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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Intellectual Property Legal News
Headline Intellectual Property Legal News from LexisNexis®
Federal Circuit Will Rehear Patent Dispute Between Wi-Fi One, Broadcom
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The continued viability of Achates Reference Publishing Inc. v. Apple Inc. (803 F.3d 652 [Fed. Cir. 2015]) will soon be debated in light of a Jan. 4 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rehear, en banc, a dispute involving a data transmission patent (Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Nos. 15-1944, -1945, -1946, Fed. Cir.).
Chief Justice Issues Post-Argument Recusal In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter sent to counsel on Jan. 4, Chief Justice G. John Roberts Jr. revealed that despite his December participation in oral arguments, he will take no part in the U.S. Supreme Court's upcoming decision in the patent dispute between Life Technologies Corp. and Promega Corp. (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
Federal Circuit: Board Erred In Rejecting Credit Card Security Patents
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that rendered two patents relating to credit card transaction security invalid under 35 U.S. Code Sections 102 and 103 was vacated and remanded Dec. 22 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John D'Agostino v. Mastercard International Inc., Nos. 2016-1592, -1593, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23025).
Federal Circuit Upholds Rejection, Says Stent Patent Is Obvious
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding no error in a ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that invalidated, on obviousness grounds, 22 claims of a patented method of maintaining drugs delivered via a drug-eluting stent, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 3 affirmed (In re: Ethicon Inc., No. 15-1696, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4).
Federal Circuit: Inherent Anticipation Ruling In Patent Case Was Erroneous
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Wisconsin federal judge's finding that two patents were inherently anticipated by prior art was vacated Dec. 15 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the basis that genuine disputes of material fact should have precluded summary judgment (U.S. Water Services Inc., et al. v. Novozymes A/S, et al., Nos. 15-1950, -1967, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22244).
Federal Circuit Reverses Indefiniteness Holding, Judgment In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge erroneously granted a defendant summary judgment that myriad claims of a patented method for using a graphical indicator to encode information are invalid as indefinite, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 5 (Sonix Technology Co. Ltd. v. Publications International Ltd., et al., No. 16-1449, Fed. Cir.).
Delaware Federal Judge: Harm Not Irreparable In Pharmaceutical Patent Case
WILMINGTON, Del. - A request by Bayer Pharma AG, Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Bayer, collectively) for a preliminary injunction barring a competitor from selling a generic oral contraceptive was denied Dec. 28 by a Delaware federal judge, despite a July final judgment that the generic drug would infringe (Bayer Pharma AG, et al. v. Watson Laboratories Inc., No. 12-1726, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179103).
Patent Injunction, Default Judgment Upheld By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A permanent injunction barring an infringement and unfair competition defendant from using a washer mold as well as various images of a plaintiff's patented products was not overly broad, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Dec. 15 (United Construction Products Inc. v. Tile Tech Inc., No. 16-1392, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22248).
Nokia, Apple To Square Off In New Texas Federal Patent Litigation
MARSHALL, Texas - In a Dec. 21 complaint, Nokia Technologies Oy and Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. (Nokia, collectively) accuse Apple Inc. of infringing eight patents relating to the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) H.264 Advanced Video Coding standard, following two years of failed negotiations between the parties (Nokia Technologies Oy and Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-1440, E.D. Texas).
Patent Board Grants Review In New Limelight, Akamai Dispute
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a ruling issued Dec. 30, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced it will review the patentability of nine claims of a patented method for delivering digital content (Limelight Networks Inc. v. Akamai Technologies Inc., No. IPR2016-01631, PTAB).
Patent Board Reverses Rejection, Prior Art Relied On By Examiner
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Findings by a patent examiner that a claimed method of operating a steam generator would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art were reversed Dec. 21 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Ex parte John H. Chiu and George D. Mylchreest, No. 2015-002233, PTAB).
Microsoft Petition For Inter Partes Review Of Coding Patent Granted
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented method and apparatus for entropy coding and the application of error-resilient coding to image compression likely contain claims that do not pass muster under 35 U.S. Code Section 103, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Dec. 16 (Microsoft Corp. v. FastVDO LLC, No. IPR2016-01179, PTAB).
