September 1, 2010

Fit To Be Tied

Raymond E. Stauffer, esquire, hankers to look dapper, in idiosyncratic fashion, preferring bow ties to the normal skinny bib known as a necktie. A man with taste such as Stauffer's may sojourn to a classy clothier such as Brooks Brothers. But in his shopping excursion, Stauffer was bemused to find that bow ties he had purchased were marked, with numbers of patents expired over 50 years ago (1955). Umbrage drove Stauffer to the courthouse, where he sallied forth with "a qui tam action under 35 U.S.C. § 292, alleging that Brooks Brothers had falsely marked its bow ties."

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 8:10 PM | Standing | Comments (4)

December 29, 2009


William Armstrong and Joe Lin got a patent, 5,645,515, for a particular type of stilt used in construction, requiring a "resiliently lined yoke." Each formed a company for selling stilts: Armstrong created Southland Supply, while Lin sprouted Forest Group. "Southland sold stilts to Bon Tool, a tool reseller. Bon Tool later stopped purchasing from Southland and started purchasing stilts from a foreign supplier, Shanghai Honest Tool Co., Ltd. (Honest Tool), which manufactured identical replicas of Southland's stilts without a license from Forest." Forest sued Bon Ton for infringement. "Bon Tool counterclaimed alleging false marking pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 292, a Lanham Act violation pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125, and seeking a declaratory judgment that the '515 patent was invalid.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 6:46 PM | False Marking | Comments (1)

June 8, 2009

False Marking

Coffee drinker Matthew Pequignot sued Solo Cup for false marking, after noticing on coffee cup lids patent marks for long-expired patents. He then went after Gillette and Proctor & Gamble. Pequignot sued qui tam, on behalf of the government. In March, D.C. district court judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that copasetic. Damages of up to $500 per violation are possible. For mass-produced items, the tab could run to $ billions.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:00 PM | False Marking | Comments (3)

May 6, 2005

Patent Marking Fraud - No Biggie

Invitrogen appealed a district court ruling that it had falsely marked some of its products with patents notifications, arising from a case where Clonetech Laboratories alleged false marking against Invitrogen under 35 U.S.C. §292. (CAFC ruling 03-1464)

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:02 AM | False Marking