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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Intellectual Property Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Intellectual Property Legal News



Headline Intellectual Property Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



Federal Circuit Sides With Licensee, Deems Velcade Patent Valid
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge's determination of invalidity with regard to various claims of a patented product for the treatment of multiple myeloma and mantle cell lymphoma was erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 17 (Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., Nos. 2015-2066, 2016-1008, -1009, -1010, -1109, -1110, -1283, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12702).



Texas Federal Judge: Applicability Of On-Sale Bar In Question
SHERMAN, Texas - A request by two defendants for partial summary judgment that five patents are invalid under the on-sale bar articulated in Section 102(b) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102(b), was denied July 24 by a Texas federal judge (Tech Pharmacy Services LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 15-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114726).



Federal Circuit Affirms Obviousness Finding By Patent Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner on July 25 failed to persuade the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to overturn a determination of obviousness by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Spherix Inc. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-1790, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13357).



Appeals Court: Federal Judge Construed Patent Claims Erroneously
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury verdict of patent infringement was reversed and remanded by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 after the majority found that a Texas federal judge erroneously construed the disputed claim terms "replacement telephone number," "modify caller identification data of the call originator" and "outbound call" according to their plain and ordinary meaning (NobelBiz Inc. v. Global Connect, L.L.C., et al., Nos. 16-1104, -1105, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12946).



Federal Circuit Vacates Claim Construction By Patent Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that various claims of two patents covering a computer memory module are unpatentable were vacated and remanded July 25 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Netlist Inc. v. Diablo Technologies Inc., Nos. 16-1742, -1743, -1744 Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13355).



Federal Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Patent Infringement Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Connecticut federal judge did not err in finding that no reasonable juror could find that accused products using direct DNA and RNA detection infringe a patent covering indirect DNA and RNA detection, even under the doctrine of equivalents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 2 (Enzo Biochem Inc., et al. v. Applera Corp., et al., No. 16-1881, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14125).



Washington Federal Judge Stands By Denial Of Motion To Dismiss Patent Claims
SEATTLE - A request by a patent infringement defendant for reconsideration of a June ruling that denied dismissal of the dispute was denied July 20 by a Washington federal judge (Westech Aerosol Corporation v. ITW Polymers Sealants North America Inc., No. 17-5068, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113323).



Judge Partially Dismisses Claims Against Google In Trade Secrets Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 14 granted in part and denied in part Google's motion to dismiss state and federal misappropriation of trade secrets claims from a lawsuit, ruling that a wireless services and solutions firm has failed to show how Google's actions violated the terms of a nondisclosure agreement (Space Data Corp. v. Alphabet Inc., et al., No. 5:16-cv-03260, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109842).



Arizona Federal Judge Transfers Patent Dispute To North Carolina Court
PHOENIX - Citing the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017), an Arizona federal judge on July 24 agreed with a patent infringement defendant that the case should proceed in North Carolina (OptoLum Inc. v. Cree Inc., No. 16-3828, D. Ariz., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114717).



Federal Circuit Says Evidence Lacking That SanDisk Intended To Deceive
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly granted SanDisk LLC summary judgment on allegations that SanDisk intended to deceive the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when procuring two patents relating to flash memory, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 (Alfred T. Giuliano, et al. v. SanDisk LLC, No. 16-2166, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13577).



California Federal Judge Dismisses Antitrust Claims, But Patent Claims Survive
SAN FRANCISCO - Although a defendant won dismissal of allegations that he violated the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 2, a plaintiff's request for a declaration of inequitable conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will proceed, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 2 (Ojmar US LLC v. Security People Inc., et al., No. 16-4948, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121825).



FitBit Prevails Before Patent Board Following Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The three remaining claims of a patent covering a system for monitoring health, wellness and fitness were deemed unpatentable pursuant to Sections 102 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102, on July 19 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (FitBit Inc. v. BodyMedia Inc., No. IPR2016-00545, PTAB).



Microsoft Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Image Optimization Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent directed to methods and systems for receiving and responding to a request for image data would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, Microsoft Corp. contends in a July 20 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Microsoft Corp. v. Bradium Technologies LLC, No. IPR2017-01818, PTAB).



Semiconductor Patent Targeted In New Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a July 26 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a semiconductor maker argued that a purported improvement to semiconductor interconnect structures was anticipated by or rendered obvious by prior art (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. v. Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1, No. IPR2017-01862, PTAB).



