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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Intellectual Property Legal News
Headline Intellectual Property Legal News from LexisNexis®
Federal Circuit Upholds Validity Analysis In Utility, Design Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Utah federal judge properly deemed various claims of two patents invalid as anticipated and obvious, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 2 in a dispute over decorative laminate architectural panels (3form Inc. v. Lumicor Inc., No. 16-1535, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1837).
Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board Finding Of Nonobviousness
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A rejection by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of patent invalidity allegations with regard to 16 claims of a system and method for gathering website feedback was affirmed Feb. 13 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Qualtrics LLC v. OpinionLab Inc., No. 16-1177, Fed. Cir.).
Arizona Federal Judge Transfers Patent Dispute To Florida Court
PHOENIX - Allegations that two defendants infringed three patents relating to a process known as "singulation" will proceed in Florida federal court, where a separate case implicating the same three patents is already pending, an Arizona federal judge ruled Feb. 8 (ON Semiconductor Corporation, et al. v. Micro Processing Technology Inc., No. 16-1055, D. Ariz.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17753).
Texas Federal Magistrate Won't Transfer Patent Case To Oklahoma Court
MARSHALL, Texas - A request by Garmin International Inc. and Garmin USA Inc. (Garmin, collectively) to transfer a patent infringement lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma was rejected Feb. 6 by a Texas federal magistrate judge (Navico Inc. and Navico Holding AS v. Garmin International Inc., et al., No. 16-190, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15951).
Texas Federal Judge: Design Patent Case Should Proceed In New York Court
HOUSTON - A dispute over two design patents covering ornamental women's sandals should be litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York where an infringement defendant is headquartered, a Texas federal judge concluded Feb. 10 (JPT Group LLC v. Balenciaga America Inc., No. 16-1596, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19003).
Texas Federal Judge Adopts Report, Grants Relief In Patent Case
MARSHALL, Texas - Findings by a Texas federal magistrate judge that Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC (Mylan, collectively) are entitled to a preliminary injunction barring competitors from making and selling generic isosulfan blue were adopted in full Feb. 7 by a Texas federal judge (Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., et al., No. 16-491, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16797).
2nd Circuit Partly Vacates Dismissal Of Antitrust Claims In Patent Dispute
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's decision to dismiss allegations that Takeda America Holdings Inc., Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc., Takeda Development Center Americas Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. (Takeda, collectively) violated state law analogs of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 2, by preventing competitors from marketing a generic version of the diabetes drug ACTOS was partly vacated by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Feb. 8 (In re: ACTOS End-Payor Antitrust Litigaiton, No. 15-3364, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2291).
Federal Circuit Vacates Patent Board Rulings, Citing Covenant Not To Sue
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 9 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a party seeking re-examination of two can coating patents did have standing to appeal a final decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board because there was an Article III case or controversy between the parties at the time the appeal was filed (PPG Industries Inc. v. Valspar Sourcing Inc., Nos. 16-1406, -1409, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit: Proposed Generic Drug Does Not Meet Patent Limitations
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge erred in concluding that an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) satisfies various Markush group requirements set forth in claim 1(b) of a drug composition patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 10 (Shire Development LLC, et al. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-1785, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2393).
Judge OKs Adding Defend Trade Secrets Act Claim To Complaint
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 7 granted leave for an electronics company to amend its complaint to add a claim under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (VIA Technologies, Inc., et al. v. ASUS Computer International, et al., No. 14-cv-03586, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17384).
In Final Decision, Patent Board Upholds Rejection Of Patent Claims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent examiner properly rejected 20 claims of an invention relating to a touch pad enablement in an information handling system as unpatentable under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled Feb. 7 (Ex parte Erin K. Walline and Robert C. Nerhood II, No. 2016-002625, PTAB).
Patent Board Rejects Patent Challenge, Confirms Validity Of Claims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Despite previously instituting inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Feb. 3 in a final written decision upheld all challenged claims of a patent covering individually formed footwear (Zero Gravity Inside Inc. v. Footbalance System OY, No. IPR2015-01769, PTAB).
