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Blackbird Tech LLC v. Health in Motion LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

December 16, 2019, Decided

2018-2393

Opinion

 [*912]  Wallach, Circuit Judge.

Appellant Blackbird Tech LLC ("Blackbird") sued Appellees Health In Motion LLC ("HIM") and Leisure Fitness Equipment LLC ("Leisure") (together, "Appellees") in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, and later transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,705,976 ("the '976 patent") owned by Blackbird. After more than nineteen months of litigation, Blackbird voluntarily dismissed its suit with prejudice and executed a covenant not to sue, after which Appellees were granted attorney fees and expenses in the amount of $363,243.80. [**2]  Blackbird Tech LLC v. Health In Motion LLC, No. 2:17-cv-03488-R-GJS (C.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2018) (Order) (J.A. 17-20).

Blackbird appeals. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) (2012). We affirm.

Background

In October 2016, Blackbird sued Appellees in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware ("Delaware District Court") for infringement of the '976 patent. J.A. 418-28 (Original Complaint).1 The '976 patent relates to "exercise equipment," '976 patent col. 1 l. 11, and more particularly to "[e]xercise equipment including a housing having a structural surface defining an arcuate path" and "multiple pairs of pulleys positioned along the arcuate path, each pair of pulleys having passed between them a cable the proximal end of which is located outside the curved path, the distal end of the cable being coupled to a source of resistance within the housing," id., Abstract.

In March 2017, Appellees filed a motion to transfer to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ("District Court"). J.A. 28. The Delaware District Court granted Appellees' motion to transfer in April 2017. Blackbird Tech LLC v. TuffStuff Fitness, Int'l, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-00733-GMS, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63752, 2017 WL 1536394, at *1 (D. Del. Apr. 27, 2017) (J.A. 536, 547); see 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63752, [WL] at *1 n.2 (explaining that "HIM has incorporated [**3]  by reference TuffStuff's arguments in its motion to transfer . . . , therefore the court's memorandum and order will apply to both cases").

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944 F.3d 910 *; 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 37036 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 479610; 2019 WL 6834255

BLACKBIRD TECH LLC, DBA BLACKBIRD TECHNOLOGIES, Plaintiff-Appellant v. HEALTH IN MOTION LLC, DBA INSPIRE FITNESS, LEISURE FITNESS EQUIPMENT LLC, Defendants-Appellees

Subsequent History: Petition for certiorari filed at, 03/16/2020

Prior History:  [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California in No. 2:17-cv-03488-R-GJS, Senior Judge Manuel L. Real.

Blackbird Tech LLC v. Health in Motion LLC, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 231768 (C.D. Cal., Sept. 10, 2018)

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

district court, housing, attorney's fees, expenses, documents, notice, infringement, litigated, settlement offer, weaknesses, covenant, motion to dismiss, stands, cable, depositions, deter

Patent Law, Damages, Collateral Assessments, Attorney Fees, Jurisdiction & Review, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Civil Procedure, Costs & Attorney Fees, Attorney Fees & Expenses, Reasonable Fees