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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 Won't Rehear Dispute Over Apportioned Patent Damages
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A deeply divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 1 rejected a request for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of a March ruling that upheld a $36 million lost profits award in a patent case (Mentor Graphics Corp. v. Synopsys Inc., et al., Nos. 2015-1470, -1554, -1556, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16854).



California Federal Judge: 4 Asserted Patents Claim Ineligible Subject Matter
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 1 granted Yahoo! Inc. dismissal of allegations that the search engine infringed four patents, after determining that each of the patents runs afoul of Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101 (TS Patents LLC v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 17-1721, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142573).



T-Mobile Gets Divided Ruling In Bid To Exclude Patentee's Expert Opinions
MARSHALL, Texas - An expert can opine that accused patent infringer T-Mobile "made" a product, rather than just "used" it, but cannot testify that the company never enabled a restoration feature because it was advised against doing so by counsel, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Sept. 4 (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. v. T-Mobile US, Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-00052, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142606).



Federal Circuit: Protocol Processing Patent Properly Held Obvious
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 6 upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a patented apparatus and method for cryptographic processing with the serial advanced technology attachment (SATA) protocol is unpatentable under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103 (Enova Technology Corp. v. Seagate Technology LLC, et al., No. 16-1749, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17173).



Federal Circuit Affirms That Eyewear Retainer Patent Is Obvious
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, following inter partes review (IPR), did not err in deeming all 17 claims of a patented eyewear retention device obvious to a person of skill in the art, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 12 (Cablz Inc. v. Chums Inc., et al., No. 16-1823, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17561).



New Jersey Federal Judge Transfers Patent Action To Minnesota Court
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of infringement involving a patented laser light decorative lighting apparatus should proceed in Minnesota federal court, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Sept. 6 (Telebrands Corp. v. Seasonal Specialties, No. 17-3390, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143900).



Nevada Federal Judge Denies Patent Plaintiff Enhanced Damages
LAS VEGAS - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Nevada federal judge on Sept. 6 again denied a prevailing patent infringement plaintiff enhanced damages, even under the Supreme Court's newly announced standard for such awards (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., et al., No. 07-331, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143737).



Federal Judge Grants Motion For Judgment In Hookah Patent Infringement Suit
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Sept. 11 granted a hookah bowl maker's motion for default judgment against a hookah retailer and awarded the plaintiff $105,600 in damages, which includes attorney fees (Albert Kirakosian, et al. v. J&L Sunset Wholesale & Tobacco, et al., No. 2:16-cv-06097, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147715).



Federal Circuit Panel Upholds $91M Verdict In Trade Secrets Lawsuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal district court did not err in denying a company's motion for a new trial following a jury's award of a $70 million verdict on claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and a federal judge's order requiring the company to pay an additional $21 million because a damages award in the action was not "against the clear weight of the evidence," a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 1 in affirming the lower court's ruling (CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Inc. v. Neovasc Inc., Nos. 17-1302, 17-1513, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16856).



Trademark, Patent Infringement Judgment Upheld By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge did not abuse his discretion or err in entering a final judgment of trademark and patent infringement against a defendant accused of selling a competing, knockoff hydradermabrasion system, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Edge Systems LLC, et al. v. Rafael Newton Aguila, No. 16-2189, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17365).



Patent Board Won't Rehear Denial Of Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - An expanded panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Sept. 6 announced that it won't reconsider its decision to deny five separate requests for inter partes review by General Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd., saying "multiple, staggered petition filings, such as those here, are an inefficient use of the inter partes review process and the Board's resources" (General Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Nos. IPR2016-01357, IPR2016-01358, IPR2016-01359, IPR2016-01360, IPR2016-01361, PTAB).



Facebook Challenges Denial Of Inter Partes Review By Patent Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to deny inter partes review of a digital streaming patent was "a manifest error," Facebook Inc. alleges in a Sept. 1 request for rehearing (Facebook Inc. v. Skyy LLC, No. IPR2017-00691, PTAB).



High-Voltage Switching Patent Is Obvious, Petitioner Tells Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed centralized control system for the management of distribution and sales of electricity in a spot market was targeted for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a Sept. 6 petition (Electric Reliability Council of Texas v. GRID Innovations LLC, No. IPR2017-02033, PTAB).



