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vs. ELAINE BRAUN, an individual Defendant.


COMPLAINT Plaintiff DeNiece Designs, LLC (DeNiece Designs) files this Complaint against Elaine Braun (Ms. Braun), individually, alleging as follows: THE PARTIES 1. Plaintiff DeNiece Designs, LLC is a limited liability corporation, organized under

the laws of the state of Texas, having its principal place of business at 5827 Pinellas Park, Spring, Texas 77379. 2. Defendant Elaine Braun, on information and belief, is an individual residing at

801 Cindy Dr., Paducah, KY, 42003. On information and belief, Ms. Braun may be served through her attorney, Litman Law, at 8955 Center Street, Manassas, VA. 20110. JURISDICTION & VENUE 3. This is an action that seeks a declaratory judgment under the Declaratory

Judgments Act, 28 U.S.C. 2201 and 2202. It presents an actual case or controversy under Article III of the United States Constitution and serves a useful purpose in clarifying and settling

the legal rights at issue. 4. Ms. Braun claims to own U.S. Patent No. 7,255,299 (the 299 patent), entitled

Fabric Storage Panel. A true and correct copy of the 299 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit A. 5. Ms. Braun, by and through her attorneys, has explicitly accused Ms. Herrod and

DeNiece Designs with infringement of the 299 patent. 6. DeNiece Designs seeks a judgment against Ms. Braun that DeNiece Designs

products have not infringed and do not infringe the 299 patent and/or that the 299 patent is invalid. 7. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.

1331, 1338(a), 2201 and 35 U.S.C. 1 et seq. 8. Venue is proper in this district under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b-c) and 1400(b). Upon

information and belief, Ms. Braun transacts or has transacted business in this judicial district. 9. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Ms. Braun because Ms. Braun has

established minimum contacts with this forum and the exercise of jurisdiction over Ms. Braun would not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

FACTS 10. Ms. Herrod, by and through her company DeNiece Designs, makes, manufactures

and sells fabric organizers, which are used to store scraps and yaradge of fabric. 11. 12. Ms. Herrod conceived of the fabric organizer on January 30, 2004. Ms. Herrod filed for provisional patent No. 60/676,215, entitled Fabric

Organizer. on Apr. 29, 2005. 13. On May 1, 2006, Ms. Herrod filed application No. 11/381,086, which claimed the

benefit of 60/676.215. That application went abandoned on June 14, 2010. 14. U.S. Patent 299 was filed on Aug. 13, 2004 and issued on Aug. 14, 2007. 2


On August 15, 2007, by and through the law firm of Wyatt Tarrant & Combs

LLP, Ms. Braun sent a cease and desist letter to DeNiece Designs, alleging encroachment of the 299 patent. 16. On August 29, 2007, by and through the law firm of Keeling Patents &

Trademarks, Ms. Herrod sent a response letter detailing the distinctions between her products and the claims of the 299 patent. 17. Neither Ms. Herrod, nor DeNiece Designs received any further correspondence

from Ms. Braun or her attorneys for nearly five years. 18. On June 13, 2012, Ms. Herrod received a second cease and desist letter of behalf

of Ms. Braun through the law firm of Litman Law. 19. Several of Ms. Herrods retailers have also received cease and desist letters from

Ms. Braun or her employees. These cease and desist letters have caused Ms. Herrod to lose customers and/or business. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Declaratory Relief Non-Infringement of the 978 Patent) 20. Plaintiff incorporates by reference each and every allegation set forth in

paragraphs 1-19 as if fully set forth herein. 21. Plaintiff does not make, use, offer for sale, import or sell and has not made used,

offered for sale, imported or sold in the United States any products which infringe any valid and enforceable claims of the 299 patent, either directly or indirectly, contributorily or otherwise, and has not induced any others to infringe said patent. SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF (Declaratory Relief Invalidity of the 978 Patent)


Plaintiff incorporates by reference each and every allegation set forth in 3

paragraphs 1-21 as if fully set forth herein. 23. The 299 Patent and each and every claim thereof is invalid for failing to comply

with the requirements for patentability under the Patent Laws of the United States, including 35 U.S.C. 102, 103 and 112. THIRD CLAIM FOR RELIEF ( Waiver, Estoppel & Laches)


Plaintiff incorporates by reference each and every allegations set forth in

paragraphs 1-23 as if fully set forth herein. 25. Ms. Braun is barred from enforcing the 299 Patent against DeNiece Designs on

grounds of waiver, laches and estoppel due to action or inaction by Ms. Braun which has resulted in extreme prejudice and detriment to DeNiece Designs. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, DeNiece Designs requests the Court to enter declaratory judgment in its favor and against Ms. Braun as follows: a. An order entering judgment in favor of DeNiece Designs and against Ms. Braun; b. An order declaring DeNiece Designs has not directly or indirectly infringed and is not directly or indirectly infringing the 299 patent; c. An order declaring that one or more claims of the 299 patent are invalid; d. An order awarding DeNiece Designs its costs, including expert fees, disbursements, and reasonable attorneys fees incurred in this action pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 285 and e. An order granting such further relief as is just and proper.

JURY DEMAND Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 38(b), DeNiece Designs demands a trial by jury for all issues so triable.

Dated: September 19, 2012

Respectfully submitted, /s/ Edward W. Goldstein Edward W. Goldstein (TX Bar No. 08099500) Goldstein & Lipski PLLC 1177 West Loop South, Suite 400 Houston, Texas 77027 Telephone: (713) 877-1515 Facsimile: (713) 877-1737 Email: Attorneys for Plaintiff DeNiece Designs, LLC