Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Alleged to Infringe Web Content Patent

Plaintiff CRFD Research sues Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, etc. in the Dist. of Delaware on Friday, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,191,233 (“System for Automated, Mid-Session, User-Directed, Device-to-Device Session Transfer System”) filed Sept. 7, 2001, and issued in 2007. According to the complaints, “[t]he inventions of the ’233 Patent are applicable to, among other things, a transfer of an on-going software session from one device to another device.” Regarding Hulu, Plaintiff purports that the following actions are indicative of infringement: “a user can ‘[m]igrate [his or her] viewing experience seamlessly across devices: start watching on [his or her] phone, [and] continue watching on [his or her] TV.’”

With regard to Amazon, the complaint asserts additional patent no. 7,574,486 (“Web Page Content Translator”) filed Nov. 8, 2000, and issued in 2009. CRFD accuses the following Amazon products of infringement: Defendants’ streaming media services include, without  limitation, Amazon Instant Video, Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Games, and Amazon GameCircle, which conduct a session with a user’s Amazon-enabled device, including Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, computers, televisions, smartphones, game consoles, and Blu-ray players, among other devices, and transfer content to a user’s additional Amazon-enabled devices partly through software components, including but not limited to Amazon’s Whispersync service.
Defendants purport that when a user’s Amazon-enabled devices are networked, the media content on one Amazon-enabled device can be accessed by all Amazon-enabled devices. For example, with Amazon Instant Video, “Whispersync for Videos keeps track of [the user’s] last location in a video so [the user] can resume watching across [the user’s] Kindle Fire, PC, Mac, or one of over 300 compatible TVs, Blu-ray players, or devices.” Complaint ¶ 14.
CRFD is represented by Farnan LLP and Mishcon De Reya New York LLP.

Cornering the QR Market

Marshall Feature Recognition claims infringement by QR code in the E.D. of Texas against Toni&Guy USA, Anheuser-Busch, CVS Caremark, Target, Wm. Wrigley, Jr. Corp., and HJ Heinz Company. The patent at issue is U.S. Patent No. 6,886,750 (“Method and apparatus for accessing electronic data via a familiar printed medium”) filed Jan. 2001, and issued May 2005. Marshall Feature Recognition alleges that the infringing act is: “requir[ing] and/or direct[ing] users to access and/or use Quick Response Codes (“QR Codes”) printed on Defendant’s commercial advertisements, in a manner claimed in the ’750 patent. Defendant infringes the ‘750 patent by providing printed commercial documents that have at least one machine recognizable feature i.e. a QR Code.” Complaint ¶ 11.
I was just going to list a few claims, but it really is a patent to behold and appreciate in full (especially the claims re the information superhighway, claim 41–56). See below for all claims. But first, a few paragraphs from the complaint re the accused method of infringement. Marshall Feature Recognition is represented by Austin Hansley. Continue reading “Cornering the QR Market”

MouthMan v. Dragon Jammin' Jaws

From the “of interest” files: Mouth Man, LLC sues American Marketing Enters., Inc. re U.S. Patent No. 8,181,274, “novelty shirt” filed in 2008 and issued in 2012. The figures alone were worth a Google Patent look-up. The MouthMan figures show a hoodie with long sleeves and an animal (or skeleton) on the front of the shirt, such as a frog or snake. While worn, the sleeves can be crossed over the front design to reveal complementary designs with upper and lower mouth portions, so that the wearer can simulate the opening of the mouth. Mouth Man alleges that defendant sells infringing clothing articles including, Dragon (Shark, Crocodile, T-Rex, and Bear) Jammin’ Jaws (seen here at Kohl’s online). No. 3:14-CV-210 (N.D.N.Y.). 

Khet (Innovention Toys) v. Laser Battle (MGA) — apparently exceptional game; exceptional case

Patent litigators are very interested in 35 U.S.C. § 285 Exceptional Cases. A judicial finding of an exceptional case allows a party to recover attorneys’ fees. This week, a magistrate judge recommended that Innovention Toys be awarded $1,804,037 in attorneys’ fees and $219,552 in costs against MGA for willful infringement of the game Khet 2.0. In 2012, a Louisiana federal jury awarded $1.6 million in damages.
According to the Federal Circuit, “[a]n award of attorneys fees is permissible ‘when there has been some material inappropriate conduct related to the matter in litigation, such as willful infringement, fraud or inequitable conduct in procuring the patent, misconduct during litigation, vexatious or unjustified litigation, conduct that violates Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, or like infractions.’ ” iLOR, LLC v. Google Inc., 631 F.3d 1372, 1376–77 (Fed. Cir. 2011).
The court found that Innovention Toys proved with clear and convincing evidence that MGA’s infringement was willful and deferred to its magistrate to determine the amount of attorneys’ fees and costs due Innovention Toys.
Khet 2.0, a light-reflecting board game, was invented by a former Tulane professor, Dr. Michael Larson, and Luke Hooper and Del Segura, two of Larson’s former students, in 2003–2004. After delays due to Katrina, Innovention started selling the game in October 2005, garnering wide industry acclaim.
On December 1, 2005, an MGA (maker of popular Bratz dolls) employee purchased two Innovention Toys games and sent them to MGA’s headquarters. Employee emails were exchanged regarding the game’s box that was marked “patent pending” and asking which part of the game was patented. During trial, no reply email surfaced—however, an MGA employee said that obviously MGA decided to go ahead and proceed with its similar game, Laser Battle. In the fall of 2006, MGA began distributing Laser Battle through Walmart and Toys R Us. Innovention Toys instituted this lawsuit in October 2007. The patent at issue is: Light-reflecting board game, U.S. Patent No. 7,264,242.
Case: Innovention Toys, LLC v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., No. 2-07-cv-06510 (LAED).