Noerr cleans up the market for PopSockets
Noerr is conducting a wide-ranging fight against product piracy for PopSockets, the manufacturer of a well-known smart phone holder, and has achieved an initial judgment against an infringer of the PopSockets patent. PopSockets develops and sells collapsible, cone-shaped “handles” for smart phones that are extremely popular all over the world. Due to the huge commercial success and low manufacturing costs, the holders are also popular with copycats and counterfeiters. A team from Noerr led by Valentina Nieß, Jessica Loew (both trademark and design law) and Thomas Gniadek (patent law) have been engaged to “clean up” the market.
To date, 75 warnings have been sent and around 30 court-ordered injunctions won. “The IP litigation team has been very successful with its combination of actions based on trademark, design, patent, competition and criminal law along with border confiscation,” explained Valentina Nieß.
On 19 April 2018, after extensive written pre-trial proceedings and a 2½-hour trial, a German patent court confirmed by judgment for the first time that the PopSockets patent EP 2 686 751 B1 is infringed by the customary pirated goods and that the patent is legally valid. The Munich Regional Court agreed with all of Noerr’s arguments regarding the interpretation of the patent and its infringement. In the injunction, the opposing party, Nanu Nana, was ordered to desist from its actions and to relinquish the infringing goods. The judgment is immediately enforceable upon payment of a security deposit; an appeal is permissible.
Associated Partner Thomas Gniadek commented: “PopSockets is trying to enforce the family of patents worldwide. This first positive judgment by a German patent court will be relevant worldwide as a lead case for interpreting the claims of the family of patents and will cement our role as European lead counsel for PopSockets.” Jessica Loew continued: “The manufacturer of the counterfeit products in dispute is by far the most egregious infringer and sells its products worldwide. In addition to the court order from the Cologne Regional Court based on German competition law that we were able to bring about, this is a very significant economic success for our client.”
Advisors to PopSockets LLC: Noerr LLP
Valentina Nieß, Dr Thomas Gniadek (both Munich), Jessica Loew (Berlin), Dr Ralph Nack (Munich, all IP), Dr Martin Schorn, Dr Carsten Schucht (both Litigation, Munich)
Associates: Dr Armin Kühne (Munich), Lucas Günther (Berlin), Dr Stefanie Hermann, Samantha Köhler (both Munich, all IP)