Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 4:12 PM

Recent Patent Cases Filed in Atlanta Division

Patent cases have been filed in fairly close succession to one another in the Atlanta Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  Each complaint contains allegations of willful patent infringement.

UPS Sued Over Patent Relating to Method for Providing Notification of Express Mail Delivery

On September 14, 2012, Lewisville, Texas-based Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, Inc. ("MTEL") sued Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, Inc. ("UPS") for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,786,748 ("the '748 Patent"), which issued in July 1998.

MTEL states that the '748 Patent "present[s] novel methods for, inter alia, giving prompt notifications to concerned parties of the actual delivery of express mailings."  The '748 Patent ends in 3 claims, the sole independent claim calling for a method comprising several steps, one of which recites the relaying of certain numbers to a "paging operations center."

Its complaint includes allegations that, "on information and belief, UPS offers package tracking services that provide information on the status of a shipment via Short Message Service (SMS)," and that "[a] user may track a package by entering an identification number and a mobile telephone number to a telephone capable of receiving SMS messages."

MTEL's complaint seeks injunctive and monetary relief, enhanced damages due to alleged willful infringement, and attorneys fees.

The case is Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-03222-AT, filed 09/14/12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg.

Graco Children's Products Asserts 4 Patents Directed to Side-to-Side Motion Infant Swing

On September 17, 2012, Graco Children's Products, Inc. ("Graco") filed an infringement action against its competitor Kids II, Inc. ("Kids II"), alleging that Kid's II's InGenuity "child sway product" (such as the Cozy CooSway Seat) infringes Graco's U.S. Patents Nos. 7,563,170; 7,883,426; 8,029,377; and 8,187,111 (collectively "the Graco Patents").

Graco alleges that it, "through its research and development staff, invented a novel infant soothing swing that mimics the natural swaying motion of a parent or other caregiver while cradling an infant."  The complaint asks not only for monetary and injunctive relief, but also for trebling of damages due to alleged willful infringement and for attorneys fees due to this being an alleged "exceptional case."  Graco alleges that, "[o]n information and belief, certain persons who were members of the Graco research and development staff have been hired by Kids II for the purpose of developing children's products to be offered by Kids II," and that those hired persons "have knowledge of Graco's infant soothing swing technology or the Graco Patents or both."

The case is Graco Children's Products Inc. v. Kids II, Inc., No. 1:12-cv-03246-SCJ, filed 09/17/12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones.

Subsidiaries of Mueller Water Products Assert 3 Patents Directed to Underground Water Sampling and Purging Apparatus

On September 21, 2012, two subsidiaries of Mueller Water Products, Inc., namely Mueller International, LLC and Mueller Co. LLC (collectively "Mueller") filed an infringement action against Canada-based Singer Valve Inc. and Charlotte, NC-based Singer Valve, LLC (collectively "Singer"), alleging that Singer's "Total Automatic Purging System (TAPS) product" infringes Mueller's U.S. Patents Nos. 6,035,704; 6,358,408; and 6,635,172.

Mueller describes each of the asserted patents as generally relating to "water quality maintenance devices and more particularly to a water sampling and purging apparatus for automatically maintaining water quality in a low flow area of an underground water distribution system."  Similarly, Mueller describes Singer's TAPS product as "a system for automatic flushing or purging subterranean pressurized water distribution systems to enhance water quality."

Mueller seeks monetary and injunctive relief, enhanced damages due to alleged willful infringement, and attorneys fees due to an alleged "exceptional case."

The case is Mueller Int'l, LLC and Mueller Co., LLC v. Singer Valve Inc. and Singer Valve, LLC, No. 1:12-cv-03307-RLV, filed 09/21/12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr.

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