Patent Board Grants Rehearing, Won't Sustain Rejection
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An inventor correctly argued that an April 2017 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erroneously relied upon a patent examiner's alternative finding that claim 3 of a hoof boot patent should be rejected as anticipated because the alternative finding is inconsistent with the same ruling as it relates to claim 1, from which claim 3 depends, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled July 27 (Ex parte Kirt Lander, No. 2015-004008, PTAB).



PTAB Rejects Patent Challenge, Deems HIV Prodrug Patentable
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An inter partes review of the patented HIV-inhibiting prodrug Lexiva ended in a July 28 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board confirming the patentability of five disputed claims, effectively blocking generic entry to the market for the full length of owner Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s patent term (Lupin Ltd. v. Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, No. IPR2016-00558, PTAB).



North Carolina Federal Judge Denies Motion Challenging Copyright Ownership
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A request for summary judgment by a copyright infringement defendant was denied July 21 by a North Carolina federal judge, who found that material issues of factual dispute remain with regard to whether a plaintiff qualifies as an author or co-author of disputed architectural plans (Brookwood Remodeling and Homebuilding LLC v. Landis Reed Homes LLC, No. 16-186, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113629).



11th Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Copyright, Trademark Claims
ATLANTA - Allegations that a copyright and trademark infringement defendant befriended a plaintiff under false pretenses in order to misappropriate portions of her autobiography for a line of perfumes were properly rejected by a Georgia federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 18 (Daisy Byrd Mobley v. Claire Fermont-Langlais, et al., No. 16-12340, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12841).



Judge Denies Defendants' Summary Judgment Motion In Trade Secrets Suit
BOSTON - Defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit failed to show that summary judgment is warranted with regard to the misappropriation claims because a jury could reasonably determine that the defendants misrepresented each of the trade secrets at issue and that each of those trade secrets was not publicly available or disclosed, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled July 19 in denying the motion (Iconics Inc. v. Simone Massaro, et al., No. 11-11526, D. Mass, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112042).



Motions For Judgment, Relief Filed In Remanded MP3tunes Copyright Suit
NEW YORK - Following an appeals court ruling and a denial of certiorari, the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3tunes LLC on July 28 asked a New York federal judge to grant him relief from a previous adverse judgment, citing new precedent that he says controls what claims may be brought against an out-of-state defendant (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. MP3tunes LLC, et al., No. 1:07-cv-09931, S.D. N.Y.).



West Virginia Federal Judge Denies Relief In Copyright, Trade Secret Row
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Allegations of copyright infringement by a software provider against a former employee stemming from his allegedly unauthorized use of source code are unlikely to succeed, a West Virginia federal judge held Aug. 1, denying entry of preliminary injunctive relief (CSS Inc. v. Christopher Herrington, et al., No. 16-1762, S.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120396).



California Federal Judge Allows Oracle To Amend Copyright Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 25 agreed to permit Oracle America Inc. to amend its complaint against Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (HPE) to address a California magistrate judge's November 2016 ruling that Oracle's allegations of international copyright infringement were inadequately pleaded (Oracle America Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, No. 16-1393, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116298).



9th Circuit Remands Trademark Case, Finds Confusion Likely
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge erred in his assessment of likelihood of confusion following a trademark infringement bench trial but properly rejected a defendant's effort to invoke a doctrine established by the U.S. Supreme Court in a pair of decisions issued in the early 20th century, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11 (Stone Creek Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design Inc., No. 15-17418, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12393).



Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Trademark Board 'Earnhardt' Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that the mark "Earnhardt Collection" is not primarily merely a surname may have relied on an improper application of In re: Hutchinson Technology Inc., the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 (Teresa H. Earnhardt v. Kerry Earnhardt Inc., No. 16-1939, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13576).



New York Federal Judge Sides With Trademark Owner, Issues Relief
ALBANY, N.Y. - A dispute over the "FLAX" trademark was resolved Aug. 1 in favor of the mark owner, when a New York federal judge found that a defendant's use of "Dr. Flax" was likely to cause confusion (Heartland Trademarks Ltd. v. Dr. Flax LLC, No. 17-795, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120440).



Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Counterfeit Tobacco Pipe Lawsuit
MIAMI. - A federal judge in Florida on July 7 denied a glass-pipe maker's motion for default judgment in a copyright infringement suit and dismissed the suit without prejudice after finding that the plaintiff "lacks standing to pursue its federal claims" and the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Sream Inc. v. Mayasam, Inc., No. 16-cv-24825, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106100).



