Case Name: Berry v. Ford Motor Company
Docket Number: 5:11-cv-10569-JCO-RSW
Date Filed: 2/11/2011
Judge: Hon. John Corbett O’Meara
Status: Pending

On February 11, 2011, Plaintiff Joseph J. Berry filed suit against Defendants Ford Motor Company and Ford Global Technologies. The case involves Ford’s in-car communications and connectivity system, SYNC, and specifically, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,352,186; 8,355,871; 8,036,634; 8,010,281; 8,285,439; 8,346,310; 8,396,449; 8,718,632.

This ongoing case stems from Plaintiff’s former work as a contractor for Defendants to implement his inventions for Defendants’ SYNC Technology, an integrated in-vehicle communications, and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls, control music, and perform other functions with the use of voice commands. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants fraudulently acquired Plaintiff’s consent to assign patent documents to Defendants, that the assignments were unenforceable, that Defendants breached Plaintiff’s work contract, and that Defendants were unjustly enriched at the expense of the Plaintiff. Further, Plaintiff requested correction of inventorship of the patents-at-issue. Defendants denied the allegations, filing a counterclaim asking for declaratory judgment on its sole ownership of the patents at issue and damages for breach of contract by Plaintiff.

The case is ongoing. Discovery ended on December 1, 2014 and the final pretrial conference will be held on March 18, 2015. On January 14, 2015, Plaintiff’s filed a motion for summary judgment as to Count I (unjust enrichment) under seal. Defendant also filed a motion for summary judgment. A hearing regarding both motions for summary judgment is set for April 2, 2015.