-Rock, and live-action Japanese media.  NEAS registered the ANIME BOSTON mark and has used it in connection with this convention for sixteen years.  The event garners publicity through NEAS’ promotional efforts, news coverage, and social media, and is attended by more than twenty-five thousand people from all over the world. NEAS alleges that the defendants have developed and are promoting an event to take place in Hanover, Massachusetts.  The formal name of the event is Boston SouhCoast Comic Con & Collectibles Extravaganza, but is allegedly being promoted by the defendants as “Boston AnimeFest” and “Boston Anime Fest,” and the website relating to the event is at www.bostonanimefest.com, which redirects to the defendants’ webpage at www.necomicon.net. Fantastic Gatherings, the company actually sponsoring the event, is alleged to have direct knowledge of NEAS’ marks, because two of its officers and directors previously worked as volunteers for NEAS.  In response to a cease and desist letter, the defendants asserted that the terms ‘Boston” and “Anime” “fall into fair use as generic when used together in either order.”  NEAS asserts, however, that the PTO registered the mark after determining that the mark had acquired distinctiveness through the years of NEAS’ use.  NEAS asserts that the defendants deliberately chose a confusingly similar mark to ride on the coattails of NEAS and its anime festival.

Maquet Cardiovascular LLC v. Abiomed, Inc. et al. (17-cv-12311).

Maquet sued Abiomed in the District of Massachusetts, alleging that Abiomed’s Impella pumps infringe Maquet’s recently-issued U.S. Patent No. 9,789,238 covering intravascular blood pumps. The two parties have been engaged in a hotly-contested battle in this area, with Abiomed having previously brought a declaratory judgment action in this District, seeking judgment of non-infringement of several related patents.  Maquet had added a counterclaim relating to the ‘238 patent in that matter, but withdrew the claim in the face of Abiomed’s motion to strike because Maquet had not first sought leave to include the new patent. Abiomed had also filed requests for inter partes review on a number of the family members, the bulk of which were not instituted. Direct, contributory, and induced infringement are alleged in the ‘238 case, and provisional damages and injunctive relief are sought.

Core Brands, LLC v. Cheung et al. (17-cv-12300).

Core Brands sued Jane Cheung and George Chan, Athome-products.com, AZ Electronics, AV Custom Pro for trademark infringement. Core Brands makes and sells audio, power management and control products under the brand names ATON, BlueBOLT, ELAN, Furman, Korus, Niles, Panamax, Proficient, SpeakerCraft, Sunfire, and Xantech through a network of authorized dealers.  Among other things, Core Brands’ agreement with its authorized dealers prevents the dealers from selling Core Brands products to other retailers or resellers.  The defendants are alleged to sell Core Brands products without authorization, of removing serial numbers from the Core Brands products, which voids the warranty, and of using Core Brands trademarks in advertising the products.  Core Brands brings counts of trademark infringement, counterfeiting, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and tortious interference with contractual relations.  The complaint does not made clear why the suit was brought in Massachusetts, as all parties are alleged to be California residents.

Anova Applied Electronics, Inc. v. Hong King Group, Ltd. et al. (17-cv-12291).

Anova sued a number of different Chinese businesses for trademark and trade dress infringement related to its Sous Vide Precision Cooker, a constant temperature immersion circulator that cooks food in a sealed bag at a constant temperature in a water bath.

Anova 2Anova designed its product in 2014 using funds generated via a Kickstarter campaign.  Anova registered the mark PRECISION, and asserts that the distinctive design of the product constitutes highly distinctive trade dress.  The product enjoyed considerable success, leading to Anova being purchased by Electrolux for $250 million in February of this year.  Anova asserts that the defendants make nearly-identical replicas and sell them through internet websites such as GlobalSources.com and Alibaba.com, as well as through U.S. distributors.  In addition to infringement, Anova asserts claims for trademark dilution, unfair competition, and false designation of origin.