Mattress Seller, Review Website Settle, Dismiss False Advertising Lawsuit
NEW YORK - In a July 28 stipulation of dismissal filed in New York federal court, an online mattress retailer and a mattress review website operator announced that they have settled their respective false advertising claims, brought under the Lanham Act and state law (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Derek Hales, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03223, S.D. N.Y.).



Texas Federal Judge Cuts Fees For Salon Franchisor In Breach Of Contract Suit
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on July 27 awarded a hair salon franchisor $26,900 in attorney fees and $8,649.42 in litigation expenses and court costs, less than the $62,344 the franchisor was seeking, in a case against a former franchisee alleging breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark and trade dress infringement, finding duplication of effort between the two law firms that worked on the case (Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. Gerald Mosley, No. 16-2318, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177941).



Texas Federal Judge Grants Motion To Amend Restaurant Franchisor's Trademark Suit
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 31 granted a motion to file a second amended complaint requested by restaurant franchisors and denied a restaurant group's motion to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit, saying that the defendant would not suffer undue prejudice and that it did not appear to be an effort to circumvent the defendant's motion to dismiss the suit (Stockade Cos. LLC, et al. v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-cv-143, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120012).



Judge Vacates Default Ruling In Athletic Apparel Trademark Infringement Case
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 24 set aside a default ruling entered against the chief operating officer of an apparel company that allegedly infringed on another entity's trademark in violation of federal trademark law and California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that setting aside the default ruling would not prejudice the owner of the mark (Lights Out Holdings LLC v. Lights Out Apparel LLC, et al., No.16cv2195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115326).



Mr. Softee Inc. Sues Ex-Franchisee Over Use Of Name, Trademarks
CAMDEN, N.J. - Mr. Softee Inc. on July 13 filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in New Jersey federal court against a former franchisee, alleging that he is operating ice cream stands at the Jersey Shore using the Mister Softee trademarks without permission (Mister Softee Inc. v. Carl Gallucci, No. 1:17-cv-05124, D. N.J.).



Sears Home & Business Sues Ex-Franchisee For Alleged Use Of Marks And Trade Secrets
CHICAGO - Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. on July 14 filed a five-count complaint in Illinois federal court seeking a preliminary injunction enjoining a former franchisee from continuing to operate two businesses as if authorized by Sears Home and from using its marks, confidential information and trade secrets (Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. v. Arizona Garage Doors & Repair Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-05239, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).



Complaint Fails To Trigger Advertising Injury Coverage, 5th Circuit Affirms
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 affirmed a lower court's finding that an underlying complaint against an insured failed to allege the use of another's "advertising idea," a trade dress claim or a claim for slogan infringement (Laney Chiropractic and Sports Therapy, P.A. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., 16-11183, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13748).



Insurer Has Duty To Defend Claims Arising From Patent Dispute, Panel Says, Reverses
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend a road repair corporation insured against false representation, monopolization and unfair and deceptive trade practices counterclaims in an infringement dispute over a patent that protected a particular pavement-lifting process (Uretek Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 15-20104, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13707).



Patent Owner Tells Federal Circuit Estoppel Defense Erroneously Applied
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Arkansas federal judge's grant of summary judgment in favor of a patent infringement defendant should be reversed because the defendant "fails to show a lack of genuine issues of material fact on even one of the elements of equitable estoppel," a patent owner told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 26 reply brief (John Bean Technologies Corp. v. Morris & Associates Inc., No. 17-1502, Fed. Cir.).



Patent Owner Disputes Obviousness Holding In Appeal To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board erroneously deemed a data interface circuit patent obvious based upon a motivation to combine prior art references, the patent owner told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a June 15 brief (Imperium IP Holdings v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 17-1571, Fed. Cir.).



Patent Defendant Tells Federal Circuit Claim Construction Too Broad
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge deciding the question of whether a coaxial cable connector patent was infringed "added language" to disputed claims "that substantially broadened" their scope, "such that they encompass prior art disparaged in" the patent's specification, Corning Optical Communications RF LLC tells the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a May 30 brief (Corning Optical Communications RF LLC v. PPC Broadband Inc., No. 17-1347, Fed. Cir.).