Patent Board Consolidates Apple, Samsung Petitions For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to invalidate a wireless communications patent raise identical issues to those raised by Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in a joint June 2016 petition for inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Dec. 21 (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. v. Evolved Wireless LLC, No. IPR2016-01310, PTAB).
4th Circuit Upholds Enhanced Award For DirecTV In Trademark Case
RICHMOND, Va. - A North Carolina federal judge did not err in rejecting a jury award of $760,000 in favor of a marketing company that had accused DirecTV LLC of violating the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 29 (Exclaim Marketing LLC v. DirecTV LLC, No. 15-2399, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23378).
Missouri Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Trademark Claim
ST. LOUIS - Although a defendant won dismissal Dec. 27 of allegations that it committed tortious interference with business expectancies, its motion was denied by a Missouri federal judge as it relates to trademark infringement (John Beal Inc. v. Roofpros Inc. and Web.com Group Inc., No. 16-1151, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178513).
Federal Circuit Upholds Cancellation Of 'The Emerald City' Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that a 2009 agreement regarding an as-then unregistered trademark constituted an assignment of the intent-to-use application in violation of Section 10 of the Lanham Act were proper, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Emerald Cities Collaborative Inc. v. Sheri Jean Roese, No. 16-1703, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22073).
Former Franchisee Enjoined In Texas Trademark, Breach Of Contract Action
HOUSTON - A former franchisee accused of breach of contract was ordered by a Texas federal judge on Dec. 23 to refrain from conducting any business in any manner "that gives the general public the impression" that the franchise agreement is still in force or that the franchisee is "in any way" associated with the franchisor (Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. Gerald Mosley, No. 16-2318, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177941).
Mississippi Federal Judge Allows Git-R-Done Trademark Case To Proceed
JACKSON, Miss. - A request for summary judgment by a defendant accused of infringing the "Git-R-Done" tagline of the fictional character "Larry the Cable Guy" when it named its convenience store "Giterdone" was denied Dec. 28 by a Mississippi federal judge (Git-R-Done Productions Inc. v. Giterdone C Store LLC, No. 15-386, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179201).
New York Federal Judge: New Infringement Claims Barred By Settlement
NEW YORK - A longstanding dispute over the trademarked phrase "Get Lucky" was dismissed Dec. 22 by a New York federal judge, on grounds that the latest claims by plaintiff Marcel Fashions Group Inc. are barred by the terms of a 2003 settlement (Marcel Fashions Group Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc., No. 11-5523, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177483).
New Jersey Federal Judge: Disgorgement Of Profits In Label Dispute Not Justified
TRENTON, N.J. - A plaintiff's request for disgorged profits in connection with allegedly false and misleading juice labels was rejected Dec. 23 by a New Jersey federal judge, acting in response to a defendant's motion for summary judgment (MB Imports Inc. v. T&M Imports LLC, et al., No. 10-3445, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178530).
Virginia Federal Judge: Third-Party, Online Sales Do Not Confer Jurisdiction
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A defendant's distribution of allegedly infringing smart phone and tablet applications through third-party, online retailers is an insufficient basis for the exercise of personal jurisdiction in a trademark case, a Virginia federal judge ruled Dec. 22 (Michael Zaletel v. Prisma Labs Inc., No. 16-1230, E.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177730).
Little Caesar Enterprises Sues Restaurant Corporation Alleging Breach Of Contract
DETROIT - Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. on Dec. 6 filed a breach of contract, trademark infringement, unfair competition and trade dress infringement lawsuit against a New York restaurant corporation in Michigan federal court, alleging that the defendants failed to adhere to the franchisor's standards and repeatedly failed to provide financial records (Little Caesar Enterprises Inc. v. Creative Restaurant Inc., et al., No. 2:16cv14263, E.D. Mich.).
Wal-Mart, Amazon Targeted By Rap Group For Trademark Violations
NEW YORK - Asserting damages in excess of $50 million, the iconic rap group Run-DMC filed suit Dec. 29 in New York federal court against retailers Wal-Mart and Amazon.com Inc. over clothing and accessories that directly infringe the "RUN-DMC" trademark (RUN-DMC Brand LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 16-10011, S.D. N.Y.).
