Patent Dispute Erupts Over Mobile Digital Recording Devices

by Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP
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Utility Associates, Inc. (“Utility”), a Delaware corporation with a place of business in Tucker, Georgia, filed a patent infringement action on June 12, 2014, against Digital Ally Inc. (“Digital”), a Nevada corporation operating out of Lenexa, Kansas relating to United States Patent No. 6,831,556 (the ‘556 Patent) entitled “Composite Mobile Digital Information System,” which issued on December 14, 2004.  In the Technical Field paragraph the patentee described the system as follows:  “In particular, the present invention is directed to a system for use in public and commercial vehicles to capture video, audio, and related information for surveillance and evidentiary purposes.”
The complaint recites as background information two prior complaints:  (1) a declaratory judgment action filed by Digital in Kansas in October of 2013 [Civil Action NO. 2:13-cv-02550-SAC-KGS (Kansas City Division) – the “Kansas Action”]; and (2) an earlier complaint by Utility on June 3, 2014, which was not actually filed (the “Aborted Filing”).  The Kansas Action was dismissed, although that dismissal is currently under appeal.  Utility explained in its complaint that it was curing the Aborted Filing by refiling the complaint.
According to the complaint, after the Kansas Action was filed, Utility reviewed Digitial’s products in light of the ‘556 Patent and determined that several Digital products infringe the patent.
Utility explains in the suit that it “is engaged in the business of manufacturing, distributing, and selling digital video imaging and storage products and methods.”
The complaint alleges infringement by three Digital products:  the “DVM-500 Plus,” “DVM-750,” and “DVM-800” in-car video systems.  The “DVM-500 Plus” system is pictured below:

Figure 2 of the ‘556 Patent (below) is a diagram of the operation of the patented invention:
 
Digital is accused of intentional infringement based in part on its knowledge of the ‘556 Patent as disclosed in the Kansas Action.  Utility seeks an injunction, the surrender or destruction of all infringing products, a report on compliance with the injunction, damages, trebled damages as a result of the intentional infringement, and such other relief as the Court deems just and proper.

The case is Utility Associates, Inc. v. Digital Ally, Inc. No. 1:14-cv-01847-RWS, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on June 12, 2014, and assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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