Outcome Of Post-Grant Review Debated In Appeal To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A November 2016 final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that upheld the patentability of 13 claims of a patented method of administering ophthalmic solution was erroneous because the board relied on an "overly-formalistic reading of its procedural rules," an appellant told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 8 (Altaire Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Paragon BioTek Inc., No. 17-1487, Fed. Cir.).



Domain Registrar Appeals Fees Denial In False Advertising Suit To 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - A domain registry firm that prevailed in a Lanham Act false advertising suit appealed a denial of its quest for attorney fees to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing in a July 31 brief that a trial court used the incorrect evidentiary standard and failed to consider evidence of the plaintiff's improper motive in filing suit (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 17-1704, 4th Cir.).



DJ, Rapper Argue Trademark Likelihood Of Confusion Factors To High Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a July 14 brief, a rapper and related parties asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a Michigan DJ's petition for certiorari in a dispute over the trademark "DJ Logic," contending that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals applied the proper standards in affirming that there was no likelihood of confusion between the parties' respective marks (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 16-1365, U.S. Sup.).



Financial Firms Argue Jurisdiction In 7th Circuit 'Ariel' Trademark Suit
CHICAGO - Two investment firms that use the "Ariel" trademark in their names filed briefs in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, disputing whether an Illinois court properly exercised jurisdiction over the Florida-based defendant in the trademark infringement lawsuit (Ariel Investments LLC v. Ariel Capital Advisors LLC, No. 17-1516, 7th Cir.).



Clothier Tells 2nd Circuit 2003 Agreement Does Not Cover Subsequent Infringement
NEW YORK - In a July 24 reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a clothing manufacturer argues that a 2003 agreement that settled a trademark dispute over a rival's use of the "Lucky" mark did not serve to bar future infringement claims arising from future, distinct actions (Marcel Fashions Group Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al., No. 17-0361, 2nd Cir.).



Copyright Immunity To Antitrust Claims Debated In Supreme Court Briefs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An airport chart maker and an app developer recently presented arguments to the U.S. Supreme Court as to whether the assertion of intellectual property rights serves to immunize a property owner from antitrust claims (SolidFX, LLC v. Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc., No. 16-1303, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Vacates Written Description Findings By Patent Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an interference proceeding that various claims of patents owned by the board of trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University are unpatentable for lack of written descriptive support were erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 27 (Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v. Chinese University of Hong Kong, No. 15-2011, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11382).



Federal Circuit Reverses Denial Of Fee Award In Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's decision to deny a prevailing patent infringement defendant an award of attorney fees was reversed July 5 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (AdjustaCam LLC v. Newegg Inc., et al., No. 16-1882, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11922).



Federal Circuit Affirms Denial Of Fees, Reverses Dismissal With Prejudice
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although a Texas federal judge did not err in denying a request for attorney fees by myriad defendants in a patent action, his decision to dismiss an invalidity counterclaim with prejudice was reversed July 5 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Parallel Networks LLC v. Kayak Software Corporation, et al., Nos. 15-1681, 16-1944, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11921).



New York Federal Judge Won't Reconsider Fee Award In Patent Case
NEW YORK - A December 2016 ruling that a patent plaintiff and its attorneys pursued their case in bad faith will not be revisited, a New York federal judge ruled July 6 (AlphaCap Ventures LLC v. Gust Inc., No. 15-6192, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104411).



Timing Of Email Dooms Sanctions Request In Design Patent Case
BOSTON - Allegations of design patent infringement were withdrawn within the 21-day safe harbor period proscribed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled July 6 in denying a request for sanctions (Caffeinate Labs Inc. v. Vante Inc., et al., No. 16-12480, D. Mass, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104265).



Blood Pressure Medicine Insurance Action Remanded After Patent Claims Dismissed
CHICAGO - Dismissal of a couple's antitrust and patent claims against a name-brand blood pressure medicine manufacturer for lack of standing leaves only state-based claims against an insurer for failing to cover the drug, a federal judge in Illinois held July 5 in remanding the action (Tarek Farag and Soona Farag v. Health Care Service Corp., d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., No. 17-2547, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103302).



Delaware Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Patent Claim On Section 101 Grounds
WILMINGTON, Del. - An effort by a defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations that it infringed a patented invention that - among other things - would purportedly replace human meter readers was unsuccessful July 11, when a Delaware federal judge ruled that the case should proceed (Smart Meter Technologies Inc. v. Duke Energy Corporation, No. 16-208, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106493).



