Boston Cancer Policy Institute, Inc. v. Carmige (18-cv-11226).

Boston Cancer Policy Institute (BCPI) sued Indonesian company Carmige and its owner, Karnadi (first name unknown), accusing them of posting a website, https://carmige.com/boston-cancer-policy-institute.html, without BCPI’s consent. Jurisdiction is based on the site being hosted by Hostinger International Limited, which has an operation site within the United States. The Carmige site is said to falsely describe the activities of BCPI and implying that the organization is involved in nutritional and exercise work as well as the actual practice of medicine. In actuality, BCPI conducts research of new social sciences and public policy analysis as well as promotion of translational science and exchange of ideas in the field of cancer medicine. BCPI’s complaint was filed by the corporation itself, which may be a problem – corporations are generally required to have an attorney and cannot represent themselves in court.

ASM Assembly Systems Weymouth Ltd. et al. v. QTS Engineering, Inc. (18-cv-11214).

ASM Assembly Systems filed a second patent infringement lawsuit against Medway’s QTS Engineering, accusing QTS of infringing U.S. Patents 8,490,545, 8,904, 929 and 9,632,650 through the sale of QTS’ Apshen Stencil Foil Adapter System frames used for .  QTS is said to advertise these frames as being designed for use with the DEK® VectorGuard® High Tension stencil frame, an ASM product.  This is the second such suit in Massachusetts involving the same patents and accused product.  After a claim construction ruling issued in the earlier case, ASM sought to amend the complaint to substitute the named plaintiffs from ASM Assembly Systems Switzerland GmbH and ASM Vectorguard Limited to ASM Assembly Systems Weymouth Ltd. and ASM Assembly Systems LLC, the two named plaintiffs in the instant case, asserting that this was necessary as a result of a restructuring of the companies.  On May 15, 2018,QTS opposed, arguing that the amendment would be futile because at the time of filing of the first complaint, ASM Weymouth already had been assigned all rights and was the only party with standing to sue on the patents.  That motion remains pending.

Lackey v. South Shore Roofing, Inc. (18-cv-11198).

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.

HomeVestors of America, Inc. v. Mass Property Solutions, LLC (18-cv-11206) and The Mandrell Company, LLC (18-cv-11209).

HomeVestors is a Texas company that sells franchises to investors who flip properties.  They advertise using the slogan “WE BUY UGLY HOUSES,” and have numerous registered trademarks that utilize the phrase “UGLY HOUSES” or the like.  HomeVestors has filed a large number of trademark suits across the country, and on Friday filed a pair of suits against Massachusetts-based businesses that buy, renovate and resell distressed homes, namely Mass Property Solutions and The Mandrell Company.  The accusations are that these companies use the phrase “We Buy Ugly Houses” or confusingly similar marks on their websites and social media posts in metatags or source code to direct traffic to their websites, all without a license.  It appears that HomeVestors intends to deny non-franchisees the ability to use the words “ugly houses” in any fashion, including as a descriptive term for a non-attractive property; the uses complained of include “Do you buy only ‘ugly houses’?” in a FAQ section or “All Houses, Short Sales, Ugly Houses & All Cash” in source code.  It will be interesting to see how far HomeVestors can push the scope of their trademarks, should any of these cases move forward.  In the meanwhile, HomeVestors seeks actual and treble damages, injunctive relief, and a finding that the cases are exceptional and warrant an award of attorneys’ fees.

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

Judge Stearns denied Egenera’s motion to strike Cisco Systems’ invalidity expert report.  Cisco’s expert had opined on a prior art Catalyst System found at UNC, of which the expert had personal knowledge; Egenera sought to have his opinion striken because Cisco had not disclosed the expert as a fact witness and had not disclosed the UNC system in its contentions.  Judge Stearns found that the UNC system was merely an exemplar of the Cisco Catalyst System, which had properly been disclosed.  He also noted that Egeneral still has the opportunity to depose the expert, meaning that even if he was not properly identified as a fact witness, there was no prejudice to Egenera.

Wild v. Wrightson Services, Inc. et al. (18-cv-11186).

Biologist Alexander Wild, who is the Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas at Austin, takes surprisingly beautiful photographs of insects.  His works, some of which can be seen on his website, have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, and elsewhere.  Mr. Wild discovered that one of his photos, depicting a German cockroach, was being used on a website run by Wrightson Services, a pest control service in Grafton Massachusetts that operates under the name Bug Bully Pest Control.  Wild claims to have contacted Bug Bully on several occasions about its use of the photo, but the photo was not removed, triggering the suit.  Wild claims direct, contributory and vicarious copyright infringement.  The case is assigned to Magistrate Judge Hennessy in the Worcester division.

TheBrain Technologies LP v. OriginLab Corporation (18-cv-11169).

In a case before Judge Casper, TheBrain Technologies accuses OriginLab of willful infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,166,736.  The patent, which issued on December 26, 2000, claims a graphical user interface that allows for multiple windows and increased ease in accessing multiple windows on a single display (which was apparently not so common when the priority application was filed in 1997).  OriginLab sells software applications for scientific graphing and data analysis that are said to read on claims 1-4 of the ‘736 patent, and are accused of direct, contributory, and induced infringement.  The allegations of willfulness are based on correspondence to OriginLab in October 2015 laying out which products infringed and providing claim charts in support.  While the complaint seeks injunctive relief, the patent will expire on August 21, 2018 , leaving virtually no likelihood that the court will reach a decision on an injunction prior to expiration.