Tag Archives: contributory infringement

Texas Startup Must Litigate Apple in California because of Convenience to the Tech Giant

by Dennis Crouch

The Federal Circuit recently denied a petition for mandamus seeking to overturn a district court order transferring a patent case from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California. In re Haptic, Inc., No. 2024-121 (Fed. Cir. June 25, 2024). This case was filed in Austin and assigned to Judge Robert Pittman with Haptic alleging that Apple’s “Back Tap” feature on iPhones infringes U.S. Patent No. 9,996,738 relating to gesture detection systems. Haptic is headquartered in Austin at the home of its longtime CEO and listed inventor Jake Boshernitzan.  The company was part of Techstars Austin Accelerator as it developed its product known as Knocki that allows users to tap on ordinary surfaces to control various actions on phones and other devices. Knock on wood. The patent and Knocki product are designed to expand touch interfaces beyond traditional touchscreens, potentially opening up new modes of interaction with smart devices and appliances. The ‘738 patent particularly issue covers systems and methods for detecting tapping or knocking gestures on surfaces to control electronic devices.

Apple also has a major presence in Austin, with about 10,000 Austin employees and a billion-dollar second headquarters campus in the city. Nevertheless, Judge Pitman (more…)

The Legacy of A.B. Dick and Motion Picture Patents: How these 100+ Year Old Ruling Reshaped Patent Law

by Dennis Crouch

I see the US Supreme Court’s 1912 decision in Henry v. A.B. Dick Co. as a major turning point in American patent and antitrust law. 224 U.S. 1 (1912).  The Court’s 4-3 decision favored the patentee and allowed the patent owner to place restrictions on the use of its patented product even after sale. But, that decision sparked a major reform effort.  Just a few years later, the Supreme Court reversed course in Motion Picture Patents Co. v. Universal Film Mfg. Co., 243 U.S. 502 (1917), effectively overruling A.B. Dick and signaling a new largely anti-patent-monopoly era.

In A.B. Dick, (more…)