Mahmood v. Research In Motion

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Katherine Forrest

Mahmood's 2011 suit against Research In Motion (Mahmood I) alleged that through communications in 1995 and 1996, RIM co-opted his "Page Mail" invention, without listing him as co-inventor, when it sought the patent for its BlackBerry e-mail application. District court dismissed Mahmood's correction of inventorship claim as barred by laches. His present suit against RIM (Mahmood II) repeated his prior claims. However, unlike in Mahmood I, he argued his complaint focused on RIM's "family of patents and patent applications related to" the patent rather than on the patent itself. The court dismissed Mahmood II, finding the claims barred by res judicata. Both actions involved the same parties, and the claims in Mahmood I were adjudicated on the merits. RIM satisfied the third element of res judicata as the claims in Mahmood II were sufficiently similar to those in Mahmood I—both concerned the entire patent family as well as the same series of transactions. Discussing Allen v. McCurry and Monahan v. New York City Dep't of Corr., the court found that under the transactional test Mahmood I and Mahmood II were so related that they should have been litigated together.

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