Cases & Deals

MinuteKEY obtains summary judgment in dispute over insurer's duty to defend product disparagement claims

Client(s) MinuteKEY, Inc.

Jones Day obtained a ruling on summary judgment that a Travelers subsidiary, Charter Oak, breached its duty to defend MinuteKEY, Inc. against allegations the self-service key duplication company falsely accused a competitor, Hillman Group, of patent infringement, and that Charter Oak failed to establish that an exclusion for intellectual property claims barred coverage. In the underlying suit, the Hillman Group, which also makes self-service key duplication kiosks, alleges that MinuteKEY damaged Hillman's business relationship with a customer by claiming to that customer that Hillman infringed a MinuteKEY patent. Charter Oak denied MinuteKEY's request for a defense in that action, asserting that Hillman's disparagement claim arose out of alleged patent infringement and was therefore excluded. But Jones Day, on behalf of MinuteKEY, successfully argued that the exclusion does not apply to the underlying suit because Hillman's alleged injuries arose out of allegedly false statements about its products, not alleged patent infringement.

MinuteKEY, Inc. v. Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., No. 1:16-cv-01850-JLK (D. Colo.)