Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nike, Inc. v. Puma North America, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

October 10, 2018

NIKE, INC. Plaintiff,
v.
PUMA NORTH AMERICA, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS (DOC. NO. 24)

          Leo T. Sorokin United States District Judge.

         In this lawsuit, Nike, Inc. (“Nike”) alleges that Puma North America, Inc. (“Puma”) is infringing seven of Nike's patents related to various types of footwear. Puma has moved for dismissal of: 1) the claims alleging infringement of two specific patents, which, Puma argues, are not directed to patentable subject matter; and 2) the allegations of willful infringement of all seven patents. Nike has opposed the motion, which is now fully briefed and ripe for resolution.[1]For the reasons that follow, Puma's motion (Doc. No. 24) is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. U.S. Patent No. 8, 266, 749 (“the '749 patent'”)

         The '749 patent is assigned to Nike and is entitled “Article of Footwear Having a Textile Upper.” Doc. No. 1-2 at 2.[2] According to the abstract, it discloses “[a]n article of footwear and a method of manufacturing the article of footwear.” Id.; see also id. at 16 (“The invention concerns . . . an article of footwear incorporating an upper that is at least partially formed from a textile material.”). As a representative independent claim of the '749 patent, the parties point to Claim 1, which discloses:

         A method of manufacturing an article of footwear, the method comprising:

simultaneously knitting a textile element with a surrounding textile structure, the knitted textile element having at least one knitted texture that differs from a knitted texture in the surrounding knitted textile structure;
removing the knitted textile element from the surrounding knitted textile structure;
incorporating the knitted textile element into the article of footwear.

Id. at 21. Each subsequent claim also relates to a method of manufacturing an article of footwear. Id. at 21-22.

         According to Nike, this patent and three others involved in this suit relate to its “Flyknit technology.” Doc. No. 1 ¶ 27. Nike alleges that it endeavored to eliminate “certain inefficiencies” inherent in “[t]he conventional way of making uppers” for footwear by inventing “novel and non-obvious ways to form uppers from a single knitted material while still providing different textures or properties to different areas of the uppers.” Id. ¶¶ 14-16; see Doc. No. 1-2 at 20 (“In contrast with the conventional upper, . . . [a] first texture and second texture are incorporated into a single, unitary element of textile, rather than two separate elements that are stitched or otherwise joined together.”). The Flyknit technology, Nike avers, was “lauded” as having “revolutionized the age-old craft of shoemaking” and as representing a “quantum leap in the industry.” Doc. No. 1 ¶ 20 (quotation marks omitted).

         B. U.S. Patent No. 9, 078, 488 (“the '488 patent'”)

         Also assigned to Nike, the '488 patent is entitled “Article of Footwear Incorporating a Lenticular Knit Structure.” Doc. No. 1-3 at 2. The abstract describes “[a]n article of footwear including an upper incorporating a knitted component having color-shifting properties, ” wherein “lenticular knit structures are formed of unitary knit construction with the remaining portions of the knitted component, ” and “different yarns . . . generate a visual effect that changes the color of the article of footwear depending on the viewing angle.” Id.; see also id. at 27 (“The present invention relates generally to articles of footwear, and, in particular, to articles of footwear incorporating knitted components.”). Claim 1 of the '488 patent provides a representative independent claim:

         An article of footwear including an upper and a sole structure attached to the upper, the upper incorporating a knitted component formed of unitary knit ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.