Petitioner Tells Patent Board Semiconductor Testing Patent Is Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 11 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Mentor Graphics Corp. takes aim at a patent directed to a method and apparatus for semiconductor testing, asserting that generating test data and identifying an outlier in the test data "was well known" in the art (Mentor Graphics Corporation v. Eric Paul Tabor, No. IPR2017-02094, PTAB).



Patent Board Institutes Review Of System, Method For Controlling Trains
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 14 ruling, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp. enjoys a reasonable likelihood of proving that various claims of a patented system and method of controlling a train are unpatentable (Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corp. v. Siemens Industries Inc., No. IPR2017-00981, PTAB).



Illinois Federal Judge: Copyright Dispute Over Updated Manual Can Proceed
CHICAGO - In a Sept. 6 order, an Illinois federal judge deemed allegations by a not-for-profit corporation that a defendant infringed a copyrighted accreditation manual adequately pleaded to survive a motion to dismiss (The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations v. Fortis Business Media LLC, No. 16-4724, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144217).



With Similarity Lacking, California Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright Case
LOS ANGELES - Allegations that the sponsor of a screenwriting contest misappropriated one of the submissions for use in the hit ABC sitcom "Black-ish" were rejected Sept. 13 by a California federal judge, who found no similarity between the sitcom and the submission as required to maintain a claim of copyright infringement (David Lloyd Marcus v. ABC Signature Studios Inc., et al., No. 17-148, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148568).



2nd Circuit Affirms Trademark Ownership, Laches Determinations
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 8 upheld findings by a New York federal judge that a dispute over the "Kehot" trademark and a related logo is barred by the doctrine of laches, citing a 16-year delay between when the trademark owner learned of the unauthorized use and when it levied a counterclaim of infringement (Vaad L'Hafotzas Sichos Inc., et al. v. Merkos L'Inyonei Church Inc., Nos. 16-2934, -3364, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17360).



New York Federal Judge Denies Dismissal, Sanctions In Trademark Dispute
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that a motion to dismiss trademark infringement and unfair competition allegations be denied was adopted in full on Sept. 5 by a New York federal judge, who agreed that the plaintiff "fleshes out its claim in considerable detail" and that the claims are not frivolous (Sit N' Stay Pet Services Inc. v. Carrie Hoffman, No. 17-116, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143206).



Texas Federal Judge Dismisses, With Leave To Amend, Trademark Claims
DALLAS - Allegations of trademark infringement against a nonprofit public charter school network and two entities that oversee the charter schools were dismissed Sept. 7 by a Texas federal judge, on grounds that the complaint fails to allege specific acts of infringement by specific defendants (Springboards to Education Inc. v. KIPP Foundation, et al., No. 16-2436, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144709).



Mississippi Federal Judge Denies Relief In Trade Dress Dispute
GREENVILLE, Miss. - Allegations that two defendants infringed trade dress through their design and sale of bracelets featuring a "tapered clasp" and other confusingly similar jewelry will proceed without a preliminary injunction in place, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Sept. 5 (Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc. v. James B. Cox, et al., No. 17-2, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143047).



Alabama Federal Judge Denies Injunctive Relief In Trademark Dispute
MOBILE, Ala. - A counterclaimant's request for a preliminary injunction while a declaratory judgment action regarding confusion over the "Spire" trademark is litigated was denied Sept. 11 when an Alabama federal judge found an absence of evidence that irreparable harm would result if an injunction is not issued (Spire Inc. v. Cellular South Inc., No. 17-266, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146169).



Judge Dismisses Claims Related To Infringement Of Jewelry Trademarks
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding a lack of federal and subject matter jurisdiction, a California federal judge on Sept. 8 granted a jewelry maker's motion to dismiss claims related to alleged intellectual property infringement but granted a jeweler leave to file a third amended complaint to assert claims for violation of the Declaratory Judgment and Lanham acts (Marco Bicego S.P.A., et al. v. Stephanie Kantis, et al., No. 17-cv-00927, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145865).



Judge Grants Discovery Request Related To Illegal Amazon, EBay Sales
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 1 granted a motion filed by a distributor of trademarked and copyrighted products and designs that alleges that a retailer violated trademark law and California's unfair competition law (UCL) by selling counterfeited items online, granting its request for limited discovery from online retailers regarding the defendant's sales and aliases (Jessie Steel, Inc. v. Linda Ann Henderson, No. 17-cv-02179, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142167).



