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21 v. Ace Hardware et. al.

21 v. Ace Hardware et. al.

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Published by PriorSmart
Official Complaint for Patent Infringement in Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-04065: 21 srl v. Ace Hardware Corporation et. al. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, no judge yet assigned. See http://news.priorsmart.com/-l6ae for more info.
Official Complaint for Patent Infringement in Civil Action No. 1:12-cv-04065: 21 srl v. Ace Hardware Corporation et. al. Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, no judge yet assigned. See http://news.priorsmart.com/-l6ae for more info.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION 21 SRL, Plaintiff, v.

ACE HARDWARE CORPORATION and GSI COMMERCE SOLUTIONS, INC., Defendants. COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT Plaintiff 21 srl complains of Defendants Ace Hardware Corporation and GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. as follows: NATURE OF CASE 1. This is a claim for patent infringement that arises under the patent laws of the JURY TRIAL DEMANDED Civil Action No.

United States, Title 35 of the United States Code. This Court has original jurisdiction over the subject matter of this claim under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338(a). PARTIES 2. 21 srl is an Italian company that has a principal place of business at Via B.

Eustachi 22, 20129 Milan, Italy. 3. 21 srl owns and has standing to sue for infringement of United States Patent No.

7,778,993 B2 (the "'993 patent"), entitled "Dynamic Taxonomy Process for Browsing and Retrieving Information in Large Heterogeneous Data Bases," which issued on August 17, 2010. 4. 21 srl also owns and has standing to sue for infringement of United States Patent

No. 8,041,699 B2 (the "'699 patent"), entitled "Process of Dynamic Taxonomy for Browsing and Retrieving Information in Large Heterogeneous Data Bases," which issued on October 18, 2011.

5.

Ace Hardware Corporation (“ACE”) is a Delaware corporation with its principal

place of business at 2200 Kensington Court, Oak Brook, Illinois, 60523. ACE is registered to do business in the State of Illinois as Ace Hardware Corporation and under the assumed names Ace Trading Co., AHC Logistics, Ace Commercial & Industrial Supply and H & K Paints. 6. GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. (“GSI”) is a Delaware corporation with its

principal place of business at 935 First Avenue, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, 19406. GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. has registered to do business in the State of Illinois as GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 7. ACE owns, operates and/or conducts business through the website

www.acehardware.com, as well as through Ace Hardware retail stores located in this judicial district and throughout the United States. ACE is headquartered and doing business in this judicial district, has purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting business with residents of this judicial district, has established sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Illinois such that it should reasonably and fairly anticipate being brought into court in Illinois, and has purposefully reached out to residents of Illinois by and through the

www.acehardware.com website and retail stores. 8. Pursuant to agreements with ACE, GSI operates and/or conducts business through

the website www.acehardware.com in this judicial district and throughout the United States. GSI is doing business in this judicial district, has purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting business with residents of this judicial district including at least ACE and end users of the www.acehardware.com website, has established sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Illinois such that it should reasonably and fairly anticipate being brought into court in

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Illinois, and has purposefully reached out to residents of Illinois by and through its agreements with ACE and the www.acehardware.com website. 9. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)-(d) and 1400(b). CLAIMS FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT COUNT I – ACE’S INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 7,778,993 B2 10. 21 srl repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 9 as if fully restated herein. 11. 12. 13. ACE owns the website www.acehardware.com. ACE controls the content of the www.acehardware.com website. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website states that “GSI Commerce Solutions,

Inc., an eBay company ("GSI") operates this web site (the "Web Site") pursuant to agreements with Ace Hardware Corporation ("ACE").” 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. ACE contracted GSI to operate the website www.acehardware.com. GSI operates the website www.acehardware.com. GSI operates servers to provide the website www.acehardware.com. The www.acehardware.com website is an electronic commerce website. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website allows customers to shop for products by

category, such as Cordless Drills, Electric String Trimmers, Storage Sheds and Gas Grills. 19. 20. 21. 22. Categories are identified on the www.acehardware.com by a unique “categoryId.” ACE’s categoryId for Cordless Drills on www.acehardware.com is 1259338. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes “Filter By” features. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes a “Filter By Taxonomy” feature.

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23.

ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes “Filter By Brand” and “Filter By

Price Range” features. 24. Navigation.” 25. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website’s “leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation” ACE also refers to its “Filter By” features as “leftNav” and “Parametric

features allow customers to navigate ACE’s products by attributes. 26. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website’s “leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation”

features allow customers to navigate ACE’s products by Brand and Price Range. 27. Databases are used to provide ACE’s www.acehardware.com website, including

its “leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation” features. 28. “productId.” 29. ACE’s productID for the Porter Cable® Drill/Driver Kit (PC180DK-2) on Products are identified on the www.acehardware.com website by a unique

www.acehardware.com is 3877626. 30. The products’ unique “productId” is used to provide the www.acehardware.com

website’s “leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation” features. 31. 32. ACE’s customers visit www.acehardware.com. ACE’s customers use the “leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation” features to

locate ACE’s products by attribute. 33. 34. ACE generates sales and profits through its www.acehardware.com website. ACE generates sales and profits through its www.acehardware.com website’s

“leftNav” and “Parametric Navigation” features.

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35.

ACE has indirectly infringed and continues to indirectly infringe at least claims 1,

2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 21 of the '993 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) by knowingly and actively inducing infringement of those claims. ACE has had knowledge of the ‘993 patent at least by way of a letter dated May 15, 2012 when 21 srl wrote to ACE and provided a copy of the ‘993 patent and actual notice of infringement of at least claims 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 21. ACE has knowingly and actively induced infringement of at least claims 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 21, for example, through the foregoing activities and by owning, creating, providing and promoting its www.acehardware.com website, and by instructing, aiding, assisting, encouraging use by, and contracting GSI to operate the www.acehardware.com website in a manner that infringes at least claims 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 21 of the ‘993 patent including, without limitation, the “Filter By,” “leftNav,” and “Parametric Navigation” features for navigating and selling ACE’s products. The direct infringer of those claims that are being induced by ACE is GSI, which operates the www.acehardware.com website pursuant to agreements with ACE. 36. To the extent required by law, 21 srl has complied with the provisions of 35

U.S.C. § 287 with respect to the ‘993 patent. 37. ACE’s indirect infringement of the ‘993 patent through the

www.acehardware.com website has injured 21 srl and 21 srl is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate it for such infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty. COUNT II – ACE’S INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 8,041,699 B2 38. 21 srl repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 9 and 11 through 34 as if fully restated herein. 39. ACE has indirectly infringed and continues to indirectly infringe at least claims 9,

10, 11, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 44 and 45 of the '699 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) by

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knowingly and actively inducing infringement of those claims. ACE has had knowledge of the ‘699 patent at least by way of a letter dated May 15, 2012 when 21 srl wrote to ACE and provided a copy of the ‘699 patent and actual notice of infringement of at least claims 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 44 and 45. ACE has knowingly and actively induced infringement of at least claims 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 44 and 45, for example, through the foregoing activities and by owning, creating, providing and promoting its www.acehardware.com website, and by instructing, aiding, assisting, encouraging use by, and contracting GSI to operate the www.acehardware.com website in a manner that infringes at least claims 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 44 and 45 of the ‘699 patent including, without limitation, the “Filter By,” “leftNav,” and “Parametric Navigation” features for navigating and selling ACE’s products. The direct infringer of those claims that are being induced by ACE is GSI, which operates the www.acehardware.com website pursuant to agreements with ACE. 40. To the extent required by law, 21 srl has complied with the provisions of 35

U.S.C. § 287 with respect to the ‘699 patent. 41. ACE’s indirect infringement of the ‘699 patent through the

www.acehardware.com website has injured 21 srl and 21 srl is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate it for such infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty. COUNT III – GSI’S INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 7,778,993 B2 42. 21 srl repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 9 as if fully restated herein. 43. 44. ACE owns the website www.acehardware.com. ACE controls the content of the www.acehardware.com website.

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45.

