Toronto firm sues Dell, Tech Data over multi-display products

A Toronto-based screen manufacturer is suing Dell Inc. and several other U.S. companies for allegedly infringing upon its U.S. patent for its multi-display units.

Mass Engineered Design Inc. and Jerry Moscovitch, the inventor, served Dell, CDW Corp., Tech Data Corp. and Ergotron Inc. with the notice, which was filed in Marshall, in the Eastern District of Texas, on July 7, 2006. The defendants have 20 days from July 7 to respond to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges the defendants’ mutli-display units infringe Moscovitch’s U.S. patent, RE36,978 or “Dual Display System,” which the U.S. Patent Trade Office issued on November 18, 1997. The statement says that Dell, CDW, a reseller, Tech Data, a distributor and Ergotron, a manufacturer, have allegedly infringed and allegedly continues to infringe upon the patent by manufacturing, using, selling and importing its multi-display units such as Dell’s Model No. A 0454864 for example.

None of the defendants named have responded to the suit yet, said Allan Tameshtit, director of intellectual property at Mass, who was reached by telephone on Monday. Dell was the only company to respond to press inquiries at the time of publication, stating that because the matter is pending legal litigation, it can’t comment on the case.

In a press release statement, Moscovitch, who is the founder and owner of Mass, said he is requesting an injunction to stop these companies from allegedly using his technology.

“Whatever is covered in the patents, it reads onto their solution,” said Moscovitch. “Whatever they’re doing in their solution you can read it in our patent. That’s why we believe they infringed on the patent and that’s why we filed the suit.”

Mass is also seeking damages, the amount of which was undisclosed, an award of pre-judgement and post judgement interest and court fees. 

Mass is the manufacturer of dual, triple, quad and six-screen systems that make up the company’s core line of products, which it calls Massmultiples. The patent describes the technology as a display system that includes a base, a pair of electronic displays and an arm assembly that supports the displays from the base vertically or horizontally.

Moscovitch’s legal representation includes Conley Rose PC of Houston and Max Tribble at Susman Godfrey LLP. Tribble was not available for comment at press time.

Simon Chester, a partner at Toronto law firm Heenan Blaikie who specializes in intellectual property law, said the U.S. Supreme Court is looking into litigation that would automatically grant injunctions in this type of case. He added Canada would not likely make a similar rule.

“We would say if you’re actually producing this stuff, then your sales will potentially be harmed and therefore we’ll order the alleged infringer to stop until we get a chance to assess who’s right and who’s wrong,” said Chester. “If you’re not producing a competing product, the court will say if you have suffered we can work that out at trial and we can figure out what you should be paid for the infringement but we don’t have to stop Dell or the alleged infringer until it comes to trial.”

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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