New York Appeals Court: No Common-Law Public Performance Right
ALBANY, N.Y. - A divided New York Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 answered "no" to the question of whether a right of public performance exists for creators of pre-1972 sound recordings under New York common law (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., No. 172, N.Y. App.).
New York Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright Dispute Over Muppets Song
NEW YORK - An Italian music publisher's claim that the "Mah Na Mah Na" song popularized by the Muppets by is an unauthorized derivative of a 1966 classical composition were dismissed Dec. 29 by a New York federal judge on grounds that the publisher lacks standing to sue for copyright infringement (Creazioni Artistiche Musicali S.r.l. v. Carlin America Inc., et al., No. 14-9270, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180431).
Illinois Federal Judge Partly Grants Dismissal In Copyright Dispute
CHICAGO - An individual copyright defendant won dismissal of allegations on Dec. 20 by an Illinois federal judge, who cited a lack of evidence that the individual used a corporate defendant "as an instrument" to carry out "willful and deliberate" infringement (Live Face On Web LLC v. KAM Development LLC, et al., No. 16-8604, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175619).
Florida Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Copyright Lawsuit By DISH Network
TAMPA, Fla. - Allegations that the owners and operators of the Arabic television service "UlaiTV" committed copyright infringement will proceed in light of a Jan. 3 ruling by a Florida federal judge (DISH Network LLC v. Gaby Fraifer, et al., No. 16-2549, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 380).
2nd Circuit: Confusion Unlikely In Copyright, Trademark Dispute
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in granting a copyright and trademark defendant summary judgment in a dispute with Louis Vuitton (LV) Malletier, S.A., the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 22 (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 16-241, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23014).
9th Circuit Remands Relief In Copyright Case, Citing Lack Of Factual Findings
SAN FRANCISCO - An Oregon federal judge's preliminary injunction was reversed and remanded Dec. 12 by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, on grounds that the relief - first granted orally and later in writing - failed to include sufficient findings of fact or conclusions of law (Omnigen Research LLC and Prince Agri Products Inc. v. Yongquiang Wang, et al., No. 16-35471, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22024).
Judge Declines To Stay Injunction On Video-Streaming Service Pending Appeal
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 29 declined to stay pending appeal a preliminary injunction issued against a video on demand (VOD) provider, finding that the balance of hardships weighed in favor of the plaintiff movie studios that have demonstrated a likelihood of success on their copyright infringement claims against the VOD firm (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
Texas Federal Judge: Amending Copyright Complaint Would Be Futile
DALLAS - A request by a copyright infringement plaintiff for leave to amend its pleading to add an individual defendant's corporate identity was rejected Dec. 16 by a Texas federal judge, who deemed the proposed amendment futile pursuant to 17 U.S. Code Section 507(b) (RBH Energy LLC v. Stuart L. Brown, No. 16-830, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174072).
Band Member Argues That Disparagement Clause Is Contrary To 1st Amendment
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A member of an Asian-American rock band argues in his Dec. 9 response brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Lanham Act's disparagement clause is contrary to the First Amendment and, alternatively, that the clause does not bar the registration of his trademark and is unconstitutionally vague (Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Simon Shiao Tam, No. 15-1293, U.S. Sup.).
U.S. Supreme Court Asked To Overturn Trademark Ruling In Favor Of Oprah Winfrey
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a trademark infringement suit against Oprah Winfrey, an entrepreneur and her communications company in a Dec. 15 petition ask the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether an appeals court "erred in dissecting the literal element of a composite mark, the greatest commercial impression, thereby requiring identical use rather than a colorable imitation of that mark for determining trademark infringement, thus circumventing a likelihood of confusion analysis in violation of the Lanham Act and the anti-dissection rule" (Simone Kelly-Brown and Own Your Power Communications Inc. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al., No. 16-803, U.S. Sup.).
Nonprofit Asks High Court To Review Restriction Of 'Common Sense' Presumption
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A nonprofit association for generic drug product manufacturers and distributors argues in a Dec. 9 brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should review whether the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in light of KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc. (550 U.S. 398, 415 ) in restricting the Patent Trial and Appeal Board's ability to rely on the common sense and common knowledge of skilled artisans to establish the obviousness of patent claims (Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility LLC v. Arendi S.A.R.L., et al., No. 16-626, U.S. Sup.).
