November 30, 2008
Triune Star sued Disney, LG Electronics, and others, for infringing 6,122,521, which claims an infrared cell phone camera. Triune conceded that defendants didn't have such a product, thus didn't literally infringe. Due to prosecution estoppel, Illinois district court Judge Mihm blew off the possibility of doctrine of equivalents. He then pitched the case as frivolous, and sanctioned Triune, granting defendants attorneys fees and costs.
The judge noted that a reasonable presuit investigation would have revealed the accused devices were non-infringing as a matter of law.
Rule 11 sanctions are rare. While patent defendants often feel they've been sued without good reason, there's typically not much they can do but eat the expense of slugging it out.
Posted by Patent Hawk at November 30, 2008 2:08 AM | Litigation
Can anyone say "Malpractice"?
Posted by: Noise above Law at November 30, 2008 8:03 AM