Federal Circuit Partly Affirms, Partly Vacates In Appeal Of Patent Board Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Google Inc. prevailed outright in its cross-appeal of an adverse determination of patentability by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 ruled that 11 claims of a touch-screen, image-generating patent were erroneously deemed not anticipated or obvious (Google Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC, Nos. 16-1543, -1545, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12234).



Federal Circuit Vacates Denial Of Injunction In Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's decision to deny a patent plaintiff permanent injunctive relief, following a jury verdict of infringement, was vacated by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 (Genband US LLC v. Metaswitch Networks Corp., et al., No. 17-1148, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12233).



House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Impact Of 'Bad' Patents, Trolls
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Darrel Issa, R-Calif., on July 13 deemed "reprehensible" a recent interpretation by U.S. Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas of the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC during a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.



Collapsible Shoe Patent Would Have Been Obvious, New Petition Alleges
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a request for inter partes review filed June 28, a patent owned by Reebok International Ltd. that discloses a collapsible shoe was accused of unpatentability pursuant to Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103 (Elite Performance Footwear LLC v. Reebok International Ltd., No. IPR2017-01689, PTAB).



Finjan Patent Accused Of Obviousness In New Inter Partes Review Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a July 4 filing before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, a petitioner claimed that a Finjan Inc. patent covering anti-virus software is obvious and anticipated under Sections 102 and 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102, 103(a) (ESET LLC v. Finjan Inc., No. IPR2017-01738, PTAB).



Sony Digital Signal Patent Challenged In New Inter Partes Review Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent covering a system that supplies digital signals in a variety of formats to accommodate different types of external units, assigned by its inventors to Sony Corp., would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, several petitioners allege in a July 11 filing with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ARRIS International plc, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2017-01699, PTAB).



Text Entry Method Patent Challenged By Microsoft In New PTAB Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a July 11 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Microsoft Corp. and Microsoft Mobile Inc. allege that a patent that claims a method of text entry on devices such as handheld computers would have been obvious as of the patent's priority date of June 2001 (Microsoft Corporation, et al. v. Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., No. IPR2017-01766, PTAB).



Post-Grant Review Of Oral Lisinopril Patent Sought By Drug Maker
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a July 10 petition for post-grant review (PGR), a pharmaceutical company and a limited liability company that bills itself as a "partner" in inter partes review proceedings alleged that a patent covering an oral, liquid lisinopril formulation should not have been issued (KVK-Tech Inc., et al. v. Silvergate Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. PGR2017-00039, PTAB).



5th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claim Against American Girl Fails
NEW ORLEANS - Allegations that several books in the "American Girl" series infringe the copyright of an unpublished novel were properly rejected by a Louisiana federal judge, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 29 in a per curiam ruling (Melva Leona Vallery v. American Girl L.L.C., No. 15-30472, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11647).



Induced Copyright Infringement Claim Tossed By California Federal Judge
SAN DIEGO - Allegations that various individuals working at the behest of musician Carlos Santana induced others to infringe copyrighted artwork were dismissed July 6 by a California federal judge (Eric Gottesman v. Carlos Santana, et al., No. 16-2902, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104548).



Architectural Expert's Testimony Mostly Allowed In Home Design Copyright Case
CLEVELAND - Most of an architectural expert's testimony in a home design copyright infringement case is reliable and will be helpful in deciding the key issues in dispute; however, he is not allowed to give legal opinions or "dictate the conclusion" of the case, an Ohio federal magistrate judge held July 3 (Design Basics LLC v. Petros Homes Inc., et al., No. 14-1966, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102931).



California Magistrate Judge Dismisses Trade Secret, Copyright Misuse Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - An affirmative defense of copyright misuse was stricken by a California federal judge on July 5 in a dispute over golf club and golf training aid designs (Jonathan Wang v. Golf Tailor LLC, No. 17-898, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103654).



New York Federal Copyright Claim Against Associated Press Survives Motion
NEW YORK - A request by The Associated Press and Hearst Communications Inc. for judgment on the pleadings on allegations that they committed copyright infringement was denied July 7 by a New York federal judge, who found that material issues of disputed fact exist with regard to the date the infringement first took place (Michael Grecco v. The Associated Press, et al., No. 16-6240, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105264).



