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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday Miscellany

Today I get rid of a bunch of miscellaneous news.

First, now that TGIP resulted in a massive $156M verdict in Beaumont, it's time to focus on the next patent trials in the Eastern District. The very next one will be in Marshall, with Judge Folsom. Yesterday, a jury was selected in Cybergym Research, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness. I featured Cybergym here, in case number 21. It is a shell entity controlled by Bay Area patent attorney Paul Hickman. All of the defendants were dismissed from the case except for ICON. Cybergym is being represented by Jack Russo of Russo & Hale (Palo Alto, CA) and Carl Roth and fellow blogger Michael Smith of the Roth law firm. ICON's lead attorney is Larry Laycock of Workman Nydegger & Seeley of Salt Lake City, with local counsel Germer Gertz of Beaumont. Following the jury trial will be a bench trial on inequitable conduct.

Also in October, Visto v. Microsoft will go to trial in Marshall with Judge Folsom. Visto, a California company with offices in Seattle, and Microsoft, a Seattle company with offices in California, are of course battling it out in Texas. Visto receives backing from Altitude Capital Partners, a hedge fund-like entity investing in IP licensing and litigation. It was discussed in a recent article as being a patent troll itself. I don't know enough to opine on that. The interesting battle being set up in Visto is Sam Baxter of McKool Smith (for Visto) vs. David Healey and Matt Powers of Weil Gotshal (for Microsoft). Should be some good lawyerin'. Visto v. Microsoft will follow Cybergym in Marshall.

After that, I have the following cases going to trial in the first full week of November:

an Acacia case with Judge Clark in Beaumont (Computer Acceleration Corp. v. Microsoft, with the same attorney battle: Sam Baxter -- and Judge Robert Parker -- v. David Healey);

a Rembrandt case with Judge Ward in Marshall (Rembrandt Vision Technologies v. Bausch & Lomb & CIBA Vision, with Otis Carroll, Judge Parker and Fish & Richardson for Rembrandt, Eric Albritton and Vinson & Elkins for B&L, and a whole slew of attorneys for CIBA seemingly led by Banner & Witcoff and Mike Jones)

and Mobile Micromedia (a case I featured 8/27) with Judge Folsom inTexarkana.

As far as I know, Judge Davis doesn't have any patent trials in the next two months, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Other news:

On August 30, Judge Patel of the Northern District of California sanctioned Acacia for failing to perform an adequate prefiling investigation. The case, Micromesh Technology Corp. v. American Recreation Products, was voluntarily dismissed by Acacia. Judge Patel granted about $128K in attorneys fees because of "Acacia's frivolous infringement investigation. Public literature, visual demonstrations and existing materials make clear that Acacia should have been aware that the [accused product] spacer mesh did not infringe the '878 patent." Venable represented Acacia. ARP was represented by Senniger Powers of St. Louis with local counsel Farella Braun.

Acacia has also been busy with numerous filings over the last week in East Texas. I'll have more on those tomorrow or Friday when I do the September numbers.

Finally, here's one on Niro Scavone. Representing MuniAuction, Niro Scavone sued Thomson in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The patent related to a process for conducting municipal bond auctions over electronic networks. Niro Scavone was successful, securing a permanent injunction. Last Friday, that permanent injunction was stayed by the Federal Circuit in light of the recent "no joint infringement" case, BMC Resources v. Paymentech. Covington & Burling and Wilmer Hale for defendants below (not sure about appeal - at least Covington).

Thanks to readers for many of the above tidbits. And for suggesting I change the layout/colors. More changes to come.


Anonymous said...

Is there any service that track all Troll and provide information of all pending and past cases against given troll?