Albert J. Breneisen (AB 9311)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
THE PARTIES1. Plaintiff BT is a corporation organized under the laws of the United Kingdom having its principal place of business at 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ, United Kingdom.
2. On information and belief, defendant Prodigy is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Delaware, having its principal place of business at 44 South Broadway, White Plains, New York 10601. Defendant Prodigy has, at all times material hereto, been registered to do business and has conducted business in the State of New York.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE3. This action arises under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U. S. C. §§ 271, 281, 283-285. Subject matter jurisdiction is conferred on this Court by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338(a). Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b), 1391(c) and/or 1400(b).
BACKGROUND4. On October 10, 1989, United States Letters Patent No. 4,873,662 ("the ‘662 patent") was issued for an invention entitled "INFORMATION HANDLING SYSTEM AND TERMINAL APPARATUS THEREFOR", listing Desmond J. Sargent as the inventor. A true and correct copy of the ‘662 patent is attached hereto as Exhibit "A".
5. The ‘662 patent is directed to, for example, an information handling system including, e.g. a digital information storage, retrieval and display system, such as used for the interconnection between the Internet, the World Wide Web and user terminals. The ‘662 patent also relates to a system wherein blocks of information comprise a first portion, for display, and a second portion, not for display, such as seen today with the use of hidden page technology, or "hyperlinks".
6. Prior to issuance, all right, title and interest in and to the ‘662 patent was assigned by the inventor to The Post Office, United Kingdom ("UK Post Office"). The UK Post Office controlled the provision of telecommunications services in the UK. Pursuant to the British Telecommunications Act of 1981, to prepare for the introduction of competition into the telecommunications industry, the Post Office was severed into two separate organizations: The Post Office and BT. Thereafter, The Post Office assigned all right, title and interest in and to the ‘662 patent to British Telecommunications. Subsequently, British Telecommunications became a public limited company. BT is the current owner of all right, title and interest in and to the ‘662 Patent.
7. On information and belief, defendant Prodigy has engaged in providing users with various Internet-related services including dial-up access to the World Wide Web. Prodigy’s Internet services infringe the technology covered by the ‘662 patent. Specifically, defendant’s Internet services include a web server which stores plural blocks of information, i.e. web pages, at locations of a storage medium, such as a disk. These web pages contain both a displayed portion (what is seen on the screen) and an undisplayed portion with hidden information that is not seen by the user. The hidden information includes, e.g. addresses associated with the displayed portion. Users of Prodigy’s internet services select certain displayed data, e.g. a hyperlink, and the hidden information containing the address corresponding to the selected hyperlink causes the web page indicated by that address to be displayed to the user.
8. The technology covered by the ‘662 patent enables users of Prodigy’s internet services to facilitate web browsing through the use of hyperlinks. Hyperlinks, in the context of the claimed system, allow Prodigy users to browse or "surf" the Internet quickly and efficiently.
9. Paragraphs 1-8 above, inclusive, are hereby incorporated herein by reference.
10. Defendant Prodigy has used, sold or offered to sell, and will continue to use, sell or offer to sell, an Internet system and/or service that infringes each of the elements of one or more claims of the ‘662 patent, without license from BT, in this judicial district and elsewhere throughout the United States.
11. By using, selling, and/or offering for sale its Internet services, defendant Prodigy has directly and contributorily infringed, and will continue to directly and contributorily infringe, one or more claims of the ‘662 patent under 35 U.S. C. § 271 (a), (b), (c), and/or (f), literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents.
12. By making, using, selling, and/or offering for sale its Internet services, defendant Prodigy has induced infringement of, and will continue to induce infringement of, one or more claims of the ‘662 patent under 35 U.S. C. § 271 (b), and/or (f), literally and/or under the doctrine of equivalents.
13. On information and belief, Prodigy’s infringement of the‘662 patent has been and continues to be willful and deliberate.
14. As a direct and proximate consequence of the acts and practices of defendant, plaintiff BT has been, is being and, unless such acts and practices are enjoined by the Court, will continue to be injured in its business and property rights, and has suffered, is suffering, and will continue to suffer injury and damages for which it is entitled to relief under 35 U.S.C. § 284.
15. As a direct and proximate consequence of the acts and practices of defendant, defendant has also caused, is causing and, unless such acts and practices are enjoined by the Court, will continue to cause irreparable harm to plaintiff BT for which there is no adequate remedy at law, and for which plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief under 35 U. S. C. § 283.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, plaintiff BT prays for the entry of a judgment from this Court:
a. Declaring that United States Letters Patent 4,873,662 was duly and legally issued, is valid and is enforceable;
b. Declaring that defendant Prodigy has directly infringed, contributorily infringed, and/or induced infringement of one or more claims of the’662 patent;
c. Declaring that defendant Prodigy has willfully infringed one or more claims of the ‘662 patent;
d. Deeming this to be an "exceptional" case within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 285, entitling plaintiff to an award of its reasonable attorney fees, expenses and costs in this action; and
e. Preliminarily and permanently enjoining defendant Prodigy and its respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise, from committing further acts of infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271 of any one or more claims of the ‘662 patent pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283;
f. Awarding plaintiff damages in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 284;
g. Awarding plaintiff its costs in connection with this action; and
h. Awarding plaintiff such other and further relief as this Court may deem to be just and proper.
Dated: December 13, 2000