Black & Decker Loses Out On $54M Trademark Verdict Due To Expert's Flawed Survey
CHICAGO - Two companies got a $54 million trademark infringement verdict against them tossed Sept. 11 when an Illinois federal judge granted them a new trial based on the unreliability and irrelevance of expert testimony regarding the likelihood of consumer confusion about the products at issue, which the judge said probably "unfairly influenced the jury's verdict" (The Black & Decker Corporation, et al. v. Positec USA Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-5426, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147463).



Parties, PTO Brief High Court On Requirements Of Inter Partes Review Scope
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a pair of Sept. 5 respondent briefs, the interim director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and a patent holder tell the U.S. Supreme Court that when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) institutes inter partes review (IPR) of the validity of patent claims, it is not required to review or rule on every patent claim asserted in a party's petition for review (SAS Institute Inc. v. Joseph Matal, et al., No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).



Apple, Samsung Brief On 'Article Of Manufacture' In Remanded Design Patent Case
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In briefs filed Sept. 8 in response to a California federal judge's directive after rulings and remand orders from the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. address questions about how to determine what the relevant "article of manufacture" is of products accused infringing a design patent and, relatedly, how to identify profits attributable to the article (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 5:11-cv-01846, N.D. Calif.).



Claim Construction By Patent Board Debated Before Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In oral arguments on Sept. 8, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard an appeal of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that two claims of a patented tissue graft composed of the two primary layers of the human placenta patent would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA) (MiMedx Group Inc. v. Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, No. 17-1043, Fed. Cir.).



Oral Arguments Approach In Patent Dispute Over Safe Harbor
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 4 will hear oral arguments in a case that poses the question of whether safe harbor protection for clinical activities can be repealed based upon the use of data derived subsequent to approval (Classen Immunotherapies Inc. v. Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 17-1033, Fed. Cir.).



Eligibility Of Patented Method For File Filtering Argued In Federal Circuit Briefs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A dispute over the eligibility of a patented method for identifying "unauthorized" files, such as those that contain offensive or illegal content, will be argued before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 3 (Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Erie Indemnity Company, et al., No. 17-1147, Fed. Cir.).



Trademark Applicant Tells Federal Circuit Design Is Not Functional
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An examiner's decision - later upheld by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) - that a proposed U-shaped design for a locking channel is unprotectable as functional in light of several expired utility patents will be debated Oct. 4 before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Openings, No. 16-2307, Fed. Cir.).



Louis Vuitton, Parody Bag Maker Argue Trademark Dilution To Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. (LV) seeks a grant of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the standard for determining when the use of a trademark is a parody, and thus fair use, per the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA), while a defendant asserts that its accused handbags were clearly noninfringing parodies of LV's products, as a trial court and an appeals court both ruled (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. My Other Bag Inc., No. 17-72, U.S. Sup.).



Jack In The Box Franchisee Appeals Breach, Trademark Judgment To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - A trial court erred in granting judgment to Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) on contractual and trademark infringement claims related to the termination of franchise agreements, an ex-franchisee of the fast-food chain argues in a Sept. 5 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that genuine disputed issues of material fact exist (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir.).



Bourbon Distiller Tells 5th Circuit Plaintiff Abandoned 'Cowboy' Mark
NEW ORLEANS - Citing years with no sales of its trademarked whiskey, coupled with having never sold its product in the United States, a bourbon distillery argues in a Sept. 6 brief to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a jury correctly found that a plaintiff whiskey seller abandoned its trademark years before the defendant's use of a similar mark (Allied Lomar Inc. v. Lone Star Distillery LLC, et al., No. 17-50148, 5th Cir.).



Adult Website Operator Tells High Court Usenet Provider Vicariously Infringed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 30 petition for certiorari, the operator of an adult website asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the standards for determining vicarious copyright infringement liability, arguing that in finding a usenet provider not vicariously liable for displaying the copyrighted images of Perfect 10 Inc., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals relied on incorrect guidelines for infringers' profits and automated processes (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 17-320, U.S. Sup.).



9th Circuit's Bar On Expert Testimony In Copyright Cases Before High Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The creator of the popular John Madden Football series computer game asked the U.S. Supreme Court on July 28 to decide whether expert testimony should be barred in copyright infringement cases because juries must assess infringement as an "ordinary reasonable person" would (Robin Antonick v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 17-168, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2633).



