Worldwide Home Products v. Time

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

New York Law Journal

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District Judge Laura Swain

Worldwide's Clutterfree Hanger embodies the '300 patent. A patent for its '351 application'—sought in July 2008—was to be issued in May 2011. Hanson was a buyer for Bed Bath and Beyond (BB&B), to whom Worldwide provided samples of its Clutterfree Hanger and information of its pending '351 application. BB&B's post June 1, 2009, sale of Real Simple brand Slimline Hangers bought from Cohesion Products allegedly fell within the '351 application. Time owns trademark right in the Real Simple brand. Discussing National Presto Indus. v. West Bend, the court dismissed Worldwide's infringement inducement claim against Hanson. Under National Presto, an inducement of infringement claim under 35 USC §271(b) cannot be grounded on acts occurring before a patent's issuance. The court also dismissed Worldwide's claim that Time induced Cohesion's infringement of the '300 patent by failing to cease its licensing agreement after discovering Cohesion sold a Real Simple product "within the scope of the '351 Application and the [later] '300 Patent." Citing Warner-Lambert v. Apotex and Black & Decker (US) v. Catalina Lighting, the court concluded that Worldwide's complaint failed to plead facts showing Time's culpable state of mind.

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