8th Circuit: Arbitration Not Compelled By Prior Trademark Settlement
ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal judge properly denied a motion to compel arbitration of a trademark infringement action based upon a clause in a prior settlement of a similar dispute, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 3 (Zetor North America Inc. v. Brent Rozeboom, et al., No. 16-2125, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11790).



Washington Federal Judge Denies Injunctive Relief In Counterfeiting Case
SPOKANE, Wash. - A request for declarations of noncounterfeiting and noninfringement with regard to the "PA Mask" trademark will proceed without a preliminary injunction in place, in light of a July 3 ruling by a Washington federal judge (The McBride Organization LLC v. Dominique Wenger, et al., No. 17-231, E.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102943).



Canadian High Court Upholds Global Injunction On Google Search Results
OTTAWA, Ontario - A Canadian trial court properly issued an injunction requiring Google Inc. to remove the links to a trademark infringer's websites worldwide, a Supreme Court of Canada majority ruled June 28, finding that an injunction over just Google's Canadian sites would not sufficiently combat the infringing activities (Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., et al., No. 36602, Canada Sup.).



9th Circuit Reverses, Remands In Longstanding Trademark Case
SAN FRANCISCO - A plaintiff adequately pleaded a cause of action for trademark infringement under a reverse confusion theory of likely confusion to withstand a defense motion for summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 7, reversing findings by a California federal judge that reverse confusion is a separate claim that must be specifically pleaded (Marketquest Group Inc. v. BIC Corp., No. 15-55755, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12165).



Judge Finds Hoverboard Sellers Jointly Liable For $1M Infringement Ruling
LOS ANGELES - After the recent lift of a bankruptcy court stay against two defendants accused of using trademarks held by hoverboard maker, a California federal judge on July 7 granted summary judgment for the company and found that they were jointly liable to pay $1 million in damages (UL LLC v. The Space Chariot Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-08172, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56147).



Claim Constructions Debated In New Patent Appeal To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a July 6 reply brief, a patent owner disputes assertions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the patent owner's appeal of an adverse inter partes review (IPR) outcome seeks a narrower claim construction of a temperature limitation that would render various dependent claims superfluous (ZoomEssence Inc. v. Joseph Matal, Acting Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 17-1581, Fed. Cir.).



Patent Owner: Apparatus Claims Erroneously Deemed Indefinite
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 13 heard oral arguments in a dispute in which Microsoft Corp. prevailed on allegations that two data-mining patents are indefinite (MasterMine Software Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., No. 16-2465, Fed. Cir.).



Federal Circuit Holds Oral Arguments In Apple, Rembrandt Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel of Federal Circuit U.S. Judges Sharon Prost, Raymond T. Chen and Todd M. Hughes heard oral argument on July 10 in a case that asserts that a California federal judge erroneously granted defendant Apple Inc. summary judgment on allegations of patent infringement (Rembrandt Patent Innovations LLC, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-2324, Fed. Cir.).



Ericsson Tells Federal Circuit Patent Board Erred In Confirming Patentability
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent challenger recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board "violated a basic tenet of patent law" in turning away allegations of obviousness presented in a petition for inter partes review (IPR) (Ericsson Inc. v. Intellectual Ventures I LLC, No. 17-1521, Fed. Cir.).



Dungaree Maker Tells 2nd Circuit 2003 Agreement Bars Trademark Claims
NEW YORK - A New Jersey-based dungaree manufacturer argues in a July 10 brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a 2003 agreement that settled a previous trademark dispute with a rival clothier serves to bar the present trademark claims brought against it by that same company (Marcel Fashions Group Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., et al., No. 17-0361, 2nd Cir.).



Bourbon Seller Tells 5th Circuit Its Trademark Was Wrongly Deemed Abandoned
NEW ORLEANS - A high-end bourbon whiskey distributor argues in a June 30 brief to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a jury incorrectly found its "Cowboy Little Barrel" trademark to be abandoned because it was wrongly precluded from presenting evidence of an intent to resume use of the mark (Allied Lomar Inc. v. Lone Star Distillery LLC, et al., No. 17-50148, 5th Cir.).



