Stillwater Designs & Audio Inc. d/b/a Kicker v. Shtizel Inc. d/b/a Techtronics.com (18-cv-12608).

Audio company Kicker sued Techtronics, theXmarketing.com, and Amazon resellers Techtronics Inc. and Amazing Dealzzz, accusing the defendants of improperly selling Kicker products, using Kicker trademarks, and altering or removing serial numbers from Kicker products that they were selling. Kicker uses the registered KICKER mark on audio components, primarily speakers, that it sells through authorized resellers. It asserts that the defendants, who are not authorized resellers, are nonetheless selling Kicker speakers bearing the KICKER trademark. The defendants did not receive Kicker training in proper installation of its speakers, and speakers sold through defendants do not come with Kicker’s warranty. Thus, according to the complaint, the defendants’ KICKER goods are materially different than those of Kicker and its authorized resellers. Kicker brings claims of trademark infringement, tortious interference with business relations in connection with defendants receiving inventories of Kicker speakers from authorized Kicker dealers, and unfair competition. It is not clear why Kicker chose to file suit in Massachusetts, given that it is an Oklahoma corporation and it asserts that defendants are located in California. The case is before Judge Zobel.

Magnesium Elektron North America, Inc. v. St. Pierre et al. (18-cv-40207).

Magnesium Elektron (“MgE”) filed suit against Applied Chemistries, Inc., Brian St. Pierre and Mark Pellerin, accusing them of misappropriating trade secret processes for making etching additives used in the graphic arts industry. According to the complaint, St. Pierre and Pellerin both worked for U.S. Fluids, MgE’s contract manufacturer of etching additives, where they were exposed to the trade secret technology. Each executed a non-disclosure agreement with U.S. Fluids, and each was responsible at some point during their employment with maintaining the secrecy of the technology. St. Pierre now runs Applied Chemistries, who recently began marketing chemicals alleged to be substantially the same as MgE’s proprietary additives, and Pellerin is employed by Applied Chemistries. MgE further asserts that Applied Chemistries is selling photo engraving developer solutions under MgE’s RED TOP and HYRDO-SOLVE trademarks. MgE brings trade secret claims under the federal DTSA and the new Massachusetts trade secrets statute, as well as trademark infringement and unfair competition claims, and claims under 93A.

F2VS Technologies, LLC v. The AES Corporation (18-cv-12567).

F2VS accuses alarm company AES of infringing three patents relating to wireless communications networks. Specifically, F2VS asserts that AES’s products and services that incorporate its “ IntelliNet” technology infringe at least one claim of each of the three patents. Based on the limited information that can be found on the company, it appears that F2VS is a non-practicing entity that began asserting the three patents within the last two years.

Egenera, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (16-cv-11613).

Egenera accused Cisco of infringing the ‘430 patent, which names Egenera employee Peter Schulter as one of the inventors. When Cisco sought inter partes review on the basis of a 2000 reference, Egenera sought to swear behind the reference (under the first-to-invent rule, as the invention predates the AIA’s first-to-file system). Egenera relied on a document authored by inventor Max Smith, that Egenera asserts fully described the claimed invention. This document, however, pre-dates Schulter’s employment with Egenera. Egenera successfully petitioned to have Schulter removed as an inventor, and filed a declaration from Schulter stating that he was erroneously named. Cicso contended that Schulter should have been named as an inventor, and that by his removal the patent is invalid.

Judge Stearns agreed with Cisco that, should Schulter be determined to have contributed to the invention, Egenera could not petition to have him restored as an inventor under the doctrine of judicial estoppel, as such a claim would be inconsistent with Egenera’s assertion that he was incorrectly named. Judge Stearns determined, however, that while Schulter authored a pre-critical date document on a virtual LAN proxy that potentially read on a means-plus-function term in the claims, his authorship alone was not enough to determine, as a matter of law, that he conceived of the virtual LAN proxy or that the virtual LAN proxy was claimed via the means-plus-function limitation. Accordingly, he denied the cross motions for summary judgment on inventorship.

RICPI Communications LLC v. Simoco EMEA Ltd. (18-cv-12469).

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.

Palomar Technologies, Inc. v. MRSI Systems, LLC (18-cv-10236).

As a part of its defense to this patent infringement lawsuit, MSRI sought inter partes review in 2016. The patent emerged with most claims deemed valid. MSRI then challenged the validity of the patent over additional prior art references. MSRI sought to get around the estoppel provided by 35 USC 315(e)(2), which proscribes assertions of invalidity on grounds that were raised or could reasonably have been raised during the IPR, by providing declarations and search results from two outside search firms and asserting that these reasonable searches did not uncover the new references and thus the validity challenge could not reasonably have been raised. Magistrate Judge Bowler granted in part and denied in part MRSI’s motion to quash subpoenas issued by Palomar to the two search firms. She found that the searches were, at a minimum, subject to work-product protection, but that MSRI had waived such protection by affirmatively relying on the search results and affidavits in their opposition to Palomar’s motion for partial summary judgment. She determined that Palomar was entitled to discovery from the two firms, but that some of Palomar’s requests were overbroad and/or covered unrelated subject matter. Accordingly, while not quashing the subpoenas, she limited the subpoenas to specifics of the actual searches performed for MSRI.

SiOnyx, LLC et al.v. Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. et al. (15-cv-13488).

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.