Federal Judge Rules that Escort, Inc. and Beltronics USA, Inc. Infringe GPS Radar Detector Patent
Released on: February 02, 2012, 9:04 am
Park, Vaughan, Fleming and Dowler LLP
On December 14, 2011, the Chief U.S. District Judge, District
of Idaho, ruled that Escort, Inc. (www.escortradar.com) infringed U.S.
Patent No. RE39,038. Specifically, the Court ruled that Escort’s
Passport 9500i, Passport 9500ix, and Passport iQ radar detectors,
together with Beltronics USA’s (www.beltronics.com) GX65 radar
detectors, infringe claims 18, 45, 47, and 48 of U.S. Patent No.
RE39,038 (“the ‘038 patent”). The Court also granted partial summary
judgment of infringement with respect to each of those products
regarding ‘038 patent claims 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 25, 26, 27, and 28, and
U.S. Patent No. RE40,653 (“the ‘653 patent”) claims 22 and 26. A
redacted version of the Court’s 58 page order was unsealed earlier
today. A copy of the 58 page order can be obtained at: https://www.yousendit.com/download/T2dkK2VxbEo0b0JwdmNUQw
The ‘038 and the ‘653 patents are owned by Hoyt Fleming, an Idaho inventor of 36
U.S. patents. In early 2008, Escort declined to purchase the ‘038 patent.
Approximately one year later, on March 10, 2009, Mr. Fleming filed a complaint (Case
Number 1:09-cv-00105-BLW, United States District Court District of Idaho) alleging
that Escort and Beltronics USA infringed the ‘038 and the ‘653 patents.
Escort alleged that certain claims of the patents were invalid because Steven Orr,
working for Escort, invented the same device earlier in time than Fleming. However,
on December 14, 2011, the Court denied Escort’s motion to invalidate claims of the
Fleming patents based upon Steven Orr’s alleged work for Escort. The Court also
denied Escort’s motions to strike Fleming’s expert reports and strike Fleming’s
contention that Escort willfully infringes Fleming’s patents.
In contrast to denying Escort’s motions, the Court granted the overwhelming majority
of Mr. Fleming’s motions for judgment on Escort’s defenses, including: (1) laches;
(2) equitable estoppel; (3) prosecution history estoppel for certain claims; (4)
ownership of Mr. Fleming’s patents; (5) inequitable conduct; (6) intervening rights
on certain claims; and (7) anticipation of claim 1 in view of a Japanese patent.
In the order the Court stated that Escort’s interpretation of the Court’s rules was“absurd”, that Escort’s arguments were “in fact contrary to law”, and many of
Escort’s expert “opinions are irrelevant”.
“I am very happy with the order. The Court ruled that Escort is infringing one of
my patents. I am looking forward to a short trial in June so that I can prove that
Escort’s infringement is willful and obtain an injunction to stop Escort’s
infringement,” said Mr. Fleming.
Mr. Fleming is represented by Mr. Michael S. Dowler of Park, Vaughan, Fleming, and
Dowler LLP in Houston, Texas. Escort and Beltronics USA are represented by Brett A.
Schatz and Gregory F. Ahrens of Wood Herron & Evans in Cincinnati, OH. The Court
has set trial for June 18, 2012 in Boise, ID.
Escort is a portfolio company of Falconhead Capital LLC
(http://falconheadcapital.com), an investment firm in New York, New York. David
Morros, the Founder and CEO of Falconhead, Zuher Ladak, a partner of Falconhead, and
David Yarnell, an Operating Partner of Falconhead, sit on the board of Escort.
Contact Details: Mike Dowler
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