Patent Board Denies Review Of Immune System Boosting Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A request by Forty Seven Inc. for inter partes review (IPR) of a single claim of a patent relating to a method of boosting the immune system was denied by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Feb. 9 (Forty Seven Inc. v. Stichting Sanquin Bloedvoorziening, No. IPR2016-01529, PTAB).
Patent Board Denies Roxane Request For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Novartis AG patent covering a tumor treatment will not be the subject of an upcoming inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced Feb. 13 (Roxane Laboratories Inc. v. Novartis AG, No. IPR2016-01461, PTAB).
New York Magistrate Judge: Deny Sanctions In Copyright, Trademark Case
NEW YORK - A request for sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1927 by a prevailing copyright and trade dress infringement defendant should be denied, according to a Feb. 13 ruling by a New York federal magistrate judge, who found that plaintiff's counsel did not commit fraud upon by failing to quickly correct perjured depositions (Crown Awards Inc. v. Trophy Depot Inc., No. 15-1178, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20393).
6th Circuit Reverses Cancellation Of Trademark Ab Initio
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge's grant of summary judgment on a counterclaim seeking to void the "IntelliJet" trademark was reversed Feb. 3 by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (NetJets Inc. v. IntelliJet Group LLC, No. 15-4230, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2062).
Panel Upholds Lanham Act Judgment Without Expert Testimony On Actual Injury
RICHMOND, Va. - Without expert testimony, a seller of internet domain names could not establish the elements of its Lanham Act claim, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 8, finding that there was no evidence that the seller suffered an actual injury as a direct result of a competitor's conduct (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC and Daniel Negari, No. 15-2526, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2264).
Judge Refuses Dismissal Of Claims Related To Online Sale Of Hair Products
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Feb. 7 refused to dismiss a hair product company's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and intentional interference with contractual relations, finding that a retailer had notice that it was potentially selling unauthorized products online and that it showed that a valid contract exists (Unite Eurotherapy Inc. v. Walgreens Co., et al., No. 16-cv-01706, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18116).
Federal Judge Remands Company's UCL Claims Related To Trademark
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 10 granted an exclusive licensee's motion to remand its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to the alleged unauthorized use of a trademark, finding that it did not waive its right to remand the action (SWC Inc. v. Elite Promo Inc., No. 16-cv-07071, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19513).
California Federal Judge: Plaintiff Not Barred From Calling Products Similar
LOS ANGELES - A defense motion in limine seeking to prevent a plaintiff from referring to an allegedly infringing jewelry line as "similar" to a jewelry line made by the plaintiff was denied Feb. 6 by a California federal judge (Brighton Collectibles LLC v. Believe Production Inc., No. 15-579, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16594).
9th Circuit: Computer Program Copyright Does Not Extend To Program Output
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly rejected claims by the owner of a copyrighted computer-aided design (CAD) program that its copyright extends to images and files produced by the program, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 9 (Design Data Corp. v. Unigate Enterprise Inc., et al., Nos. 14-16701, No. 14-17317, 9th. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2333).
New York Federal Judge Denies Effort To Add Copyright Claim
NEW YORK - International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. on Feb. 6 won summary judgment on allegations that it committed breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; in the same ruling, a New York federal judge agreed with a New York federal magistrate judge that the plaintiff in the case should not be granted leave to add a claim of copyright infringement against IBM (MPI Tech A/S v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 15-4891, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16432).
District Of Columbia Federal Judge Awards $3 Million In Copyright Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a December ruling that Poland's national public television broadcasting company committed copyright infringement, a District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 14 ordered the defendant to pay $3.06 million in damages (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20465).
Judge Dismisses Software Diagnostic Hacking Claims For Lack Of Jurisdiction
DETROIT- A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion filed by the CEO of an electronic company and a Chinese corporation to dismiss claims for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over them because their conduct did not constitute purposeful availment (Ford Motor Co., et al. v. Autel Us Inc., et al., No. 14-13760, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19595).
