Patent Lawsuit against AOPA Dismissed without Prejudice
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) was established at Wings Field in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. This nonprofit political organization is currently based out of Frederick, Maryland and advocates for general aviation. As a part of its duties, AOPA claims to protect the rights of aircraft owners as well as general aviation pilots while ensuring that general aviation is made safe and affordable for all. They have recently been embroiled in a patent lawsuit that has culminated with a win for them.
SD Holdings is not new to patent lawyers or patent lawsuits. They have filed many patent claims with the help of their subsidiaries over the years. Their latest lawsuit was against the AOPA. This $66 million lawsuit was filed last year and has just been dismissed by the court. In the lawsuit, the patent lawyers of SD Holdings claimed that the FlyQ Web, which is a flight planning tool freely available to member of the AOPA, had infringed two aviation patents held by the company.
US District Judge Marco Hernandez from Oregon has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought by the patent lawyers of SD Holdings. The lawsuit against AOPA was dismissed on the 22nd of July on the basis of lack of personal jurisdiction.
As per the judge, the lawsuit never should have been filed in the state of Oregon. The headquarters of AOPA are based in Maryland and that is perhaps where the lawsuit should have been filed in the first place. AOPA’s patent lawyers also asked for the case to be dismissed or at least moved to Maryland. While making this recommendation and dismissing the case, Judge Hernandez agreed with the prior recommendation made by District Court Magistrate John V. Acosta.
AOPA’s patent lawyers have spent a whole year fighting a case that has now been dismissed from Oregon. During the course of the lawsuit, the patent lawyers also argued that SD Holdings did not have a good faith basis for filing this patent infringement case against AOPA. While defending their client, the patent lawyers said that the case brought forward by SD Holdings was meritless and it is unfortunate that AOPA had to spend a year and significant amount of resources defending themselves in this patent infringement lawsuit.
SD Holdings should have to Pay Back AOPA the Cost of their Legal Defense
With reference to any future claims that SD Holdings might bring against the, AOPA’s patent lawyers said that while they hope the case dismissal will be the end of this matter, they intend to fight any future claims brought up by the company because AOPA has not violated any patents.
Chances that SD Holdings will choose to reinitiate this case in another state are high as of now because the Oregon court dismissed the case without prejudice. This means that SD Holdings has the right and freedom to file another patent lawsuit with the help of their patent lawyers as long as it is done in some other state. AOPA’s patent lawyers meanwhile tried to get Judge Hernandez to agree to AOPA’s motion for sanctions. However, the judge has deferred the motion at this point. If they file the motion for sanctions in any other Oregon court, AOPA’s patent lawyers could ask for reimbursement of legal fees and costs from SD Holdings.
SD Holdings is no newcomer to patent litigation but they have plenty of experience in greed and wasting other company’s time. They have filed several patent infringement claims against aviation organizations in the past. With the help of Flight Prep, an incorporated member of SD Holdings, patent lawyers have filed patent infringement lawsuits against aviation companies like Jeppesen, RunwayFinder.com, NavMonster, and more.
Of the organizations they have brought patent litigation against, NavMonster and RunwayFinder.com have shut up shop as of now. Neither the patent lawyers from AOPA nor the ones from SD Holdings had any comment to make after the dismissal of the $66 million lawsuit. There is no information about whether SD Holdings intends to file another lawsuit in Maryland or any other state.