Partial Settlement in Patent Infringement Case Leads to Dismissal

Apr 10, 2009

A federal judge has dismissed the claim of a sports equipment manufacturer after concluding that a partial settlement between the plaintiff and a rival manufacturer has rendered its patent infringement claim moot.
The legal controversy began when Warrior Sports, Inc., a lacrosse equipment manufacturer, filed a patent infringement claim on November 24, 2007 against STX, LLC, alleging that the defendant sold a model of lacrosse gloves that infringed on its valid patents. STX, LLC filed an answer denying the material allegations of the complaint and a counterclaim seeking a declaration of non-infringement and invalidity of the patent.
In the spring of 2008, a federal court granted Warrior’s motion for a preliminary injunction against STX, finding that it demonstrated “a strong likelihood of success on the merits” of the claim and that it “will suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.” Summit County Democratic Cent. & Executive Co. v. Blackwell, 388 F.3d 547, 550 (6th Cir. 2004); Connection Distrib. Co. v. Reno, 154 F.3d 281, 288 (6th Cir. 1998).
This may have contributed to the aforementioned partial settlement later that summer. As a consequence of the settlement, the Court directed the parties to show cause why the case should not be dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Plaintiff Warrior responded, agreeing that the Court no longer had jurisdiction over the case. STX responded by arguing that the Court has jurisdiction under the Declaratory Judgment Act by virtue of its counterclaim seeking a declaration that Warrior’s patents are invalid and unenforceable and do not apply to STX’s products.
After considering the parties submissions, the court concluded that there “is no justiciable controversy between the parties. The partial settlement has mooted the plaintiff’s infringement claim, and STX’s plan to market products months into the future is neither sufficiently immediate nor real to establish a ripe controversy and allow the Court to exercise jurisdiction over the case. Therefore, the Court will dismiss the case without prejudice.”
Warrior Sports, INC., v. STX, L.L.C.: E.D. Mich.; Case No. 07-14995, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13031; 1/30/09
Attorneys of Record: (for plaintiff) Amy E. Rinaldo, Homayune A. Ghaussi, Warner, Norcross, Southfield, MI; Douglas A. Dozeman, Warner, Norcross, (Grand Rapids), Grand Rapids, MI; Janet L. Ramsey, Warner, Norcross, Grand Rapids, MI (for defendant): James K. Archibald, STX LLC, Baltimore, MD; Peter M. Falkenstein, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, PC, Ann Arbor, MI.


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