Opposing Certiorari, Film Parties Call Screenplay Copyright Suit 'Unremarkable'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' summary affirming of a trial court's dismissal of a screenplay owner's copyright infringement suit against parties connected with the movie "Walk of Shame" was unremarkable and presents no issues meriting review, the defendants tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Sept. 1 brief opposing certiorari (Shame On You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 17-180, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Grants Rehearing In Dispute Over Patent Office Fee Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an en banc, sua sponte order issued Aug. 31, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced that it will rehear a dispute over the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)'s entitlement to attorney fees upon a successful defense of a rejected patent application (NantKwest Inc. v. Joseph Matal, Acting Director U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-1794, Fed. Cir.).



Divided Federal Circuit: Postal Service Can Seek Patent Review Under AIA
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 28 ruling, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a mail-processing patent is directed to ineligible subject matter after agreeing that a governmental agency - the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) -may initiate covered business method (CBM) review under the America Invents Act (AIA) (Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service, No. 16-1502, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16364).



Federal Circuit Affirms: Remote Ordering System Patent Not Infringed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations that Expedia Inc. and other travel websites infringed a patented system for creating and updating order lists were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 17 (Cronos Technologies LLC v. Expedia Inc., et al., No. 16-2528, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15490).



3rd Circuit: Claims Of Unlawful Reverse Patent Payments Are Plausible
PHILADELPHIA - In a consolidated appeal of disputes involving the brand-name drugs Lipitor and Effexor XR, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 deemed antitrust allegations stemming from reverse payment patent settlement agreements plausible under the standards set in FTC v. Actavis, Inc., 133 S. Ct. 2233 (2013), and King Drug Co. of Florence v. Smithkline Beecham Corp., 791 F.3d 388, 394 (3d Cir. 2015) (In re: Lipitor Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 14-4202, -4203, -4204, -4205, -4206, -4602, -4632, 15-1184, -1185, -1186, -1187, -1274, -1323 and 15-134, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6346).



Federal Circuit Affirms: Oracle Did Not Infringe Middleware Patent
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge did not err in deeming Oracle Corp. a non-infringer of a patented system and method of accessing data in a relational database, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Thought Inc. v. Oracle Corporation, No. 16-2369, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15812).



Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board Inter Partes Review Findings
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not err in determining that a patented heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is invalid as anticipated or obvious, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 22 (Nidec Motor Corporation v. Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-2321, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15923).



Federal Circuit Says 'Block-Like' Claim Term Renders Patent Indefinite
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ex parte re-examination of a patent claiming an artificial reef ended correctly with a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the term "block-like" is indefinite, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (In re: David Walter, No. 16-2256, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15909).



Attorney Fee Award Upheld By Federal Circuit In Longstanding Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An award of $1.6 million in attorney fees in a patent dispute that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 was affirmed Aug. 25 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (ICON Health & Fitness Inc. v. Octane Fitness LLC, No. 16-1047, Fed. Cir.).



Massachusetts Federal Judge Denies Micron Request For Dismissal Of Patent Claims
BOSTON - Allegations by the president and fellows of Harvard College that a defendant infringed two Harvard patents should proceed in Massachusetts, a federal judge ruled Aug. 30 in the latest case to address the implications of the May 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017) (President and Fellows of Harvard College v. Micron Technology Inc., No. 16-11429, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139485).



Irell & Manella Partner Andrei Iancu Nominated As Next PTO Director
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a statement issued Aug. 25, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of Andrei Iancu to serve as undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.



Nichia Patent Named In New Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 25 request for inter partes review (IPR), two petitioners assert that a Nichia Corp. patent is "an attempt to monopolize the basic notion of mixing blue and yellow to create white, as applied to" light emitting devices (LEDs) (TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings Ltd. and TTE Technology Inc. v. Nichia Corp., No. 2017-01999, PTAB).



Patent Board Grants Comcast Petition, Institutes Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A request by Comcast Cable Communications LLC for inter partes review (IPR) of an interactive program guide patent was granted Aug. 28 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which agreed that a person of skill in the art (POSITA) would have been motivated to combine several prior art references to arrive at the claimed invention (Comcast Cable Communications LLC v. Rovi Guides Inc., No. IPR2017-00867, PTAB).



Volatile Memory System Patent Singled Out For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent claiming a volatile memory system with data-retention capabilities during low-power situations would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, as well as anticipated by prior art, Samsung Electronics America Inc. alleges in an Aug. 28 petition for inter partes view by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Samsung Electronics America Inc. v. James B. Goodman, No. IPR2017-02021, PTAB).



