In re Deutsche Bank Trust (Fed. Cir. 2009) (on motion for stay of order)
Island IP and its corporate parent Double Rock sued Deutsche Bank and others for infringement of their patent covering a bank account management technique to improve “deposit sweep” services. Pat. No. 7,509,286. Charles Macedo is the lead counsel for the patentee. Macedo also handles patent prosecution prosecution for the patentee.
During the litigation, the defendants requested a “patent prosecution bar” be placed against Macedo that would exclude him from continued involvement in prosecution of Double Rock’s patents. The defendants argue that Macedo’s access to the defendants' confidential information in the litigation will be used for competitive decisionmaking during prosecution.
The district court (adopting the magistrate decision) rejected the defendants’ argument – finding that a party’s right to choose its own counsel prevails over the potential risk of disclosure. This decision would lift an interim protective order that had prevented Macedo from prosecuting patents.
The Federal Circuit has now granted a stay of the order pending its decision on whether to grant a writ of mandamus. [Link] In its argument, Deutsche Bank cited a half dozen similar cases where district courts limited the litigating attorney from prosecuting the patents at the same time.
"The majority of district courts, including the courts in the Second Circuit, have found that an attorney who has obtained access to an adversary’s confidential information during the course of litigation should not be permitted to make use of that information in prosecuting his own client’s patent applications." (Quote form DB brief)
- File Attachment: DB Brief.pdf (47 KB)
- Macedo has been a past contributor to Patently-O and recently published a book “The Corporate Insider’s Guide to US Patent Practice.
- The patentee recently submitted a brief in the Bilski case arguing for broad patent subject matter. [Link]. The patent claims asserted here will pretty clearly face an uphill battle under the Federal Circuit's Bilski analysis. Claim 1 is reproduced below:
1. A method for managing funds of a plurality of respective client accounts associated with a plurality of respective clients participating in a program, comprising:
maintaining a plurality of FDIC-insured and interest-bearing aggregated deposit accounts, each of the aggregated deposit accounts being interest-bearing, with one or more of the aggregated deposit accounts held in each different one of a plurality of financial institutions in the program;
maintaining funds of a plurality of the clients in the plurality of aggregated deposit accounts so that each aggregated deposit account holds funds of a plurality of the clients, with each client account in a subset of the plurality of client accounts having funds in their respective client account over a predetermined amount, with each of the respective client accounts in the subset having funds deposited in a plurality of the aggregated deposit accounts;
maintaining or having maintained or accessing by computer an electronic database, on one or more computer-readable media, comprising a respective balance of funds for each of a plurality of the respective client accounts in the subset and information on funds held by each of the plurality of clients of the subset in the plurality of aggregated deposit accounts;
receiving electronic client transaction data describing debit and/or credit transactions made by a plurality of clients against their respective client accounts;
updating the respective balance of funds in the database associated with each of the respective client accounts in the subset based on one or more debit and/or credit transactions made by the respective client;
determining electronically for each of the plurality of the client accounts in the subset of client accounts a respective interest rate from among a plurality of interest rates in an interest-allocation procedure based at least in part on the updated balance of funds associated with the respective client account in the subset;
calculating electronically a respective interest for a period to be posted to each of a plurality of respective client accounts in the subset, with the respective interest to be posted to a respective client account determined based on the respective interest rate determined for that respective client account in the subset, with the calculating being independent from the respective client account pro rata share in earnings posted to the plurality of the aggregated deposit accounts holding funds of the respective client account;
determining interest earned during the period by each of the plurality of aggregated deposit accounts in the program; and
posting electronically the respective interest calculated for each of the plurality of respective client accounts based on the respective interest rate determined for the respective client account.