This case is about the patent of a collapsible structure, specifically pop-up goals available for sale at Target. The producer of the goods is a United Arab Emerites based corporation called Ninja Corp.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
CV 06-7311 CAS (CWx); 567 F. Supp. 2d 1171
Honorable Christina Snyder, July 16, 2008, decided:
Plaintiff Patent Category Corp. (“plaintiff” or “PCC”) owns the rights to U.S. Patent No. 6,266,904 (“the ‘904 patent”) issued on July 31, 2001, and U.S. Patent No. 6,604,537 (“the ‘537 patent”), issued on August 12, 2003. On November 15, 2006, plaintiff filed the instant suit against defendants Target Corp. (“Target”) and Franklin Sports, Inc. (“Franklin”) alleging that defendants are infringing plaintiff’s patents. Defendant Franklin is a distributor of at least fifteen models of collapsible, spring-form soccer goals (“Pop-Up Goals”), which plaintiff alleges infringe its patents. [FN1] Franklin purchased these accused products from The Ninja Corp. UAE (“Ninja“). 2 Id. Defendant Target Corp. (“Target”) sells Pop-Up Goals to consumers pursuant to an agreement with Franklin.
=== Footnotes ===
FN1 At the hearing held herein, the parties provided the Court with two examples of the accused products. Exhibit 1, the Dora the Explorer Pop-Up Goal, is accused of infringing the ‘537 patent only. Exhibit 2 is accused of infringing both the ‘537 patent and the ‘904 patent. The Court will refer to these exhibits in deciding the issue of infringement, or non-infringement as the case may be.2 On March 9, 2007, Ninja, a corporation organized under the laws of the United Arab Emirates, filed suit against plaintiff in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, seeking a declaration that its products do not infringe the ‘904 and ‘537 patents, and that these patents are invalid. The action was then transferred to the United States District Court for the Central District of California in September 2007, and assigned to this Court as a case related to the present action.
Recall the connection of multicultural cartoons associated to this Ninja word. Here it is a UAE corporation, sending children’s toy products for consumer distribution at Target. It is perhaps merely a coincidental connection but in the context of this rhetorical study of words, it is a notable that there is this seemingly unnecessary connection of the Dora character. Recall Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role in Federal Court ruling the general idea of multicultural cartoons was not protected by copyright.
This actual patent case about the Pop Up Goals remained unresolved at the end of the Courts opinion. The Court denied all the summary judgment motions because of factual issues about obviousness; whether there is a “continuous frame member” and the effect of a prior art on “flexible frame”.
Patent ‘537 is for “Collapsible structures” (US Patent 6,604,537)
Patent ‘904 is for “Collapsible structures supported on a pole ” (US Patent 6,266,904)
I dunno. They look obvious. Ha just kidding. I have no idea.