Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Servant Whose Participation Exceeds "Mere Direction or Control" by Master May be Liable for Joint Infringement

Defendants' renewed motion for summary judgment regarding joint and several liability was denied despite the two defendants' claims that they were "servants" and could not be found liable under "respondeat inferior." "Plaintiff responds that 'one unique and compelling aspect of this litigation which sets it apart from all other precedent discussing joint infringement . . . is that the Defendants at bar are companies that were created by banks for the specific and exclusive purpose of carrying out the elements of infringement alleged by [Plaintiff]' . . . Plaintiff’s theories of liability include facts that may set this case apart from [BMC Resources, Inc. v. Paymentech, L.P., 498 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2007) and [Muniauction, Inc. v. Thomson Corp., 532 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2008)] and justify a finding of joint and several liability, as apparently contemplated in On Demand Machine Corp. v. Ingram Indus., Inc., 442 F.3d 1331, 1344-45 (Fed. Cir. 2006). . . . Plaintiff contends that [the two defendants] are not innocent servants and are entangled with [the alleged mastermind defendant] to a degree far exceeding mere direction and control."

Datatreasury Corporation v. Wells Fargo & Company et al., 2-06-cv-00072 (TXED March 12, 2010, Order) (Folsom, J.).

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