Day Care Firm Says National Marketing Did Not Violate Regional Trademark Order
RICHMOND, Va. - In a July 5 reply brief to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a day care operator argues that a national marketing campaign in which it participated did not run afoul of a consent judgment prohibiting it from offering services under the "Rainbow" trademark in the Fayetteville, N.C., area and, thus, a contempt ruling against it should be reversed (Rainbow School Inc. v. Rainbow Early Education Holding LLC, et al., Nos. 17-1055 and 17-1123, 4th Cir.).



Internet Service Provider Appeals Infringement Ruling, Fees Award To 4th Circuit
RICHMOND, Va. - With briefing completed on its appeal of a trial court finding it contributorily liable for users' online infringement, an internet service provider (ISP) on June 28 filed a supplemental brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, voicing its objections to a subsequent award of attorney fees against it (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al. v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 16-1972, 17-1352 and 17-1353, 4th Cir.).



Megaupload Executives Say Circuit Split Requires Review Of Foreign Asset Seizure
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on June 21, supporting their petition for certiorari and urging review and clarification of procedures governing the seizure of foreign assets under the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA), which the petitioners say the U.S. government wrongly invoked to seize their assets in a criminal copyright case (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).



Amazon Waives Right To Respond To Author's DMCA Claims, Petition For Certiorari
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of trial and appeals court rulings in its favor, Amazon.com Inc. on June 28 waived its right to respond to a pro se plaintiff's petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, in which he asserts that the online retailer was negligent in its duty to remove infringing items from its website under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Reginald Hart v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-1549, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Invites Government Views In Apple, Samsung Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 26 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. solicitor general to express the views of the federal government on whether an injunction in a patent case can be premised on findings of "some connection" between an infringing feature and alleged irreparable harm (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1102, U.S. Sup.).



Supreme Court Denies Review Of Patent Definiteness Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its June 19 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for certiorari in a case questioning the general rule that each element in a patent claim is material to an invention's scope when assessing definiteness under Section 112 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S. Code 112 (Cox Communications Inc., et al. v. Sprint Communications Company LP, et al., No. 16-1106, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Affirms: Method Of Testing Bodily Samples Not Patent Eligible
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Ohio federal judge did not err in deeming three patents for testing bodily samples for myeloperoxidase (MPO) ineligible for patent protection under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 16 (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, et al. v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, No. 16-1766, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10672).



Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Patent Case, Finds Jurisdiction Lacking
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Kansas federal judge's reliance, in dismissing on jurisdiction grounds, on a choice-of-law provision in a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) between a patent owner and a potential licensee was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (NexLearn LLC v. Allen Interactions Inc., No. 16-2170, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10735).



Delaware Federal Jury Awards $235 Million On Patent Infringement Claims
WILMINGTON, Del. - A drug maker was ordered June 20 by a jury empaneled before U.S. Judge Leonard P. Stark of the District of Delaware to pay GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) $235.5 million in damages in connection with its marketing of generic Coreg as a treatment for chronic heart failure (CHF) (GlaxoSmithKline PLC v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., No. 14-877, D. Del.).



California Federal Judge Won't Strike Patent Infringement Counterclaim
SAN FRANCISCO - A motion by declaratory judgment plaintiff Comcast Cable Communications to strike with prejudice infringement contentions relating to five patents was denied June 20 by a California federal judge (Comcast Cable Communications v. OpenTV Inc. and Nagravision SA, No. 16-6180, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94117).



Grant Of Priority By Patent Board Upheld By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in an interference proceeding that a high amount of experimentation is necessary to synthesize a claimed compound for treating hepatitis C and that a provisional application did not enable the interference subject matter were affirmed June 21 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Richard Storer, et al. v. Jeremy Clark, No. 15-1802, Fed. Cir.).



Federal Circuit Rules Against Samsung, Confirms Validity Of Patents
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Samsung Electronics America Inc. and other appellants on June 23 failed to persuade the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that three patents challenged through inter partes review were erroneously deemed valid by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Samsung Electronics America Inc., et al. v. Straight Path IP Group Inc., Nos. 2016-2004, -2008, -2009, -2019, -2020, -2021, -2112, -2113, -2114, -2182, -2183, -2184, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11162).



Divided Federal Circuit: PTO Entitled To Fees When Defending Patent Denials
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge's decision to deny the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) an award of attorney fees incurred in connection with defending the rejection of a patent application was reversed June 23 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Nantkwest Inc. v. Joseph Matal, Acting Director U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-1794, Fed. Cir.).



