Loftex USA v. Trident Ltd.

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Intellectual Property

New York Law Journal

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Judge Paul Engelmayer

Loftex makes high-quality towels. By reason of assignment it owns the '308 Patent entitled "Method of Producing a Low Twist Towel." It's 2011 lawsuit alleged patent infringement by Trident Ltd. Based on Trident's corporate disclosure statement that Indian public corporation Trident Group Limited (TGL) owns 10 percent or more of Trident's stock, Loftex sought to add TGL as a defendant. Loftex argued TGL was liable for the '308 Patent's infringement because TGL allegedly exercised control over the factories responsible for making the infringing towels. TGL allegedly was also responsible for importing and selling those towels in the United States. The court granted Loftex's motion to add TGL as a defendant. Loftex's direct infringement claim—that TGL controlled the factories making the infringing towels, and was involved in those towels' importation—justified permitting TGL to be added as a defendant. The court found Loftex's proposed First Amended Complaint satisfied the five-element standard governing direct infringement claims as set forth by In re Bill of Lading Transmission and Processing Sys. Patent Litig. Further, no undue prejudice to defendants would result form TGL's addition as a defendant.

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