Color Kinetics' summary judgment motion granted on three claims

First blood to Color Kinetics in its multi-layered patent dispute with Super Vision.

The first court rulings have been delivered in the patent dispute between Color Kinetics and Super Vision, but these are just a warm-up to the main event, in which the courts will decide the issues of patent validity, enforceability and infringement.

As just announced, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts has granted Color Kinetics's motion for summary judgment regarding three of Super Vision's claims against Color Kinetics.

Specifically, the claims relate to interference with prospective business relationships, trade disparagement and defamation.

By granting summary judgment for Color Kinetics on these claims, the Court determined that no reasonable jury could find for Super Vision and, therefore, no trial need be held on those issues.

Commenting on the decision, Brett Kingstone, Super Vision's president and CEO, said; "The ruling was based on a technical procedural issue, and not on any merits in the case, including any merits on those three claims by Super Vision. This is one of a string of minor victories [for Color Kinetics] that are based primarily on procedural and discovery matters. None of these decisions have dealt with the fundamental merits of this case or the issue of whether or not their technology was based on prior art practiced in the industry." Arguments regarding summary judgment motions with respect to patent validity, enforceability and infringement (see below) are expected to be heard by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in May 2005. If these summary judgment motions are not granted, the case is likely to proceed to a jury trial.

Background

  • In March 2002, Super Vision filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida seeking a declaratory judgment that certain of Color Kinetics’ patents are invalid, that Super Vision’s products do not infringe the patents in question, and that the patents are unenforceable. Super Vision subsequently amended the complaint to add claims for interference with prospective business relationships, trade disparagement and defamation.
  • In June 2002, Color Kinetics filed a lawsuit against Super Vision in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging that certain products of Super Vision, including solid-state architectural lighting fixtures, pool lights and spa lights, infringe four of the patents at issue in Super Vision’s declaratory judgment action; this complaint has been amended to assert infringement of a fifth patent.
  • Super Vision’s lawsuit in Florida was transferred by the court to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
  • Color Kinetics moved for summary judgment that: (1) that the patents at issue are infringed, (2) the patents are valid, (3) the patents are enforceable, and (4) Super Vision’s claims of (a) interference with prospective business relationships, (b) trade disparagement and (c) defamation were without merit. Part (4) has been ruled in favor of Color Kinetics.
  • Super Vision moved for summary judgment of invalidity and unenforceability with respect to these patents, and supported this by filing a number of affidavits from expert witnesses.
  • There is no further scheduling update with respect to the patent infringement claim brought against Color Kinetics by Super Vision relating to variable color lighting systems which is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. This is the lawsuit filed in March 2004 shortly after Super Vision acquired the rights to a US patent from High End Systems.

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