Counterclaims Did Not Allege Advertising Injury, 10th Circuit Affirms
ATLANTA - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 found that underlying counterclaims against an insured failed to assert facts that constituted an "advertising injury" under general liability and excess insurance policies, affirming a lower federal court's finding that the insurer did not have a duty to defend its insured (IVFMD Florida, Inc. v. Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-15127, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2218).
Complaint Fails To Allege Personal, Advertising Injury, Federal Judge Rules
CHICAGO - In granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment, California federal judge on Feb. 2 held that underlying claims that an insured violated the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, intentionally inferred with contractual relations and prospective business advantage and engaged in unfair competition and civil conspiracy fail to trigger an insurance policy's "personal and advertising injury" coverage (Sentinel Insurance Co. v. Yorktown Industries Inc., No. 14-4212, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14439).
Company Tells High Court To Keep Interpretation On Venue Statutes In Patent Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A producer and supplier of liquid water enhancers and zero calorie sweeteners argues in a Jan. 30 brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that its interpretation of the statutory phrase "the judicial district where the defendant resides" "mean[s] the state of incorporation only" and that the venue is "not to be supplemented" by other provisions (TC Heartland LLC d/b/a Heartland Food Products Group v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, U.S. Sup.).
Software Developer Asks High Court To Abandon PTO's Review Procedures
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should review an appellate court ruling that the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board's (PTAB) final decision in an inter partes review (IPR) did not need to address every challenged patent claim but rather only some, an analytic software developer says in a Jan. 31 petition (SAS Institute Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ComplementSoft LLC, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).
Oil Services Company Tells High Court To Deny Review On IPR's Constitutionality
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to a petition asking for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether inter partes review (IPR) violates the U.S. Constitution, an oilfield services company argues in a Jan. 30 opposition brief that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals "has repeatedly and correctly rejected the argument that the Constitution prohibits the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) from correcting its own error in issuing a patent that fails the statutory requirements" (Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene's Energy Group LLC, No. 16-712, U.S. Sup.).
Patent Owner: Rehearing Of Federal Circuit Summary Affirmance Is Warranted
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A January affirmance without opinion of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a dispute over the results of an inter partes review should be reheard, the patent owner told the Federal Circuit Feb. 9 (Leak Surveys Inc. v. FLIR Systems Inc., Nos. 16-1299, -1300, Fed. Cir.).
Drug Maker Tells Federal Circuit Ruling Invalidating Velcade Patent Was Error
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 6 heard oral arguments in a dispute over the cancer-fighting prodrug Velcade, following findings in 2015 by a Delaware federal judge that the patent covering the pharmaceutical composition is invalid (Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., Nos. 2015-2066, 2016-1008, -1009, -1010, -1109, -1110, -1283, Fed. Cir.).
Firearms Seller Seeks Review Over Denial To Assert Profits Claim In Trademark Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A seller and distributor of firearms, in a trademark infringement lawsuit, petitioned on Jan. 25 for writ of certiorari to ask the U.S. Supreme Court whether a district court's refusal to allow it to amend a proposed pretrial order to assert a profits claim was an abuse of discretion (Clyde Armory Inc. v. FN Herstal S.A., No. 16-936, U.S. Sup.).
Company Seeks High Court Review Of Res Judicata Ruling Under B&B Hardware
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A software company in a Jan. 18 petition for writ of certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is bound by B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., 135 S.Ct. 1293 (2015), "in a trademark declaratory action brought solely to relitigate the likelihood of confusion issue after the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board had already rendered a final judgment determining likelihood of confusion" (M2 Software Inc. v. M2 Technology Inc., No. 16-909, U.S. Sup.).
Belmora Argues Courts Recognize Limits To Suing For Trademark Cancellation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 8 reply brief, Belmora LLC argues to the U.S. Supreme Court that courts "generally recognized that the principle of territoriality imposed a real limit on who could sue for cancellation of a trademark or unfair competition under the Lanham Act" (Belmora LLC and Jamie Belcastro v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, et al., No. 16-548, U.S. Sup.).