Tech Company Tells High Court To Review ITunes Patent Challenge Under Cuozzo
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tech company argues in a Dec. 28 reply brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should decide when a petition fails to give "sufficient notice" and what constitutes the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) acting outside its limits to permit judicial review because there are questions left unanswered by Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee (136 S. Ct. 2131 ) (SightSound Technologies LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 16-483, U.S. Sup.).
Johnson & Johnson Unit Says High Court Should Review Expert Misconduct In Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. (JJVC) argues in a Dec. 27 reply brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should consider whether the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in granting Rembrandt Vision Technologies LP a new trial based on an expert's false testimony over alleged infringement of its contact lens patent (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. v. Rembrandt Vision Technologies LP, No. 16-489, U.S. Sup.).
Patent Owner Says Supreme Court Must Review Institution Of IPR In Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner argues in a Dec. 21 reply brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should review whether the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) permits the Patent Trial and Appeal Board instead of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) director to make inter partes review (IPR) institution decisions (Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. v. Covidien LP and Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-366, U.S. Sup.).
Record Labels Ask High Court To Hear Dispute On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Works
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 14 petition for certiorari, a group of record labels ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972, which are governed by state law, rather than federal copyright law (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).
Accused Downloader Appeals Dismissal Of Claims Against Him Without Prejudice
CINCINNATI - A federal magistrate judge erred in granting voluntary dismissal of an adult movie studio's copyright infringement claims without prejudice, an Ohio man argues in a Dec. 21 brief in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that the disposition deprived him of the ability to seek a fees award as prevailing party for the studio's baseless lawsuit (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).
U.S. Supreme Court: Article Of Manufacture May Be Single Component Of Product
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A May 2015 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that jurors deciding damages in design patent infringement cases need not disregard unprotected elements when arriving at a total damage award was reversed and remanded Dec. 6 by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a win for Samsung Electronics Co. (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-777, U.S. Sup.).
U.S. Supreme Court Hears Patent Dispute Over Multicomponent Inventions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury award of $52 million in lost profits was premised on an erroneous instruction that worldwide sales can be considered even when the product in question only contains a single "staple article" manufactured domestically, an attorney for patent infringement defendant Life Technologies Corp. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
Supreme Court To Hear Case On Patent Infringement Action Venue Statutes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 14 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to a patent infringement defendant to decide the standard for determining the proper venue for such infringement suits to be brought against a corporate entity (TC Heartland LLC d/b/a Heartland Food Products Group v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, U.S. Sup.).
Supreme Court Vacates Patent Judgment, Cites Samsung Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 12 remanded a dispute over the patented ornamental design of a lip and hinge plate for a dock leveler to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in light of the Supreme Court's Dec. 6 ruling in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al. v. Apple Inc. (No. 15-777, U.S. Sup.) (Systems, Inc. v. Nordock, Inc., No. 15-978, U.S. Sup.).
California Federal Jury: Apple Infringed Valid Patents, Owes $7.3 Million
SAN FRANCISCO - A jury empaneled before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathaniel M. Cousins of the Northern District of California sided squarely against Apple Inc. on Dec. 15, deeming the tech giant an infringer of two valid patents and awarding Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.L. $7.3 million in reasonable royalty damages following a six-day trial (Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.L. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-5008, N.D. Calif.).
Cisco's Ethernet Copyright, Patent Claims Defeated In California Federal Verdict
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Claims of copyright and patent infringement brought by Cisco Systems Inc. against a competitor in the Ethernet switch market were rejected in a California federal jury's verdict Dec. 14, with the jury deeming the material not copyright protectable as scenes a faire and finding that Cisco failed to establish any infringement of its asserted command interface patent (Cisco Systems Inc. v. Arista Networks Inc., No. 14-5344, N.D. Calif.).
Federal Circuit Partly Affirms, Vacates In Dispute Over Patented Power Chips
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing a Delaware federal judge's incorrect instruction to jurors regarding the law on inducement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 vacated a verdict of infringement of two patents (Power Integrations Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1329, -1388, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21975).
