Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

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Plaintiff-Appellant Digital Ally, Inc. appealed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant-Appellee Utility Associates, Inc. The two companies sold in-car video and surveillance systems. Utility owned U.S. Patent No. 6,381,556 (the ’556 patent) by purchasing the patent and other assets in January 2013 from a supplier of in-car mobile surveillance systems. Utility and its CEO, Robert McKeeman, believed that the ’556 patent was potentially valuable and covered existing systems already in commerce. Thereafter, Utility sent letters to potential customers (who were at that time customers of competitors), including Digital Ally, regarding the consequences of purchasing unlicensed and infringing systems. It urged customers to instead purchase systems from Utility because it now owned the ’556 patent. In October 2013, Digital Ally sought a declaratory judgment of non- infringement in Kansas federal district court, but the suit was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Utility. In May 2013, Digital Ally filed a petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to determine the validity of all claims on the ’556 patent. The PTAB instituted a review of Claims 1– 7 and 9–25 and determined that Claims 1–7, 9, 10, and 12–25 were unpatentable, and that Claim 11 was not shown to be unpatentable. Claim 8 was not reviewed. The Federal Circuit affirmed this decision. On June 4, 2014, Digital Ally filed this suit with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, containing nine counts against Utility, including monopolization, false advertising, tortious interference, bad faith assertion of patent infringement, defamation and product disparagement, and trade secret misappropriation. The district court granted Utility’s motion for summary judgment on all nine counts and denied Digital Ally’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Tenth Circuit, in affirming the district court's judgment, concluded Digital Ally failed to sufficiently argue the issues it sought to appeal, "[t]he failure to do so amounts to a concession as to the proof." View "Digital Ally v. Utility Associates" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-Appellant Digital Ally, Inc. appealed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant-Appellee Utility Associates, Inc. The two companies sold in-car video and surveillance systems. Utility owned U.S. Patent No. 6,381,556 (the ’556 patent) by purchasing the patent and other assets in January 2013 from a supplier of in-car mobile surveillance systems. Utility and its CEO, Robert McKeeman, believed that the ’556 patent was potentially valuable and covered existing systems already in commerce. Thereafter, Utility sent letters to potential customers (who were at that time customers of competitors), including Digital Ally, regarding the consequences of purchasing unlicensed and infringing systems. It urged customers to instead purchase systems from Utility because it now owned the ’556 patent. In October 2013, Digital Ally sought a declaratory judgment of non- infringement in Kansas federal district court, but the suit was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Utility. In May 2013, Digital Ally filed a petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to determine the validity of all claims on the ’556 patent. The PTAB instituted a review of Claims 1– 7 and 9–25 and determined that Claims 1–7, 9, 10, and 12–25 were unpatentable, and that Claim 11 was not shown to be unpatentable. Claim 8 was not reviewed. The Federal Circuit affirmed this decision. On June 4, 2014, Digital Ally filed this suit with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, containing nine counts against Utility, including monopolization, false advertising, tortious interference, bad faith assertion of patent infringement, defamation and product disparagement, and trade secret misappropriation. The district court granted Utility’s motion for summary judgment on all nine counts and denied Digital Ally’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Tenth Circuit, in affirming the district court's judgment, concluded Digital Ally failed to sufficiently argue the issues it sought to appeal, "[t]he failure to do so amounts to a concession as to the proof." View "Digital Ally v. Utility Associates" on Justia Law