Vehicle Operation Technologies LLC v. BMW of North America, LLC, 1-13-cv-00538 (DED September 12, 2014, Order) (Andrews, J.)
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Frivolous Infringement Claim Warrants Rule 11 Sanction
The court granted in part defendants' motion for Rule 11 sanctions after the court found a clear prosecution disclaimer. "I do not lightly use the word 'frivolous.' In my opinion, however, no reasonable attorney or judge could conclude that the argument that there was no disclaimer of claim scope was anything but frivolous. . . . At any later time, with the issue having been disclosed in the Rule 11 motion, any reasonable counsel must have recognized the equivalent of a railroad crossing with the loud sound of a nearby train whistle. . . . The Plaintiffs attorneys' continued insistence to litigate this matter, even after being apprised by the Defendants that the accused products could not possibly infringe, further highlights that the Plaintiff's attorneys simply turned a blind eye to the actual vehicles that they were accusing of infringement. . . . [D]espite Plaintiffs current pro hac vice attorneys arguing that they should have had a clean slate from the time that they noticed the Court of their appearance, before they ever took the case, [four attorneys] had an obligation to review their client's file. Here, this would include the letters sent by the Defendants and the owner's manuals."