United Technologies Tells Patent Board It Will Appeal Ruling To Federal Circuit
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent owner on Aug. 28 announced its intent to appeal a June 2017 adverse inter partes review (IPR) holding to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (General Electric Company v. United Technologies Corporation, No. IPR2016-00533, PTAB).



Vehicle Monitoring Patent Singled Out In New Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent covering machines or groups of machines that monitor the location of vehicles and freight would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA), a frozen food company alleges in an Aug. 31 petition for inter partes review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Ruiz Food Products Inc. v. MacroPoint LLC, No. IPR2017-02018, PTAB).



7th Circuit Agrees With Jury Verdict Of No Trademark Infringement
CHICAGO - Allegations that a defendant violated the Lanham Act when operating a "painting night" business under the name "Wine & Canvas" were properly rejected by jurors, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 17 (Wine & Canvas Development LLC, et al. v. Christopher Muylle, Nos. 15-2088, -3658, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15508).



11th Circuit Says Dismissal Of Lanham Act Dispute Over Ownership Was Proper
ATLANTA - An Alabama federal judge did not err in dismissing allegations of Lanham Act violations stemming from representations by five defendants that they are the true owner of coal and timber collected on a plaintiff's land, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 24 (Black Diamond Management LLC v. Twin Pines Coal Company Inc., et al., No. 16-15240, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16154).



9th Circuit Denies Rehearing, Amends Ruling In Trademark Case
SAN FRANCISCO - The same three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that on July 11 rejected efforts by a trademark infringement defendant to rely on the Tea Rose-Rectanus doctrine - so-named for Hanover Star Milling Co. v. Metcalf, 240 U.S. 403 (1916), (Tea Rose) and United Drug Co. v. Theodore Rectanus Co., 248 U.S. 90 (1918) - voted Aug. 30 to deny a petition to rehear the case (Stone Creek Inc. v. Omnia Italian Design Inc., No. 15-17418, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16632).



Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Copyright Claims
CHICAGO - Although granting one defendant's motion to dismiss allegations of professional negligence as preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 301(a), an Illinois federal judge on Aug. 21 denied another defendant's request for dismissal of contributory and vicarious infringement claims (UIRC-GSA Holdings Inc. v. William Blair & Company, et al., No. 15-9518, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133287).



Indiana Federal Judge Rejects Copyright Claims Over Pontoon Boat Designs
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In an Aug. 22 ruling, an Indiana federal judge dismissed allegations that a defendant violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. 512 et seq., and the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq., when it applied certain graphic designs to pontoon boats because the complaint fails to allege with specificity the nature of the copyrighted work (The Art of Design Inc. v. Pontoon Boat LLC, et al., No. 16-595, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133672).



6th Circuit: Dismissal Of Declaratory Judgment Copyright Claim Was Proper
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal magistrate judge did not err in dismissing, as redundant, a declaratory judgment counterclaim of noninfringement filed by an alleged downloader of various copyrighted films, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 28 (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16586).



New York Federal Judge Grants Request For Dismissal Of Software Copyright Case
NEW YORK - Allegations that a law firm specializing in real estate and four of its partners infringed copyrighted software were dismissed, with leave to amend, by a New York federal judge on Aug. 30 on grounds that the complaint lacks requisite specificity (Automated Management Systems Inc. v. Rappaport Hertz Cherson Rosenthal, et al., No. 16-4762, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139728).



9th Circuit Finds VidAngel's Filtering Service Infringing, Affirms Injunction
SAN FRANCISCO - Four movie studio plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their copyright infringement claims against a video-streaming service that provides filtered, family-friendly copies of movies, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 24, affirming a preliminary injunction preventing any filtering of the plaintiffs' works (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16188).



Pro Se Plaintiff Defeats Request For Dismissal Of Florida DMCA Claim
ORLANDO, Fla. - Allegations that a ministry and its minister made knowingly false representations of copyright infringement to YouTube in an effort to take down a plaintiff's YouTube channel will proceed, a Florida federal judge ruled Aug. 25 (Shirley Johnson v. New Destiny Christian Center Church Inc., et al., No. 17-710, M.D. Fla.).



Clothing Line Owner, PTO Brief Federal Circuit On Registration Of Vulgar Trademark
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the owner of the "fuct" line of clothing have submitted letter briefs to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals addressing whether the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on disparaging trademarks in Matal v. Tam has any effect on the present case's dispute on whether scandalous marks can be registered (In Re: Erik Brunetti, No. 15-1109, Fed. Cir.).



