Last week, the Federal Circuit declined to issue a writ of mandamus in response to a request from Apple that all other proceedings in a case filed by Koss Corporation be stayed until District Judge Alan D. Albright rules on a motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California. The appeals court did so in light of a new standing order from Judge Albright.
Bose (1:20-cv-12193) has become the second defendant sued in the Western District of Texas by Koss Corporation this past July to file a declaratory judgment action elsewhere. In early August, Apple asked the Northern District of California for declaratory judgments of noninfringement of the same patents asserted in Texas, also claiming breach of contract based on Koss’s alleged violation of a “Confidentiality Agreement” (effective between the parties in August 2017) by filing the Texas complaint. Apple has moved to strike that complaint, a motion that Koss has opposed, the parties’ briefing raising questions about the effect of entering into such pre-suit confidentiality agreements.
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Last month, Koss Corporation hit five defendants with separate patent infringement complaints, filed in the Western District of Texas, targeting the provision of wireless devices, including wireless earphones, headphones, speakers, and smart watches. One of them has just fired back. In a new Northern District of California case (5:20-cv-05504), Apple accuses Koss of violating a “Confidentiality Agreement” effective between the parties in August 2017: “. . . having enticed Apple to participate in discussions, reveal information, and forego some of its legal options, Koss could not use Apple’s participation against it as a ‘gotcha’ to bring claims in a later litigation . . .That, however, is exactly what Koss did”.
Koss Corporation has rebooted its sole litigation campaign, dormant since March 2017, with five new Western District of Texas complaints, one filed against each of Apple (6:20-cv-00665), Bose (6:20-cv-00661), PEAG (d/b/a JLAB Audio) (6:20-cv-00662), Plantronics (Polycom) (6:20-cv-00663), and Skullcandy (6:20-cv-00664). The plaintiff asserts six patents (in overlapping sets), new to litigation, broadly directed to wireless communication between devices. The defendants are accused of infringement through the provision of wireless devices, including wireless earphones, headphones, speakers, and smart watches.