The District of Massachusetts recently issued something of a legal unicorn;1 it granted a plaintiff’s motion to strike two of the defendant’s affirmative defenses. This uncommon result offers some insight into the importance of careful pleading.
The Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently denied a petitioner’s request under 28 USC § 1782 to take discovery related to patent inventorship in connection with an Opposition proceeding pending before the European Patent Office (EPO). The court, in exercising its discretion under the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Intel factors set forth in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 US 241, 264 (2004), denied the petitioner’s request for discovery because the EPO generally does not allow the type of discovery requested by the petitioner in an Opposition proceeding, thus the petitioner’s requested discovery would have no place in an EPO Opposition.
- This case illustrates the need for inventors to be familiar with patent laws, procedures, and proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.
- The District of Massachusetts will focus on Intel’s discretionary factors when making decisions about whether to allow discovery for use in foreign tribunals under 28 USC § 1782.
The District of Massachusetts recently grappled with the proper analytical standard when faced with a Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in a patent infringement case. Judge Burroughs held that the familiar Twombly/Iqbal framework applied.
We have written previously about Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951 (D. Mass.); the case recently went to trial on the parties’ surviving claims, and they are now immersed in post-trial briefing.
Tom Scholz and Barry Goudreau were once bandmates in BOSTON, and since Goudreau left the group in 1981, the two have occasionally litigated the trademark ramifications of his post-BOSTON career. The present dispute mostly arose from promotions tied to other musical acts and events that Goudreau was associated with.
Cue, Inc. sells high-end home audio equipment (e.g., table radios and speakers). In 2007, it applied to register the trademark CUE ACOUSTICS, and in late 2009 the USPTO allowed its application. Cue’s CUE ACOUSTICS mark was registered in August 2012, and later that year, its application for a separate mark—CUE—was allowed. Cue filed a Statement of Use for the CUE mark in November 2015.
CardiAQ Valve Techs., Inc. v. Neovasc Inc., No. 14-CV-12405-ADB, 2016 WL 1642573 (D. Mass. Apr. 25, 2016)
Neovasc began its business relationship with CardiAQ in June, 2009, by providing services and supplies for the development of CardiAQ’s TMVI heart valve device. Though the relationship lasted only 10 months, the parties exchanged hundreds of technical emails and had regular calls during that period. The parties met again in court when CardiAQ sued Neovasc in the District of Massachusetts before Judge Burroughs claiming, among other things, that Neovasc’s employees surreptitiously used CardiAQ’s confidential information to develop a competing valve device and to patent a related method.
In the summer of 2012, Jeremy Southgate applied with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to register a design mark for “Sound Spark Studios.” A little over a year-and-a-half later, Southgate formed Sound Spark Studios, LLC, and he registered it in Delaware. He characterized the entity as a “music and entertainment company.” The Sound Spark Studios design mark was registered on September 16, 2014.
In Scholz v. Goudreau, No. 13-CV-10951, 2015 WL 5554012 (D. Mass. Sept. 21, 2015) rock legends are before the District of Massachusetts grappling, in part, over a familiar band’s legacy.
After guitarist Barry Goudreau left the band BOSTON in 1981, he filed a suit against Thomas Scholz—one of the band’s founders—as well as BOSTON’s other members, in order to ascertain the parties’ rights and obligations going forward.
On August 28 and September 15, 2015, certain asserted claims of Exergen’s United States Patent No. 7,787,938 (the "'938 patent") were found invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 on two separate summary judgment motions. See Exergen Corp. v. Brooklands Inc. ("Brooklands"), No. 12-cv-12243-DPW (August 28, 2015) and Exergen Corp. v. Thermomedics, Inc. ("Thermomedics"), No. 13-cv-11243-DJC (September 15, 2015). The claims of the '938 patent at issue are directed to diagnostic methods for measuring body temperature based upon radiation and temperature measurements taken at the temporal artery at the side of the forehead. Readers, particularly with children, will recognize the Exergen thermometer as a popular tool for taking kids’ temperatures.
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