Federal Circuit Affirms: Patent Case Barred By Sovereign Immunity
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An inventor's efforts to sue the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and several FTB employees for patent infringement was properly rejected by a California federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Dec. 9 (Leslie Ann Peralta v. California Franchise Tax Board, et al., No. 16-1820, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21897).
Federal Circuit Upholds Rulings By Patent Board In Favor Of Apple
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a trio of decisions released Dec. 9, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that various claims of four patents directed to establishing secure communications between multiple network devices for video and audio data transmission are unpatentable (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 15-1934, -1935, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Invalidation Of Spinal Fusion Patent
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred in deeming various claims of a spinal infusion patent invalid because it "failed to articulate a reason why" a person having ordinary skill in the art (PHOSITA) would have been motivated to modify and combine various prior art references to obtain the invention taught by NuVasive Inc.'s patented system and method, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 7 (In re: NuVasive Inc., No. 15-1670, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21748).
Sprint Loses Motions To Bar Damages Experts In Patent Suits Against Comcast, Time Warner
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Dec. 5 denied Sprint Communications Co. L.P. its attempts to exclude damages and patent experts in two consolidated patent infringement lawsuits filed against Comcast Cable Communications LLC and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) (Sprint Communications Company LP v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 11-2684 and Sprint Communications Company LP v. Time Warner Cable Inc., et al., No. 11-2686, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167849).
Patent Board: Apple Entitled To Review Of Compression Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions by Apple Inc. that a device compression patent that has been frequently asserted in various federal lawsuits is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) were well received by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which instituted inter partes review (IPR) on Dec. 6 (Apple Inc. v. Parthenon United Memory Architecture LLC, No. IPR2016-01135, PTAB).
Patent Covering Rapid- Dissolve Films Won't Be Reviewed By Patent Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Finding no likelihood that Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. will prevail in showing that at least one claim of a patented rapid-dissolve film for orally administered active ingredients is invalid, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Dec. 5 denied inter partes review (IPR) (Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc. v. Monosol RX LLC, No. IPR2016-0111, PTAB).
Patent Board: Section 102(d) No Grounds For Instituting Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent covering an apparatus for packing disposable objects, such as diapers, into a flexible tube will not be the subject of an upcoming inter partes review, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board revealed Dec. 12 (Munchkin Inc. v. International Refills Company Ltd., No. IPR2016-01154, PTAB).
Patent Board Grants Inter Partes Review Of LEGO Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Citing three pieces of prior art, Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Dec. 16 agreed to review the patentability of a manual controller for manipulating images or symbols on a visual display (Rubicon Communications LP v. LEGO A/S, No. IPR2016-01187, PTAB).
Patent Board Confirms Rejection Of Computer Method Patent Claims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent examiner did not err in deeming various claims of a patented method of generating a document guidance file unpatentable under 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Dec. 15 (Ex parte Anil Kumar Padala, et al., No. 2016-000911, PTAB).
3rd Circuit Upholds Rejection Of Copyright Claims By Songwriter
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge did not err in granting pop singer Usher Terry Raymond (Usher) and myriad co-defendants summary judgment on allegations of copyright infringement nor in sanctioning the plaintiff's attorney more than $28,000 for communicating with an unrepresented defendant, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 8 (Daniel Marino v. Usher, et al., Nos. 15-2270, -2359, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21828).
Citing Sovereign Immunity, Michigan Federal Judge Partly Rejects Copyright Case
DETROIT - Allegations that a university violated the Copyright Act were rejected on summary judgment Dec. 5 by a Michigan federal judge on grounds of sovereign immunity; however, the judge in the same ruling agreed that two individuals will remain in the case as copyright infringement defendants (Alisa Wolf v. Oakland University, et al., No. 15-13560, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167268).
Video-Streaming Firm Enjoined From Editing Movies In Copyright Suit
LOS ANGELES - A video-on-demand (VOD) provider was hit with a preliminary injunction by a California federal judge Dec. 12 that prevents the firm from streaming, copying or editing works owned by the plaintiff movie studios, which accuse the company of infringement and circumventing their works' anti-piracy technology (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Cancellation Of Service Marks By Board
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a ruling issued Dec. 12, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals indicated its disagreement with the "approach" taken by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board when it required a service mark owner to demonstrate use of its marks in connection with personnel placement and recruitment services in addition to its software-related offerings (In re: JobDiva Inc., No. 15-1960, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21974).
