Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI ) ) ) Plaintiff, ) v. ) ) Hantover, Inc., ) ) Defendant.

) ____________________________________) Bodum U.S.A., Inc.

Civil Action No. Jury Demand Requested

COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT OF PATENT INVALIDITY AND NON-INFRINGEMENT This case involves a patent dispute. Plaintiff, Bodum U.S.A., Inc. (Bodum), is internationally renowned for creating consumer products that have unique design and functionality. The product at issue here is a universal knife holder of a type used in kitchens. Defendant Hantover, Inc. (Hantover) has a patent on a universal knife holder, and Bodum seeks a declaratory judgment that the Hantover patent is invalid and not infringed. For its Complaint, Bodum states as follows:

I. THE PARTIES 1. Plaintiff, Bodum U.S.A., Inc. (Bodum ), is a Delaware corporation with

offices and principal place of business in New York, New York. 2. Upon information and belief, Defendant, Hantover, Inc. (Hantover) is a

Missouri corporation with its offices and principal place of business in Kansas City, Missouri.

II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 3. This lawsuit involves subject matter arising under the patent laws of the

United States, Title 35, United States Code, and this Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1338(a) as well as the Federal Declaratory Judgments Act, 28 U.S.C. 2201 and 2202. As alleged more fully below, there is a substantial controversy of sufficient immediacy and reality between Bodum and Hantover as to U.S. 6,082,559 (Exhibit A). 4. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Hantover because Hantover is

incorporated in the State of Missouri and further because Hantover resides in this district. Moreover, Hantover sells its products, including but not limited to its knife holder products, and does business in and from this judicial district on a regular and on-going basis 5. Venue properly lies in the Western District of Missouri pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

1391(b) and/or (c) because the Defendant Hantover resides in this District.

III. BACKGROUND TO THE CONTROVERSY 6. Bodum is in the business of creating and distributing a variety of high-quality

and uniquely designed kitchen products, including but not limited to a universal knife holder. For purposes of this lawsuit, a universal knife holder is a device capable of holding a variety of knives having different sizes, shapes, and structures. 7. According to its website, Hantover is a distributor of a variety of products

used in connection with, inter alia, material handling, food preparation, safety, and sanitation, for both home and industrial use. 8. According to its own assertion, Hantover is the owner by assignment of U.S.

6,082,559, entitled Knife Holder (Exhibit A).

9.

On information and belief, Hantover markets one or more knife block

products under the trademark KAPOOSH, which it alleges are covered by U.S. 6,082,559. 10. Bodum distributes and sells a line of knife block products under the name

BISTRO Universal Knife Block. 11. On April 18, 2011, counsel for Hantover sent a letter to Bodum in New York,

NY, charging that Bodums activities in promoting and selling Bodums BISTRO Universal Knife Blocks constitute infringement of the 559 patent. The letter stated that the 559 patent is an important asset that Hantover vigilantly enforces. The letter demanded that Bodum immediately cease and desist all infringing activities and that failure to comply with these demands will leave us no option but to . . . take whatever legal steps are necessary to enforce its valuable patent rights. Finally, the letter offered to consider the possibility of a non-exclusive license. See Exhibit B. 12. On June 29, 2011, Bodum responded to the Hantover letter, explaining that

the Hantover patent claims were invalid in view of certain specifically identified prior art references that had never been presented to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and suggesting that Hantover should not pursue the matter. 13. On November 2, 2011, Hantover responded that Hantover remains prepared

to enforce its patent rights if Bodum refuses to cease selling the BISTRO Knife Block or fails to seek a non-exclusive license under the 559 patent by December 2, 2011 (emphasis in the original). See Exhibit C. Further communications between the parties have failed to result in a resolution of this dispute.

14.

As a result, Bodum has now filed this lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment

that Hantovers U.S. Patent No. 6,082,559 is invalid and not infringed.

IV. THE CONTROVERSY 15. An actual controversy of a justiciable nature exists between Bodum and

Hantover regarding the validity of U.S. 6,082,559. To resolve the legal and factual questions raised by Hantover and to afford relief from the uncertainty and controversy which Defendants assertion has precipitated, Bodum is entitled to declaratory judgment of its rights under 28 U.S.C. 2201-2202.

V. COUNT ONE: PATENT INVALIDITY 16. 17. 18. Paragraphs 1 15 above are incorporated here by reference. This count is for declaratory judgment of invalidity of U.S. 6,082,559. U.S. 6,082,559 is invalid for failure to meet the conditions of patentability set

forth in 35 U.S.C. 102, 103, and/or for failure to comply with the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 112. 19. Bodum is entitled to a declaration that U.S. 6,082,559 is invalid.

VI. COUNT TWO: NON-INFRINGEMENT 20. 21. 22. Paragraphs 1 15 above are incorporated here by reference. Bodums activities do not infringe any valid claim of U.S. 6,082,559. Bodum is entitled to a declaration that U.S. 6,082,559 is not infringed.

VII. JURY DEMAND 23. Bodum demands a trial by jury on all issues thus triable in this action.

VIII. RELIEF REQUESTED WHEREFORE, Plaintiff, Bodum respectfully requests declaratory judgment and relief against defendant Hantover, including: (A) (B) A declaration that Hantovers U.S. Patent No. 6,082,559 is invalid; A declaration that Bodum does not infringe any valid claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,082,559; (C) An injunction, preliminarily and permanently preventing Hantover, its

officers, agents, servants, employees, representatives, successors, assigns, and any and all persons in active concert or participation with or under authority from Hantover, either separately or jointly, from asserting or enforcing United States Patent No. 6,082,559 against Bodum, its parent, related companies, successor or assigns, and/or purchasers or users of Bodum products. (D) An injunction, preliminarily and permanently preventing Hantover, its

officers, agents, servants, employees, representatives, successors, assigns, and any and all persons in active concert or participation with or under authority from Hantover, either separately or jointly, from interfering with, or threatening to interfere with, manufacture, use, sale or offer of sale of universal knife blocks by Bodum, its parent, related companies, distributors, customers, successor or assigns, in connection with its business.

(E) proper.

Awarding such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and

Dated this 13th day of July, 2012. Respectfully submitted,

_/s/ Megan J. Redmond _______________ Megan J. Redmond Daniel A. Boehnen (Pro Hac Vice to be filed) Sandra B. Weiss (Pro Hac Vice to be filed) McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff 300 South Wacker Drive, 32nd Floor Chicago, Illinois 60606 Telephone: (312) 913-0001 Facsimile: (312) 913-0002 Eric A. Buresh eric.buresh@eriseip.com Megan J. Redmond megan.redmond@eriseip.com Erise IP, P.A. 6201 College Blvd Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211 Telephone: (913) 777-5600 Facsimile: (913) 777-5601 Attorneys for Plaintiff, BODUM U.S.A., INC.