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Blackberry Limited v. Typo Products LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California

February 4, 2015

BLACKBERRY LIMITED, Plaintiff,
v.
TYPO PRODUCTS LLC, et al., Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING BLACKBERRY'S RENEWED MOTION FOR CONTEMPT; GRANTING BLACKBERRY'S MOTION TO COMPEL Re: Dkt. No. 125, 126, 145, 146

WILLIAM H. ORRICK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff BlackBerry Limited moves for a finding that defendant Typo Products LLC is in contempt of the preliminary injunction issued in this matter involving allegations of patent and trade dress infringement. Dkt. No. 126. BlackBerry's motion is GRANTED because it established that Typo, after the preliminary injunction took effect, sold enjoined products, provided warranty replacements of the enjoined products, and promoted enjoined products to consumers. Typo is ordered to pay BlackBerry $860, 600 in sanctions, plus attorneys' fees and costs incurred in connection with Typo's contempt.

This order also GRANTS BlackBerry's motion to compel depositions and documents. Dkt. No. 146.

I. BLACKBERRY'S RENEWED MOTION FOR CONTEMPT

BACKGROUND

On March 28, 2014, I granted plaintiff BlackBerry's motion for a preliminary injunction barring defendant Typo from distributing its add-on keyboard for the iPhone which, BlackBerry alleges, violates BlackBerry's patents. Dkt. No. 39.

The preliminary injunction provided that:

Upon the posting of a bond by Blackberry, Typo Products LLC and its officers, agents, affiliates, employees, and attorneys, and all those persons acting or attempting to act in concert or participation with them, ARE ENJOINED FROM:
a) making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, or marketing, promoting, or distributing Typo Products's Typo Keyboard Case, which is depicted in BlackBerry's moving papers, and any product that is no more than colorably different from these specified products and embodies any design contained in U.S. Design Patent No. D685, 775; and
b) making, using, offering to sell, or selling within the United States, or importing into the United States, or marketing, promoting, or distributing Typo Products's Typo Keyboard Case, and any product that is no more than colorably different from the specified products and infringes U.S. Patent No. 7, 629, 964.

Dkt. No. 39 at 24. The preliminary injunction took effect when BlackBerry posted the required bond on April 15, 2014. Dkt. No. 55.

BlackBerry contends that Typo is in contempt of the preliminary injunction for selling the enjoined keyboards, providing warranty replacements, and promoting the enjoined keyboard. BlackBerry seeks:

1. $2, 643, 000 in sanctions against Typo, reflecting disgorgement of all money received by or owed to Typo from its violations of the preliminary injunction and trebling of all amounts disgorged;
2. BlackBerry's attorneys' fees and costs incurred in pursuing the contempt and all related discovery; and
3. An order precluding Typo's reliance on an advice of counsel defense and a finding that Typo willfully violated the preliminary injunction.[1]

LEGAL STANDARD

Civil contempt sanctions may be imposed, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard, "to coerce the defendant into compliance with the court's order, and to compensate the complainant for losses sustained." United States v. United Mine Workers of Am., 330 U.S. 258, 303-04 (1947). A party alleging civil contempt "must demonstrate that the alleged contemnor violated the court's order by clear and convincing evidence, not merely a preponderance of the evidence." In re Dual-Deck Video Cassette Recorder Antitrust Litig., 10 F.3d 693, 695 (9th Cir. 1993). "The contempt need not be willful, and there is no good faith exception to the requirement of obedience to a court order. But a person should not be held in contempt if his action appears to be based on a good faith and reasonable interpretation of the court's order." Id. (internal punctuation and quotations omitted).

DISCUSSION

The preliminary injunction took effect when BlackBerry posted the required bond on April 15, 2014. Dkt. No. 55. After that time, BlackBerry sold 1, 908 enjoined keyboards to Chris Yergensen in Las Vegas; sold 16, 829 enjoined keyboards to customers outside of the United States; provided 365 warranty replacements of enjoined keyboards; and referred six customers to third parties ...


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