Whirlpool files lawsuit in Eastern Texas alleging infringement of 10 million series patent

U.S. Patent No. 10,000,000 just issued June 19, 2018, and within a matter of days a patent in the 10 million series was already being enforced. On July 3, 2018, the day the patent issued, Whirlpool Corporation filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Despite those who claim that only patent trolls file lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas, it is Whirlpool Corporation that has brought a patent infringement lawsuit seeking to enforce U.S. Patent No. 10,010,820, which relates to a water filtration system, against defendant, Space Flex International, LLC. There are some who have always believed that operating companies simply never sue in the Eastern District of Texas, but those widely held beliefs are simply incorrect. Indeed, those familiar with Whirlpool’s enforcement strategy know well that the company regularly utilizes the Eastern District of Texas.

In this case, Whirlpool also alleges that the defendant, Space Flex International, a Rancho Cucamonga, CA corporation that has consented to jurisdiction and venue in the Eastern Distirct of Texas, is infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 7,00,894, 8,591,736, and 9,937,451. The complaint filed explains that both the ‘894 and ‘763 patents have withstood numerous validity and enforceability challenges. The ‘451 patent, as well as the ‘820 patent, as you would expect from their relatively young age, have not been challenged yet and will see their first action on behalf of Whirlpool in this case.

Whirlpool is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Space Flex from engaging in infringing activities, a judgment that infringement has been willful, and a finding that the case is exceptional. Whirlpool is also seeking attorneys’ fees, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest in the event they prevail. A jury trial has been demanded.

Judge finds Allergan patents invalid in Eastern District of Texas and opines on sovereign immunity issue

Recently, in a 135-page opinion, Judge William C. Bryson (left), sitting by designation as a trial judge for the United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, found that Allergan’s RESTASIS patents were infringed by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, but that Teva had demonstrated invalidity of those RESTASIS patents by clear and convincing evidence.

“We are disappointed by the Federal District Court’s decision on the RESTASIS® patents. We are carefully reviewing the decision and are considering all options,” said Robert D. Bailey, Chief Legal Officer for Allergan. “Allergan remains committed to vigorously defending the intellectual property of our products, which allows us to continue to invest in developing and bringing forward new medicines for millions of patients.”

The patents include United States Patent Nos. 8,629,111; 8,648,048; 8,685,930 and 9,248,191. These patents, along with United States Patent Nos. 8,633,162 and 8,642,556, are listed in the Orange Book for RESTASIS® and expire on August 27, 2024.