Alumni Association: 1st Amendment Bars Trademark Case Over Use Of Name
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an alumni association from trademark infringement claims in connection with its use of the words "alumni association" in conjunction with the university's name, the alumni association argues in its Jan. 30 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, because it cannot identify who its members are without using the university's name (Alumni Association of New Jersey Institute of Technology v. New Jersey Institute of Technology, No. 16-798, U.S. Sup.).
Home Builders: High Court Should Deny Review Of Intervest In Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a dispute over an architectural floor plan, home builders in a Feb. 6 brief respond that the U.S. Supreme Court should not consider whether Intervest Construction Inc. v. Canterbury Estate Homes Inc. should be overruled because architectural works are protectable under the Copyright Act but that protection is limited by statute (Home Design Services Inc. v. Turner Heritage Homes Inc., et al., No. 16-858, U.S. Sup.).
Oracle Appeals Java Fair Use Ruling To Federal Circuit In Google Copyright Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Feb. 10 appellant brief in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Oracle America Inc. asserts error in a trial court's finding that Google Inc.'s copying of certain elements of its Java technology constituted fair use, arguing that the court failed to consider Google's misrepresentations and harm to the Java market (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).
Video-Streaming Firm's Filtering Service Violates DMCA, Studios Tell 9th Circuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Several movie studios tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 8 appellee brief that a video-streaming service provider blatantly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by circumventing the technological protection measures (TPMs) on DVD and Blu-ray copies of their movies to offer edited versions to customers, also arguing that the defendant's defenses under the Family Movie Act (FMA) are incompatible with that statute's purposes (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).
University, Publishers Argue Fair Use In Electronic Works Posting In 11th Circuit
ATLANTA - On the second appeal regarding the alleged copyright infringement of educational materials by electronic posting of their excerpts by Georgia State University (GSU) faculty, the university argues in a Feb. 6 appellee brief that a trial court judge correctly determined fair use of the works at issue by finding that the postings had not led to market substitution of the works (Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Georgia State University, et al., No. 16-15726, 11th Cir.).
$500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software
DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
Copyright Claim Barred By Collateral Estoppel, 11th Circuit Affirms
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge's March 2016 grant of a motion by Tyler Perry for judgment on the pleadings with regard to allegations the filmmaker infringed a copyrighted book was not erroneous, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 19 (Terri Strickland v. Tyler Perry, No. 16-11601, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 959).
11th Circuit: Award Of Fees In Copyright Case Not Abuse Of Discretion
ATLANTA - A decision by a Florida federal judge to award $13,961 in attorney fees under Section 505 of the Copyright Act will stand in light of a Jan. 18 ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Dan Pronman, et al. v. Brian Styles, et al., No. 16-12157, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 824).
11th Circuit: Reduction Of Fees In Copyright Case Was Abuse Of Discretion
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge abused his discretion when awarding a prevailing copyright infringement plaintiff just 4.9 percent of the attorney fees and 6.8 percent of the costs it requested in connection with a successful copyright infringement case, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Yellow Pages Photos Inc. v. Ziplocal LP, No. 16-11868, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1197).
Texas Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Daily Newsletter Dispute
HOUSTON - Each issue of a daily newsletter constitutes a single work, and an annual subscription does not constitute a compilation under the Copyright Act, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 24 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP and KA Fund Advisors LP, No. 14-1903, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9426).
Lanham Act Claims Over Political Ad Dismissed, Copyright Claims Survive
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 31 refused to decide the question of whether inclusion of an altered, copyrighted song in a 30-second advertisement critical of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold qualifies as a fair use under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 107, deeming such a determination inappropriate in response to a motion to dismiss (Roger Nichols, et al. v. Club for Growth Action, No. 16-220, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12820).
Copyright Dispute Over Home Dismissed By New York Federal Judge
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Allegations of copyright infringement levied in connection with a "look-a-like" home were dismissed Jan. 20 without leave to amend by a New York federal judge (Seth Fortgang, et al. v. Pereiras Architects Ubiquitous LLC, et al., No. 16-3754, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8175).
