SSJR Litigators Win Dismissal of Six Defenses and Three Counterclaims
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted SSJR’s motion on behalf of its client, Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc. (“KSEA”), to dismiss and strike all of the defendants’ defenses and counterclaims based on an agreement that terminated a previous case between the parties. In 2012, Stryker Corp. and Stryker Communications, Inc. (“Stryker”) paid KSEA to settle a patent infringement suit and to obtain a license to two of KSEA’s patents. When KSEA sued Stryker in 2014 for infringement of five new patents owned by KSEA, Stryker raised defenses and counterclaims based on the premise that the language of the settlement and license agreement from 2012 barred KSEA from bringing patent infringement claims against the products at issue in the previous suit. These defenses and counterclaims included waiver, implied license, breach of contract, breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud, among others. KSEA moved to strike and dismiss these claims as a matter of law on the basis that Stryker’s interpretation of the agreement is not reasonable and that the agreement does not bar the presently pending infringement claims. The court agreed with KSEA and adopted KSEA’s interpretation of the agreement in its entirety while rejecting Stryker’s. The court granted KSEA’s motion and struck and dismissed Stryker’s defenses and counterclaims based on the agreement.