ACE’s www.acehardware.com website states that “GSI Commerce Solutions,

Inc., an eBay company ("GSI") operates this web site (the "Web Site") pursuant to agreements with Ace Hardware Corporation ("ACE").” 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. ACE contracted GSI to operate the website www.acehardware.com. GSI operates the website www.acehardware.com. GSI operates servers to provide the website www.acehardware.com. The www.acehardware.com website is an electronic commerce website. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website allows customers to shop for products by

category, such as Cordless Drills, Electric String Trimmers, Storage Sheds and Gas Grills. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. Categories are identified on the www.acehardware.com by a unique “categoryId.” ACE’s categoryId for Cordless Drills on www.acehardware.com is 1259338. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes “Filter By” features. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes a “Filter By Taxonomy” feature. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website includes “Filter By Brand” and “Filter By

Price Range” features. 56. Navigation.” 57. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website’s “leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation” ACE also refers to its “Filter By” features as “leftNav” and “Parametric

features allow customers to navigate ACE’s products by attributes. 58. ACE’s www.acehardware.com website’s “leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation”

features allow customers to navigate ACE’s products by Brand and Price Range. 59. Databases are used to provide ACE’s www.acehardware.com website, including

its “leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation” features.

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60. “productId.” 61.

Products are identified on the www.acehardware.com website by a unique

ACE’s productID for the Porter Cable® Drill/Driver Kit (PC180DK-2) on

www.acehardware.com is 3877626. 62. The products’ unique “productId” is used to provide the www.acehardware.com

website’s “leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation” features. 63. 64. ACE’s customers visit www.acehardware.com. ACE’s customers use the “leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation” features to locate

ACE’s products by attribute. 65. 66. ACE generates sales and profits through its www.acehardware.com website. ACE generates sales and profits through its www.acehardware.com website’s

“leftNav” or “Parametric Navigation” features. 67. GSI has infringed and continues to infringe at least claims 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and

21 of the '993 patent within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) through the foregoing activities including, without limitation, making, using, operating and conducting business through the www.acehardware.com website and others in a manner that infringes at least claims 1, 2, 9, 12, 14, 15 and 21 of the ‘993 patent including, without limitation, the “Filter By,” “leftNav,” and “Parametric Navigation” features for navigating and selling ACE’s and others’ products. 68. To the extent required by law, 21 srl has complied with the provisions of 35

U.S.C. § 287 with respect to the ‘993 patent. 69. GSI’s direct infringement of the ‘993 patent through the www.acehardware.com

website has injured 21 srl and 21 srl is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate it for such infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty.

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COUNT IV – GSI’S INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 8,041,699 B2 70. 21 srl repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 9 and 44 through 66 as if fully restated herein. 71. GSI has infringed and continues to infringe at least claims 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 23,

24, 28, 29, 44 and 45 of the '699 patent within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) through the foregoing activities including, without limitation, making, using, operating and conducting business through the www.acehardware.com website and others in a manner that infringes at least claims 9, 10, 11, 18, 21, 23, 24, 28, 29, 44 and 45 of the '699 patent including, without limitation, the “Filter By,” “leftNav,” and “Parametric Navigation” features for navigating and selling ACE’s and others’ products. 72. To the extent required by law, 21 srl has complied with the provisions of 35

U.S.C. § 287 with respect to the ‘699 patent. 73. GSI’s direct infringement of the ‘699 patent through the www.acehardware.com

website has injured 21 srl and 21 srl is entitled to recover damages adequate to compensate it for such infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff 21 srl respectfully asks this Court to enter judgment against Defendants Ace Hardware Corporation and GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. and against each of their respective subsidiaries, successors, parents, affiliates, officers, directors, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them, granting the following relief: a. The entry of judgment in favor of 21 srl and against each Defendant;

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b.

An award of damages as to each Defendant adequate to compensate 21 srl

for the infringement that has occurred, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty as permitted by 35 U.S.C. § 284, together with prejudgment interest from the date the infringement began; c. A finding that this case is exceptional as to each Defendant and an award

to 21 srl of its reasonable attorneys' fees and costs as provided by 35 U.S.C. § 285; and d. Such other relief that 21 srl is entitled to under law, and any other and

further relief that this Court or a jury may deem just and proper. JURY DEMAND 21 srl demands a trial by jury on all issues presented in this Complaint.

Respectfully submitted, /s/ Raymond P. Niro, Jr. Raymond P. Niro Raymond P. Niro, Jr. Brian E. Haan Anna B. Folgers NIRO, HALLER & NIRO 181 West Madison, Suite 4600 Chicago, Illinois 60602 4515 Phone: (312) 236 0733 Fax: (312) 236 3137 rniro@nshn.com; rnirojr@nshn.com; afolgers@nshn.com; bhaan@nshn.com Attorneys for Plaintiff 21 srl

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