Domain Registrar Tells 4th Circuit False Advertising Suit Was Not Exceptional
RICHMOND, Va. - An internet domain registry firm, whose Lanham Act false advertising claims against a competitor failed, argues in an Aug. 30 brief in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court properly declined to award attorney fees to the prevailing defendant because the claims were reasonable and supported by evidence (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 17-1704, 4th Cir.).



Amazon Asserts No Infringement Of Artificial Turf Trademark To 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 25 appellee brief, Amazon.com Inc. tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its automated purchasing of keyword advertising using an artificial turf firm's trademark did not constitute direct infringement under the Lanham Act, arguing that any infringement was attributable to third-party sellers of counterfeit products (Steven Lasoff v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-35173, 9th Cir.).



3D Tech Patent Holder Asks High Court To Consider Infringement Equivalence Factor
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 22 petition for certiorari, the owner of a patent for a three-dimensional (3D) image technology patent asks the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether a court needs to consider the factor of known interchangeability when determining whether an item infringes a patent under the doctrine of equivalents (Tomita Technologies USA LLC, et al. v. Nintendo Co. Ltd., et al., No. 17-292, U.S. Sup.).



Outcome Of Bench Trial Disputed By Patent Owners In Federal Circuit Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge's ruling, following a bench trial, that four patents covering thrice-weekly injections of 40 mg glatiramer acetate (GA) are invalid was erroneous, the makers of the drug recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., No. 17-1575, Fed. Cir.).



Patent Owner Tells Federal Circuit Collateral Estoppel Finding Was Erroneous
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge erroneously entered a summary judgment of noninfringement in a longstanding dispute over a patented process for producing steel, the patent owners recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (ArcelorMittal and ArcelorMittal Atlantique et Lorraine v. AK Steel Corporation, No. 17-1637, Fed. Cir.).



Patent Owner Appeals Section 101 Ruling To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Finjan Inc. malware detection patent is directed to patent-ineligible subject matter, and a California federal judge's conclusions to the contrary were in error, an infringement defendant recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a case that will be heard Sept. 8 (Blue Coat Systems Inc. v. Finjan Inc., No. 16-2520, Fed. Cir.).



Parties Brief Federal Circuit In Dispute Over Patent Injunction, Damages
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 5 will hear a dispute over three claims of a ceramic capacitor patent that a California federal judge deemed sufficiently definite in June 2016, as well as claims by an infringement defendant that no causal nexus exists between a claimed feature and consumer demand (Presidio Components Inc. v. American Technical Ceramics Corp., Nos. 16-2607, -2650, Fed. Cir.).



Pillowcase Maker Tells High Court Amazon Is Liable For Selling Infringing Goods
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Appealing rulings in favor of Amazon.com Inc. by both a trial court and an appeals court, the maker of a line of children's pillowcases filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 21, seeking review of the standards for determining when an online retailer is liable for copyright or patent infringement from the sale of third parties' counterfeit goods (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-287, U.S. Sup.).



ISP, Music Publisher Debate Dismissal Of Copyright Declaratory Suit In 2nd Circuit
NEW YORK - In briefs filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an internet service provider (ISP) and a music-publishing firm argue over whether a trial court properly dismissed the ISP's declaratory judgment action related to claims of online infringement of the firm's copyrighted songs by the ISP's customers (Windstream Services LLC v. BMG Rights Management [US] LLC, et al., No. 17-1515, 2nd Cir.).



Divided Federal Circuit Says Patent Recites A Technological Improvement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A dismissal by a Delaware federal judge of patent infringement allegations against NVIDIA Corp. was reversed and remanded Aug. 15 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which concluded that the dismissal was premised on an erroneous finding of patent ineligibility (Visual Memory LLC v. NVIDIA Corporation, No. 16-2254, Fed. Cir.).



Divided Federal Circuit Reverses Rejection Of Patent Validity Challenge
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that confirmed the validity of a household blender patent was reversed Aug. 4 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Homeland Housewares LLC v. Whirlpool Corporation, No. 16-1511, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14332).



Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board Obviousness, Anticipation Holding
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) was entitled to prevail on its petition before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which challenged the validity of a podcast technology patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 7 (Personal Audio LLC v. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, No. 16-1123, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14485).



