Practice Area: Patent Infringement
Outcome: Dismissed based on outcome in another case; appeal pending
Description: This is an action for patent infringement by David Tropp, inventor of an innovative system for making airline luggage inspection secure while accommodating the needs of the traveler, in which dual access locks that can be opened by the luggage owner and the TSA are provided to consumers, as described and claimed in U.S. Patent Nos. 7,021,537 (“the ’537 patent”) and 7,036,728 (“the ’728 patent”). Early in the case the defendant distributors of infringing products moved for a stay pending resolution of a related case against another defendant alleged to be a manufacturer or otherwise the purported licensor of the infringing items, Travel Sentry, Inc. v. Tropp, 1:06-cv-06415 (the “Travel Sentry Action”) in the Eastern District of New York. Tropp submitted this memorandum of law in opposition to the motion by the defendants to stay the action pending the resolution of the Travel Sentry Action in the same court. The procedural facts as set out in the defendants' brief were adopted here for purposes of the motion. The case law favored denial of the stay request. Tropp's patents, of course, are presumptively valid pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 282. Defendants cited rafts of cases, but they were almost all based on materially inapposite facts, especially as to the key issues of party identity in the respective cases. They also misstated the relevant considerations when analyzing the stages and filing dates of the earlier- and later-filed case. Furthermore, the equities and balancing of harms favored a denial of the stay. In essence, per the opinion, the court agreed with Tropp, and denied the stay motion.