6th Circuit: Trademark Claims By Disc Jockey Against Rapper, Others Fail
CINCINNATI - A Michigan federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations of trademark infringement levied in connection with a rapper's use of the stage name "Logic" because a plaintiff disc jockey operating as "DJ Logic" failed to demonstrate that consumers would likely be confused, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 13 (Lee Jason Kibler v. Robert Bryson Hall II, et al., No. 15-2516, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22079).
Michigan Federal Judge Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Lanham Act, Patent Case
DETROIT - A declaratory judgment patent action, later amended to include a claim of false advertising under the Lanham Act, was dismissed Dec. 8 by a Michigan federal judge on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction (Precision Extraction Corp. v. Udoxi Scientific LLC, No. 16-11972, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169981).
D.C. Federal Judge Turns Away Jurisdictional Challenge In Trademark Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A common-law trademark dispute over the corporate identity and assets of Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a federal judge there announced Dec. 9 (Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. v. Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc., et al., No. 16-647, D. D.C.).
Florida Federal Judge: Copyright, Trademark Case Fails To State A Claim
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Allegations by a pro se plaintiff that two individual defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement are insufficiently pleaded, a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Daniel A. Bernath v. Don Shipley, et al., No. 16-40, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168253).
Biomedical Company Adds Federal Trade Secrets Claim To Novus Action
ANDERSON, S.C. - A South Carolina biomedical company on Nov. 29 added a Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) violation claim against Novus Scientific companies to a federal court complaint alleging that Novus breached an agreement by making surgical mesh for purposes other than hernia repair and by not filing patent applications under the biomedical company's name (Poly-Med Inc. v. Novus Scientific Pte. Ltd., et al., No. 8:15-cv-01964-JMC, D. S.C.).
Health Care Company Opposes High Court Decision On Institution Of IPR In Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A global health care products company and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) director filed opposition briefs on Dec. 7 arguing against the U.S. Supreme Court granting review on whether the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) permits the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instead of the PTO director to make inter partes review (IPR) institution decisions (Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. v. Covidien LP and Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-366, U.S. Sup.).
Engineering Company Asks High Court To Decide Claim Construction Role In Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An engineering company in a Nov. 23 petition asks the U.S. Supreme Court if an appellate court and district court erred in arbitrarily defining a factually disputed technical term of art without performing claim construction to find noninfringement of a patent (David Netzer Consulting Engineer LLC v. Shell Oil Co., et al., No. 16-713, U.S. Sup.).
Mylan Argues For High Court Review On If ANDA Subjects Filers To Personal Jurisdiction
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Mylan Inc. (collectively, Mylan) argue in a Dec. 7 reply brief that drug companies failed to show why the U.S. Supreme Court should not answer whether the filing of an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) is sufficient to subject Mylan to specific personal jurisdiction in any state where they might market the drug (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al. v. Acorda Therapeutics Inc., et al. & Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. AstraZeneca AB, No. 16-360, U.S. Sup.).
PTO: High Court Should Stay Petition On Institution Of Inter Partes Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) argues in a Dec. 7 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should stay a petition in favor of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP (No. 16-366, U.S. Sup.) on issues concerning whether the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) permits the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instead of the PTO's director to make inter partes review (IPR) institution decisions (LifeScan Scotland Ltd. v. Pharmatech Solutions Inc. and Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-377, U.S. Sup.).
Google: Patent Community Is Waiting On Ruling Over Use Of Prosecution History
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an infringement lawsuit over patents for computer malware protection software, Google Inc. says in a Nov. 30 reply brief that "the patent community is watching this one" with regard to whether the U.S. Supreme Court will consider how the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should use prosecution history to settle claim construction disputes (Google Inc. v. Alfonso Cioffi and The Estate of Allen Frank Rozman, No. 16-200, U.S. Sup.).