Federal Circuit Vacates Fee Rulings In Patent, Trademark Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by a Connecticut federal judge to award fees under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 285, but deny a similar award in connection with a jury's finding of trademark infringement was vacated Aug. 9 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., Nos. 2016-1115, 2016-1116, 2016-1842, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14644).



Federal Circuit: No Right To Jury Trial In Section 285 Disputes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Pennsylvania federal judge did not err in making factual findings not foreclosed by a jury's verdict that a patent plaintiff lacked standing to assert infringement, in connection with a subsequent decision to award two prevailing infringement defendants $3.9 million in attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 10 (AIA America Inc. v. Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, No. 16-2647, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14745).



With Jurisdiction Lacking, Writ Compelling Discovery Denied In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appeal by a patent owner seeking to compel discovery in an infringement action governed by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA), Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119, 804 (2010), was dismissed Aug. 10 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which deemed jurisdiction over the dispute lacking under the collateral order doctrine (Amgen Inc. v. Hospira Inc., No. 16-2179, Fed. Cir.).



Expert Testimony In Patent, Trade Secrets Action Allowed By Federal Judge
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts' opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 4:15-cv-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124423, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123990).



Delaware Federal Judge Enters Partial Judgment Of No Patent Infringement
WILMINGTON, Del. - Allegations by two plaintiffs that 12 patents were infringed by the manufacture and sale of certain televisions, laptops and tablets were partly dismissed Aug. 11 by a Delaware federal judge on the basis of license agreements that cover some of the accused products (MiiCs and Partners America Inc., et al. v. Toshiba Corp., et al., No. 14-803; MiiCs and Partners America Inc. v. Funai Electric Co., et al., No. 14-804, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127745).



Texas Federal Judge Orders New Deposition In Patent Case
SHERMAN, Texas - A plaintiff will be permitted another opportunity to depose the author of a patent opinion letter at the expense of an infringement defendant "as a remedy" for conduct by defense counsel, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 11 (Tech Pharmacy Services LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, No. 15-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127965).



Citing TC Heartland, Tennessee Federal Judge Transfers Patent Case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A dispute over a patented plastic bifold table sold within the Eastern District of Tennessee should proceed in Michigan federal court, a Tennessee federal judge concluded Aug. 14 (Maxchief Investment Limited v. Plastic Development Group LLC, No. 16-63, E.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128432).



Composition Of Soft Tissue Filler Not Patentable, Petition Asserts
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent claiming an injectable soft tissue filler containing lidocaine and hyaluronic acid would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, a petitioner told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Aug. 2 (Teoxane S.A. v. Allergan Industries SAS, No. IPR2017-01906, PTAB).



Patent Board Grants Comcast Inter Partes Review Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 8 decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Comcast Cable Communications LLC established a reasonable likelihood that it will prevail on its allegation that at least one of 24 claims in an interactive program guide patent would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art (Comcast Cable Communications LLC v. Rovi Guides Inc., No. IPR2017-00744, PTAB).



Petitioner Tells Board Spinal Stimulation Patent Would Have Been Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Six claims of a patented system for spinal cord stimulation (SCS) are targeted in an Aug. 11 petition for inter partes review (IPR) filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Nevro Corp. v. Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp., No. IPR2017-01920, PTAB).



Apple Tells Patent Board Physiological Sensor Patent Is Obvious
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 15 petition for inter partes review (IPR) before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Apple Inc. argues that a noninvasive physiological sensor patent "attempts to claim" a "simple concept" that had "been in common usage years before" the underlying application was filed (Apple Inc. v. Valencell Inc., No. IPR2017-01947, PTAB).



Patented Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Regimen Targeted In New Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Novartis A.G. patent covering a method of administering the immunosuppressant fingolimod hydrochloride (FTY720) would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, two drug companies argue in an Aug. 15 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Actavis Elizabeth LLC, et al. v. Novartis A.G., No. IPR2017-01946, PTAB).



Federal Magistrate Judge Requests Briefing On Copyright Defenses
SAN DIEGO - A California federal magistrate judge on Aug. 4 directed Conan O'Brien and other copyright infringement co-defendants to file a proposed amended answer and supplemental brief justifying their request to reopen discovery in the case, based upon representations by plaintiff's counsel that an underlying copyright registration will be canceled or corrected (Robert Alexander Kaseberg v. Conan O'Brien, et al., No. 15-1637, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123703).



