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Keystone Global LLC v. Decor Essentials Ltd.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 6, 2014

KEYSTONE GLOBAL LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
DÉCOR ESSENTIALS LTD. d/b/a BUMPER ADVERTISEMENT; and CHARIOT INTERNATIONAL, INC. d/b/a BUMPER BADGER, Defendants.

Jeffrey Sonnabend, SonnabendLaw, Brooklyn, NY, for plaintiff Keystone Global LLC.

Kenneth F. Florek, Florek & Endres PLLC, New York, NY, for defendant Chariot International, Inc.

OPINION AND ORDER

DENISE COTE, District Judge.

Plaintiff Keystone Global LLC ("Keystone") brings this action against defendants Chariot International, Inc. d/b/a Bumper Badger ("Chariot"); Auto Essentials Inc.; Decor Essentials Ltd. d/b/a BumperAdvertisement; Bumper Buster, Inc. d/b/a Bumper Busters; Kesem LLC d/b/a Bumpersecurity; R.R. Lalena Corp.; and Wheels to Lease. Of these, only Chariot continues to defend this action.[1] Keystone alleges that defendants have infringed its United States Patents No. 7, 866, 715 (the "715 patent") and 8, 047, 601 (the "601 patent"), which cover devices designed to protect the rear bumper of a car from minor bumps and scrapes.

Pursuant to Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc. , 517 U.S. 370 (1996), the parties have submitted briefing regarding their proposed constructions of the 715 and 601 patents' claims. The following sets forth the Court's construction of disputed terms.

BACKGROUND

The parties dispute the construction of the following terms used in the 715 patent: "detachably attaches to a rear bumper" and "detachably attaching to... the rear bumper"[2]; "stabilizing blocks"; and "attached to the outside face and protruding from the top portion of the base layer."[3] The parties dispute the same terms in the 601 patent, with two exceptions: the 601 patent replaces the phrase "attached to the outside face" with "on the outside face, " and it includes an additional disputed term, "wherein the stabilizing blocks are integrally formed with the base layer."

Claim 1 of the 715 patent describes (emphasis supplied):

A rear bumper protective device that is fitted atop and detachably attaches to a rear bumper of a vehicle, the rear bumper protective device comprising:
a base layer of hanging flexible material having a top portion, a top edge, side portions, an inside face, an outside face, and a bottom portion, the base layer having a construction and thickness capable of reducing damage to the rear bumper of the vehicle, and being of sufficient dimensions to at least partially hang over the rear bumper of the vehicle when fitted atop the rear bumper of the vehicle, wherein the inside face faces the vehicle and the outside face faces away from the vehicle;
attachment means connected to said base layer for detachably attaching said base layer to the rear bumper of the vehicle; and
one or more stabilizing blocks, each having a top edge, attached to the outside face and protruding from the top portion of the base layer, the stabilizing blocks positioned such that the top edge of each stabilizing block lies on a common line with the top edge of the base layer.

Claim 10 of the 715 patent is essentially identical, with a slight alteration in the second feature. Where Claim 1 claims "attachment means connected to said base layer for detachably attaching said base layer to the rear bumper of the vehicle, " Claim 10 claims "one or more securing means connected to the bumper protective device for detachably attaching to a rear portion of the vehicle."

Claim 1 of the 601 patent describes (emphasis supplied):

A rear bumper protective device that is fitted atop and detachably attaches to a rear bumper of a vehicle, the rear ...

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