Patent Owner Argues For Supreme Court Review On Grounds Of JMOL Entry
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An owner of patents relating to two-way communications argues in a Dec. 6 reply brief in further support of its petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ordering entry of judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a ground not presented in a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50(b) motion (Eon Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. Silver Spring Networks Inc., No. 16-551, U.S. Sup.).
University Seeks Review On Nominative Fair Use Despite Certification Mark Involvement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trademark owner failed to show why the U.S. Supreme Court should not clarify the proper approach to nominative fair use, a university argues in a Dec. 5 reply brief, saying it does not matter that the case involves a certification mark infringement and not a trademark infringement (Security University LLC and Sondra Schneider v. International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc., No. 16-352, U.S. Sup.).
Trademark Organization Supports Supreme Court Review In Trademark Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A not-for-profit global organization supporting trademarks and related intellectual property argues in a Nov. 21 amicus curiae brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should consider a petition on whether Sections 14(3) and 43(a) of the Lanham Act allow a foreign business that "has neither used nor registered its trademark in the United States to sue the owner of a U.S. trademark for conduct relating to the owner's use of its U.S. mark" (Belmora LLC and Jamie Belcastro v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, et al., No. 16-548, U.S. Sup.).
Supreme Court Grants Certiorari, Will Review Patent Exhaustion Doctrine
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting on the recommendation of the U.S. solicitor general, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 2 granted certiorari in a case that poses the question of whether foreign sales exhaust a patent owner's right to sue, as well as whether patent owners can impose restrictions on the use of patented items to prevent an exhaustion of their rights (Impression Products Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc., No. 15-1189, U.S. Sup.).
Illinois Federal Judge Partially Bars Expert's Opinions In Patent Infringement Lawsuit
CHICAGO - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 28 partially granted in part and denied in part a patent owner's motion to exclude an expert's opinions on whether accused products infringed its patents related to agricultural equipment (Not Dead Yet Manufacturing Inc. d/b/a NDY MFG Inc. v. Pride Solutions LLC and May Wes Manufacturing, No. 13-3418, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163756).
Federal Circuit Denies Mandamus In Discovery Dispute Over Movie Technology Patents
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding that the counterclaimant in a dispute over the ownership of certain motion picture technology "fail[ed] to carry the high burden . . . to overturn [a] district court's discovery determination," a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 17 denied the firm's motion for a writ of mandamus for relief from an order compelling production of purportedly privileged documents (In re: Rearden LLC, et al., No. 16-125, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20637).
Federal Circuit Says Board Properly Deemed Patent Obvious, Anticipated
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three final decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that invalidated a patented software application as obvious and anticipated were not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 17 (B.E. Technology LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 15-1828; B.E. Technology LLC v. Google Inc., No. 15-1827; B.E. Technology v. Facebook Inc., Nos. 15-1829, -1879, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit: Board Used Wrong Definition Of Covered Business Method
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner whose invention was invalidated under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 prevailed Nov. 21 before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board "relied on an incorrect definition of covered business method ('CBM') patent" while evaluating a petition for CBM review by Google Inc. (Unwired Planet LLC v. Google Inc., No. 15-1812, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20764).
Federal Circuit Rules In Favor Of Apple, Others In Computer Menu Patents Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Affirming in part and reversing in part a ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on three patents directed toward menu-generating software, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 29 found that the disputed patents' claims pertained to unpatentable abstract ideas and the computerization of manual tasks (Apple Inc., et al. v. Ameranth Inc., Nos. 2015-1703 and 2015-1704; and Ameranth Inc. v. Agilysys Inc., et al., No. 2015-1792 and 2015-1793, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21277).
New York Federal Judge Vacates Dismissal, Reinstates Patent Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 29 vacated - pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) - a retired New York federal judge's decision dismissing allegations of patent infringement pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 101 (TNS Media Research LLC, et al. v. TiVo Research and Analytics Inc., d/b/a TRA Inc., No. 11-4039, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164447).
California Federal Judge Allows Amended Complaint, Adding Patent To Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO - An infringement defendant's effort to block a plaintiff from adding a newly acquired patent to pre-existing patent litigation was denied Nov. 29 by a California federal judge, who found that the defendant failed to explain why the addition would be "so burdensome as to compel" the delay of a planned November 2017 trial (Illumina Inc. and Illumina Cambridge Ltd. v. Qiagen N.V., et al., No. 16-2788, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164560).
