CardioNet and InfoBionic have been in litigation for several years on various patents and trade secret claims relating to cardiac monitoring devices – in one of these cases, Judge Talwani struck down CardioNet’s 7,941,207 patent as being directed to ineligible subject matter. In the present case, CardioNet seeks to sever two of the patents that were likewise deemed to cover non-patentable subject matter from the case to permit an immediate appeal of that finding. InfoBionic sought to file an exhibit (a letter from InfoBionic to CardioNet making clear that InfoBionic viewed the remaining infringement claims to lack a good-faith basis for assertion) to its opposition to the motion to sever under seal. The letter is asserted to contain sensitive information that was exchanged as a part of an on-going arbitration proceeding on a trade secret misappropriation claim between CardioNet and a former employee who is now working for InfoBionic. CardioNet did not oppose the motion to seal, but Judge Talwani denied the request without prejudice, noting the presumptive right of the public to have access to judicial documents and finding that InfoBionic had not met the burden of showing that impoundment would not violate this presumptive right. She gave InfoBionic the option of filing the letter on the public docket with sensitive material redacted, thus keeping the material out of the purview of the things she would consider in ruling on the motion, or providing further explanation as to why the sensitive material merited consideration of the court.
In my experience, both in managing this blog and in practice before her, Judge Talwani scrutinizes motions to seal documents with great care. Litigants must ensure that they provide appropriate and specific information as to the sensitive nature and the harm that would result from public disclosure when seeking to impound information that they ask the court to rely upon, even where the opposing party assents to impoundment.
Texas’ RICPI sued Simoco, a UK company, accusing Simoco of infringing its US 7,333,806 patent, titled “System and Method for Enabling Two-Way Radio Communications over a Computer Network.” RICPI asserts that Simoco’s XD Solutions digital two-way radio products infringe both system and method claims of the ‘806 patent both directly and through inducement. The case is assigned to Judge Talwani.
Realtime accuses Sungard of infringing the same patents it asserted against Scality earlier this week. Judge Talwani has been assigned the case.
Judge Talwani granted Infobionic’s motion to dismiss, finding the claims in suit were directed to patent-inelligible subject matter. CardioNet accused Infobionic of infringing U.S. Patent 7,941,207, titled “Cardiac Monitoring,” by sales of its MoMe Kardia System. The patent concerns monitoring electrical activity of the heart to identify atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter, two forms of arrhythmia, in ambulatory (i.e., not bed-ridden) patients. Judge Talwani noted that dismissals founded on § 101 invalidity were approved by the Federal Circuit in their 2018 Aatrix Software decision, applying the non-moving party’s proposed claim construction where construction is necessary. Here, Judge Talwani found the claims were directed to the abstract idea of looking at the variability in time between heartbeats and taking into account ventricular beats, a method of diagnosis that had long been used, and that the claims merely applied conventional computer components to that idea. She rejected CardioNet’s argument that the improvement to the field of cardiac telemetry necessarily translated into an improvement in computerized technology that would take the claims out of the Alice analysis. Having determined that the claims are directed to a natural phenomenon under the first step of the Alice, Judge Talwani went on to find that the algorithms used in the analysis would not suffice to result in eligibility, because Alice forceloses eligibility based on the implementation of a mathematical principal on a computer. The claims themselves used terms like “variability determination logic” and “relevance determination logic;” Judge Talwani noted that CadioNet failed to identify what aspect of these logic systems described in the specification made the claims patent-eligible, and further noted that “determination logic” is not defined or used in the specification. As such, it would cover any form of logic, and provides no meaningful limitation on the claims that would render them eligible. Accordingly, the complaint was dismissed.
Judge Talwani found GeneAlign in default after it failed to respond to Boston Heart Diagnostic’s patent infringement complaint and entered an injunction barring GeneAlign from making, using, selling or offering for sale any SLCO1B1 test. She further awarded BHD costs and fees totaling $15,641.49 after determining, taking the allegations of the complaint as true, that the case was exceptional under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
Plano Texas company Balor Audio sued Avid Technology and Mark of the Unicorn in separate suits, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,649,891, which covers audio signal generation. Avid’s Pro Tools software and Mark of the Unicorn’s Digital Performer software, both of which allows users to record, mix and master audio, stand accused. The Avid case is assigned to Magistrate Judge Dein, while the Mark of the Unicorn matter is before Judge Talwani.
1818 Farms, after negotiating a settlement in principal on Plum Island’s trade dress and trademark assertions, surreptitiously filed this lawsuit and withdrew form settlement talks. Upon learning of this lawsuit, Plum Island Soap filed its own suit in Massachusetts. The background is discussed in detail here. Plum Island Soap sought to dismiss or stay the Alabama suit or, in the alternative, to transfer the Alabama suit to the District of Massachusetts for consolidation. Judge Kallon determined that transfer was appropriate. While 1818 Farms was the first to file suit, Judge Kallon noted that filing suit in anticipation of another pending proceeding or to improperly forum shop may be sufficient to show the compelling circumstances needed to overcome the presumption in favor of the first-to-file rule, particularly when the suit is a declaratory judgment action brought in the face of clear threats to sue. Here, he found that the parties were engaged in on-going discussions that had reached a mutually agreeable framework for settlement, and that in the middle of these discussions, and without informing Plum Island Soap, 1818 Farms filed the Alabama suit. 1818 Farms then continued negotiating without informing Plum Island Soap about their filing. This was found to be a clear attempt to preempt Plum Island Soap and obtain a jurisdiction desirable to 1818 Farms. Additionally, it was found to be in bad faith, given that 181 Farms continued to mislead Plum Island that settlement was imminent. Finally, Judge Kallon determined that a refusal to transfer would undermine the strong Federal interest in encouraging potential plaintiffs to attempt settlement negotiations rather than racing to the courts.