Articles Posted in 2012

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On November 30, Washington Research Foundation filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ten defendants, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and HP. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the lawsuit alleges that the technology companies infringe on patents that the plaintiff has the exclusive licensed to use and enforce.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff, Washington Research Foundation, is a nonprofit organization in Washington State that is charged with the review of technology disclosures by the University of Washington and other Washington research institutions. The Foundation is also responsible for seeking and enforcing patents, copyrights, and other applicable legal protections for technology developments by the institutions.

The complaint alleges that University of Washington researcher Edwin A. Suominen developed 14 inventions used in radio frequency technology and Bluetooth® communication systems. Patents for these inventions were issued to Suominen, but the University of Washington owns all right, title, and interest in the patents pursuant to an assignment agreement between the University and Suominen. In turn, the Washington Research Foundation (named plaintiff in this case) owns an exclusive license to these patents.


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On Thursday, November 29, Google was named as the defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiff is a Delaware company called CreateAds LLC, which, according to its website, is a tool that allows people to create print ads for any U.K. newspaper or magazine. The company alleges in its complaint that Google’s “Google Sites” product infringes on the patented software that powers the plaintiffs.

The patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 5,535,320, is entitled “Method of Generating a Visual Design” and was issued in 1996 to its inventors, Clive H. Gay and Henri W. Frencken. According to the complaint, Clive Gay’s company CreateAds is built upon the software described in the patent. The complaint alleges that Google Sites’ “template-based visual design generation products and services” infringe on the plaintiff’s patent.

Complaint in CreateAds LLC v. Google Inc.


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Last Thursday, November 29, a foreign corporation called Arendi filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Delaware. Arendi, organized under the laws of Luxembourg, alleges in its complaint that nearly all of Apple’s products infringe on three patents owned by the plaintiff:

  • U.S. Patent No. 7,917,843: “Method, system and computer readable medium for addressing handling from a computer program”
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,496,854: “Method, system and computer readable medium for addressing handling from a computer program”

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Below are a couple of interesting opinions our Daily Summary writers have picked out for you this week.

Newton v. LePage, US 1st Cir. (11/28/12)
Civil Rights, Constitutional Law


Posted in: Legal Research

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Massachusetts company Lexington Luminance LLC (“Lexington”) filed a lawsuit against Google, Inc. yesterday, November 29, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. It its complaint, Lexington alleges that Google’s Nexus 7 and other similar products infringe on a patent the company owns.

According to the complaint, the patent at issue, U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851, is entitled “Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device and Method for Manufacturing Same” and was issued to Lexington in 2005.

A Massachusetts business entity search reveals that the registered agent of Lexington is Tien Yang Wang, the inventor of the patent at issue. Organized in July 2012, the business has stated as its purpose “Technology Research and Development.”


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Yesterday, November 29, Brent Matthew Scott filed a class action lawsuit against Google, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The lawsuit alleges that through its Gmail product, Google violated state laws against wiretapping.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Google intercepts the plaintiff’s emails (and those of the entire class of plaintiffs) before they reach the intended recipients, in violation of the Florida Wiretap Act, codified at Florida Statute § 934.03.

Most of the lawsuits against Google that are brought under state and federal wiretapping laws have alleged that Gmail’s automatic scanning of emails for personalized ad placement violates state and federal law. However, the present lawsuit does not elaborate on the nature of Google’s alleged violations other than to say that the provider “intercepts” the emails.


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California Watch, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting, has a post this week about the relative costs and revenue of PACER. We’ve talked about the problems with PACER fees and the impediments to access before, and it is certainly a familiar topic to those of us in the free law community, but it hasn’t gotten much attention outside of that.

It seems the California Watch found this information by doing some digging on PACER fees after it was denied a limited exemption based on its status as a nonprofit organization. Academics and nonprofits are typically awarded a waiver of fees “to promote public access to information.” CIR was originally granted an exemption, but then it was revoked, allegedly on the grounds that CIR is a media organization. According to the post, CIR is appealing the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.


Posted in: Legal Research

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Apple acquired partial European trademark rights to the word “lightning” from motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson’s intellectual property unit, H-D Michigan, LLC, according to public filings with the European Union’s trademark and design unit (see below), and a blog post by Patently Apple.

Apple uses the term Lightning to describe its proprietary connection interface for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and iTouch devices that were introduced starting in September 2012.

The trademark update, however, currently applies only in the EU, although it seems likely that Apple and H-D also negotiated for the transfer of certain U.S. trademark rights to the word mark.

The H-D unit filed a trademark registration on January 1, 1995, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “motorcycles and structural parts therefore,” and was awarded trademark registration by the USPTO for the word mark nearly 2.5 years later on June 3, 1997.


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Happy Thanksgiving from the Justia team — we are thankful for all our readers and free law friends!

The legal establishment of Thanksgiving began with a resolution from the U.S. Congress. The resolution put forth a request that President George Washington recommend a day of thanksgiving, which he did, via proclamation, by declaring Thursday, November 26th, 1789, a day of “Publick” thanksgiving.  You can find a copy of this proclamation, along with other historical legal documents and history relating to the holiday below.


Posted in: Laws, Legal News
Tagged: thanksgiving

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Samsung’s lawyers want a copy of Apple’s patent licensing agreement with HTC, according to emails filed in federal court on Friday (highlighted below).

After a federal jury returned a $1.05 billion verdict for Apple in August — just one of the two companies’ hotly contested global patent disputes — U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh scheduled a December 6 hearing date on Apple’s request for an injunction prohibiting the sale of reportedly infringing Samsung products.

Samsung, however, is trying to lessen the severity of any injunctive relief sought by Apple, since the Cupertino company and competing mobile device marker HTC just settled their own patent litigation.