Patent Board Denies Microsoft Effort To Review Chat Room Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by Microsoft Corp. that a patent claiming a complex chat room communications system would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art were rejected Nov. 29 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Microsoft Corp. v. Windy City Innovations LLC, No. IPR2016-01146, PTAB).
Facebook Request For Covered Business Method Review Denied By Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions by Facebook Inc. that a patented method of wirelessly delivering digital audio and visual files claims ineligible subject matter pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 101 will not be reached in light of a Nov. 23 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Facebook Inc. v. Skyy LLC, No. CBM2016-00091, PTAB).
Patent Board Grants Los Angeles Transportation Authority Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent covering a system that discloses the number of occupants in a vehicle traveling in a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane will face inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced Nov. 22 (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Transport Technologies LLC, No. IPR2016-01077, PTAB).
Patent Board Grants Review Of Oral Pulsed Dosed Drug Delivery System Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Arguments by Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. that a patented drug delivery system associated with the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug Adderall XR is invalid were well received Nov. 17 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which agreed to institute inter partes review (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Shire Laboratories Inc., No. IPR2016-01033, PTAB).
Lawyer In File-Sharing Case Again Sanctioned For Discovery Violations
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - After an appeals panel partly dismissed sanctions against an attorney as not properly reflecting the harm incurred by a copyright defendant due to the attorney's discovery misconduct and misrepresentations, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 deemed the attorney's actions to be civil contempt and sanctioned him in amount equivalent to the defendant's remaining costs related to the misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162981).
Electronic Arts Prevails Before 9th Circuit In Copyright Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly awarded Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that the videogame maker did not infringe the copyrighted computer code of the original John Madden Football series, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 22 (Robin Antonick v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 14-15298, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20933).
11th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Barred By Settlement Agreement
ATLANTA - Finding no error in a Georgia federal judge's conclusion that a plaintiff released its claims for copyright infringement in a previous settlement agreement with third-party retailer Lands' End, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 22 affirmed a grant of summary judgment on behalf of four defendants (Genesys Software Systems v. Ceridian Corporation, et. al., No. 16-10773, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20914).
California Federal Judge Denies Motion By Copyright Plaintiff
LOS ANGELES - A dispute between a fabric designer and a manufacturer and retailer accused of selling garments that infringe upon numerous copyrighted designs will proceed, in light of a Nov. 28 decision by a California federal judge to deny the fabric designer partial summary judgment (Urban Textile v. Mark Edwards Apparel Inc., et al., No. 14-8285, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163650).
Following Bench Trial, D.C. Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A plaintiff is entitled to prevail on its allegation that Poland's national public television broadcasting company violated the Copyright Act by displaying episodes of "TVP Polonia" on its website without permission, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Dec. 2 (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166506).
New York Federal Judge Grants Dismissal Of Pro Se Copyright Case
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An artist's allegation of copyright infringement in connection with an image of him taken without permission while carrying two of his own paintings were dismissed Nov. 30 by a New York federal judge (Earl Swanigan v. Kenneth Young, et al., No. 15-1272, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165591).
5th Circuit Vacates Injunction, Overturns $340 Million Antitrust Award
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously denied Becton Dickinson & Co. (BD) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on allegations by a plaintiff that BD attempted to monopolize the market for safety syringes through various deceptive practices, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 2 (Retractable Technologies Inc. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, No. 14-41384, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21556).
Settlement Reached In Trademark Dispute Between Navajo Nation, Retailers
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - In a Nov. 14 order, a New Mexico federal judge agreed to dismiss with prejudice allegations of trademark infringement levied against Urban Outfitters Inc. in light of the retailer's settlement with the Navajo Nation (The Navajo Nation, et al. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., No. 12-195, D. N.M.).
4th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Breach Of Contract Suit
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 22 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a lawyer and his consulting firm's lawsuit alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, unauthorized use of name and trademark and copyright infringement (Devil's Advocate LLC, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 15-1048, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20952).