Federal Circuit Reverses, Vacates Noninfringement Judgment, Fee Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a June 23 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Texas federal judge erroneously granted a defendant summary judgment of noninfringement with regard to a wastewater treatment system patent (Mark N. Chaffin v. Michael R. Braden, et al., No. 16-2572, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11164).



Crossbow Assembly Targeted In New Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board was asked June 19 to review the patentability of a release assembly for a crossbow on grounds that the assembly was anticipated by a prior art crossbow marketed as "Stryker" (Ravin Crossbows v. Precision Shooting Equipment Inc., No. IPR2017-01640, PTAB).



Patent Board Enters Adverse Judgment, Cancels Claims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - At the request of a patent owner, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on June 19 entered an adverse judgment, canceling eight claims of a semiconductor patent (Broadcom Limited v. Tessera Inc., No. IPR2017-00889, PTAB).



Patent Covering Diabetes Drug Fortamet At Issue In New Review Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a June 23 petition for inter partes review (IPR), Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. (Aurobindo, collectively) took aim at the patented pharmaceutical formulation metformin hydrochloride, marketed as extended-release tablets by Andrx Corp. under the brand name Fortamet (Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. and Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc. v. Andrx Corporation, No. IPR2017-01673, PTAB).



Microsoft Tells Patent Board: Dialect Translator Patent Is Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Several months after Google Inc. failed to persuade the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to review various claims of a patent directed to the digital translation technique of "dialectal standardization" Microsoft Corp. requested inter partes review (IPR) of many of the same claims, but asserting different prior art (Microsoft Corp. v. Improved Search LLC, No. IPR2017-01614, PTAB).



In Final Written Decision, Patent Board Upholds Fraud Detection Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions of obviousness levied in connection with a patented process for detecting fraudulent conduct based upon a user's telephone number were rejected June 26 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Twilio Inc. v. Telesign Corp., No. IPR2016-00360, PTAB).



Supreme Court Affirms: Disparagement Clause Violates The Constitution
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a ruling announced June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act, 15 U. S. C. 1052(a), which bars registration of trademarks deemed disparaging, violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment because trademarks "are private, not government, speech" (Matal, Interim Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Simon Shiao Tam, No. 15-1293, U.S. Sup.).



$2.4 Million In Gross Revenue Awarded On Trademark Claims
LOS ANGELES - In a June 8 judgment, a California federal judge finalized a May 30 order that directed a coffee company to pay the heirs of Bob Marley's estate $2.8 million in damages, a figure that includes $2.4 million in gross revenue attributable to the coffee company's infringement of the "Marley" trademark (Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Limited, et al. v. Jammin Java Corporation, No. 16-5810, C.D. Calif.).



Judge Refuses To Strike Answer To Tax Firm's Infringement, UCL Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 16 partially granted a tax firm's motion to strike parts of an answer to its complaint in which it asserts that various defendants infringed on its trademarks and violated California's unfair competition law (UCL), but refused to strike parts of the answer that assert an affirmative defense such as unclean hands or other equitable defense (Anderson Tax LLC v. Stephane Laffont-Reveilhac, et al., No. 17-cv-01311-EMC, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93298).



Florida Magistrate Judge Denies Motion, Finds Disputed Mark Not Generic
MIAMI - A request for summary judgment by three defendants accused of trademark infringement was denied June 22 by a Florida federal magistrate judge who disagreed with the defendants' contention that "Automated Production Equipment" is a generic name when applied to a plaintiff's business that operates under the APE acronym (Scheu & Scheu Inc. v. Casey Scheu, et al., No. 15-10147, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96405).



Judge Finds Letter Claiming Infringement Did Not Violate UCL, Lanham Act
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 20 granted a jewelry maker's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Lanham Act, finding that another jewelry designer failed to show how a private correspondence asserting trademark infringement in relation to certain designs significantly threatened or harmed competition (Marco Bicego S.P.A., et al. v. Stephanie Kantis, et al., No. 17-cv-00927, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95000).



9th Circuit Vacates Denial Of Injunction In Trade Dress Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A plaintiff on June 26 prevailed in an interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a California federal judge's decision to deny preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over paint ball trade dress (GI Sportz Inc., et al. v. APX Gear LLC, No. 16-56882, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11326).



Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Dancing Baby Copyright Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a May amicus brief from the U.S. government urging that certiorari be denied in a longstanding copyright dispute over a viral video, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 indicated that it will not hear the case (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).