Florida Federal Judge Grants $1.1 Million Fee Award In Copyright Case
TAMPA, Fla. - On remand from the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a Florida federal judge on Aug. 8 found that although the number of hours spent pursuing copyright infringement claims was "excessively high," a plaintiff was nonetheless entitled to an award of $1.1 million in attorney fees (Yellow Pages Photos Inc. v. Ziplocal LP, et al., No. 12-755, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125028).



Amazon Wins Dismissal Of Copyright Claims In Pennsylvania Federal Court
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 16 agreed with Amazon.com Inc. and Amazon Web Services Inc. (moving defendants, collectively) that a pro se plaintiff's claims of copyright infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act should be dismissed (Gordon Roy Parker v. PayPal Inc., et al., No. 16-4786, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130800).



California Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Criminal Copyright Claim
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations that a defendant gained access to copyrighted electronic design automation (EDA) software through fraud in violation of the Copyright Act are adequately pleaded, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15 in denying a motion to dismiss (Synopsys Inc. v. Ubiquiti Network Inc., et al., No. 17-561, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130070).



New York Federal Judge Issues $19.35 Million Award In Trademark Case
NEW YORK - A dispute over engagement rings marketed by Costco Wholesale Corp. with "Tiffany" signage ended in a $19.35 million award on Aug. 14, when a New York federal judge agreed that the jeweler is entitled to trebled damages (Tiffany and Company v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 13-1041, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128946).



Virginia Federal Judge Directs Trademark Office To Register Booking.com
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Aug. 9 ruling, a Virginia federal judge declared "Booking.com" a descriptive trademark that has acquired secondary meaning in Class 43 for hotel reservation services (Booking.com B.V. v. Joseph Matal, No. 16-425, E.D. Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126320).



Judge Says UPS Franchisees Lack Standing To Bring False Advertising Claims
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 2 granted summary judgment to The UPS Store Inc., United Parcel Service and owners of Manhattan UPS stores accused of false advertising under the Lanham Act, saying that UPS franchisees lacked standing to bring their claims (The UPS Store, Inc., et al. v. Robert Hagan, et al., No. 14-cv-1210, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121352).



Dismissal Denied For Tobacco Product Distributor In Trademark Infringement Suit
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 7 denied a motion to dismiss brought by a counterdefendant in a tobacco product trademark infringement suit after finding that the court had jurisdiction over the counterclaims because the counterdefendant, which is based in California, has done business in Illinois (Republic Technologies, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods, No. 16-CV-3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124673).



Candy Company Files Suit Against E-Cigarette Shop Over Trademark Infringement
CHICAGO - A candy company on July 13 filed suit in Illinois federal court against a tobacco shop, its holding company and its owner, claiming that the store has been using the candy company's trademarks and putting them on e-cigarette flavors it sells without the candy company's permission (WM. Wrigley Jr. Company v. Chi-Town Vapers LLC, et al., No. 17-CV-5185, N.D. Ill.).



Samsung To Federal Circuit: Hot-Spot Patent Properly Deemed Obvious
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 11 appellee brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and related entities defended the propriety of a December 2016 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which deemed myriad claims of a wireless hot-spot technology patent obvious under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103 (IXI IP LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 17-1665, Fed. Cir.).



Obviousness Finding By Patent Board At Issue In Federal Circuit Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that two claims of a circuit patent are obvious should be reversed because the decisions runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 418 (2007), a patent owner tells the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a May 8 appellant brief (Philips Lighting North America Corp. v. Wangs Alliance Corporation, No. 17-1526, Fed. Cir.).



Inventor Appeals Rejection Of Patent Application To Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in sustaining a rejection of various claims of a method for treating restless leg syndrome (RLS), the owner of the application recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Erwin Schollmayer, No. 17-1574, Fed. Cir.).



Encryption Patent Improperly Rejected, Owner Tells Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ex parte re-examination of a data encryption patent ended in an erroneous rejection of 28 claims, the owner argues in a June 16 brief before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: TecSec Inc., No. 17-1648, Fed. Cir.).



Dropbox Asks 9th Circuit To Affirm Senior User, Laches Findings In Trademark Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 16 appellee brief, Dropbox Inc. (DBI) tells the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court correctly found that it had priority of use of the "Dropbox" trademark and that a smaller rival's claims also failed under the doctrine of laches because it intentionally delayed filing infringement claims (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir.).