Peter Zura posts at his two-seventy-one patent blog a detailed discussion of the Rule 11 sanctions motion in the Eon-Net, L.P. v. Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. case. Flagstar was one of numerous defendants that Eon-Net accused of infringing U.S. Patent No. 6,683,697 (the "'697 Patent"). Mr. Zura provides a link to the Patent Hawk's equally detailed discussion of the motion.
The court considered a motion for sanctions pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 by defendant Flagstar alleging that Eon-Net's litigation conduct violated the duty to (1) apply the claims of the asserted patent to the accused device, and (2) satisfactorily establish that a proper construction of the claims permits an argument that each element of the claims appears in the accused device(s).
Eon-Net sent out "fill-in-the-blank" demand letters to Flagstar and at least 24 other defendants alleging infringement, along with an offer for an "inexpensive settlement." Eon-Net's complaint and claim chart were virtually identical to its other complaints in other cases. Also, the claim charts were so broad that the court reasoned that they could be sent to any web-based business. And since no meaningful analysis was reflected in the claim charts, the court deemed them "essentially worthless." Nothing in the Eon-Net's complaint or claim charts identified infringement contentions or accused products.
After concluding that Eon-Net's allegations are "completely devoid of merit," the court awarded Flagstar attorney fees and costs. And to add insult to injury, the court also took the unusual step of ordering Eon-Net to forward a copy of the ruling to every defendant charged with infringing the '697 patent.
Take a look at both posts to learn more.