By Randy Hibshman
| February 16, 2012
On February 9, 2012, Oakley, Inc., concluded a successful suit to enforce eyeglass utility and design patents in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (Oakley v. Talitor Far East Co. Ltd et al., case no. 3:2011-cv-01305).  The complaint, filed in June of 2011, alleged infringement of Oakley’s design patent, U.S. Patent No. D523,461 (“ the D461 patent”), and utility patent, U.S Patent No. 5,387,949 (“the ‘949 patent”), by eleven named defendants.

The D461 patent claims the ornamental design for an eyeglass component, as shown below.



At the close of litigation, eight defendants settled by agreeing to permanent injunctions against continued infringement.  Further, the court entered final judgment against one defendant, Nutech Trading USA, Inc., ordering a permanent injunction against continued infringement, payment of total profits from sales of infringing eyewear, and payment of the plaintiff’s costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.  Order, 3:2011-cv-01305, January 31, 2012.

Oakley continues to pursue enforcement of the D461 patent and the ‘949 patent in another suit, Oakley v. Predator Outdoor Products et al. (case no. 8:2011-cv-00456), currently pending before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  Parties to this ongoing suit filed claim construction briefs on February 6, 2012, following a series of settlement conferences.

Previously, litigation in the Central District of California case was voluntarily stayed to conclude the declaratory judgment action, Hunter’s Specialties et al. v. Oakley (case no. 1:2011-cv-00034), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.  Another declaratory judgment action, Predator Outdoor Products v. Oakley (case no. 5:2011-cv-01975), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, which we previously reported, was voluntarily dismissed to pursue the combined declaratory judgment action with Hunter’s Specialties in Iowa.  Chief Judge Linda Reade, of the Northern District of Iowa, dismissed the joint declaratory judgment action “in deference to the parallel action in the United States District Court for the Central District of California,” reasoning that the declaratory judgment action was merely “forum shopping in the form of [an] anticipatory, declaratory judgment suit[].”  Order, p. 14-15, case no. 1:2011-cv-00034, August 2, 2011.

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