9th Circuit Finds Usenet Provider Not Liable For Infringement Of Adult Pictures
PASADENA, Calif. - An adult entertainment site operator failed to establish that a usenet provider acted volitionally in or obtained any direct financial benefit from its users' infringing of the site's copyrighted images, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 23, affirming dismissal of direct and indirect infringement claims against the defendant (Perfect 10 Inc. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-55500, 15-55523 and 15-56026, 9th Cir.).
Texas Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Fees Despite Willful Infringement Verdict
MARSHALL, Texas - Weeks after it was awarded $17.4 million as a reasonable royalty on willful patent infringement by Smith & Nephew Inc. and Arthrocare Corp. (Smith & Nephew, collectively), Arthrex Inc. was denied an award of attorney fees by a Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 25 (Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc., et al., No. 15-1047, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10141).
Federal Circuit Upholds Denial Of Damages Claim In Patent Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in finding that a covenant not to sue barred a patent infringement action nor in holding that the defendant in the case failed to properly support its claim for damages in the form of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 26 (Securus Technologies Inc. v. Global Tel*Link Corporation, Nos. 16-1470, -1506, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1376).
Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Noninfringement Judgment In Patent Row
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's summary judgment that a defendant did not infringe a patented process for producing the antioxidant coenzyme CoQ10 was reversed and remanded Jan. 23 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Zhejiang Medicine Co. Ltd. and ZMC-USA LLC v. Kaneka Corp., No. 16-1390, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction In Water Balloon Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not abuse his discretion in finding that the owner of a patented mechanism for filling water balloons was likely to succeed on its claim that a competitor committed patent infringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Tinnus Enterprises LLC v. Telebrands Corporation, No. 16-1410, Fed. Cir.).
Federal Circuit Vacates Injunction, Claim Construction In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A preliminary injunction granted by an Illinois federal judge was premised on an erroneous construction of the disputed claim term "controller" as it appears in a patent relating to garage door openers, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 25 (The Chamberlain Group Inc. v. Techtronic Industries North America Inc., et al., Nos. 16-2713, 17-1220, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1294).
Federal Magistrate Judge Allows Amended Trade Secret, Patent Claims
TRENTON, N.J. - A dispute over methodologies and inventions used in the gaming industry will proceed with new allegations of trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 24 in an unpublished decision (High Five Games LLC v. Daniel Marks, et al., No. 13-7161, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9302).
California Federal Magistrate Judge Won't Allow Amended Patent Complaint
SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by a plaintiff to file an amended complaint to address an adverse claim construction ruling were rejected Jan. 30 by a California federal magistrate judge (VIA Technologies Inc. v. Asus Computer International, No. 14-3586, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12614).
Federal Circuit: Patent Invalidity Challenge Properly Rejected
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge did not err in concluding, following a bench trial, that a defendant's assertion of patent invalidity fails as a matter of law, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 26 (Cumberland Pharmaceuticals v. Mylan Institution LLC, et al., Nos. 16-1155, -1259, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1375).
Following Bench Trial, Delaware Federal Judge Deems Patents Invalid
WILMINGTON, Del. - In a consolidated patent dispute over plans by myriad defendants to market and sell generic Copaxone, a Delaware federal judge on Jan. 30 deemed the four patents that cover the brand-name drug invalid under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a) (In re: Copaxone Consolidated Cases, No. 14-1171, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12168).
Patent Claims Against Automakers Dismissed By New York Federal Judge
NEW YORK - Allegations that myriad automakers - including Ford Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors LLC - infringed a patented book holder were dismissed Feb. 1 by a New York federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) (Chikezie Ottah v. BMW, et al., No. 15-2465, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14074).
BMW Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Information Sharing Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented system and method for sharing information in a distributed system of different networks is invalid under the Patent Act, according to a Jan. 18 petition for inter partes review (IPR) filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (BMW of North America LLC v. Stragent LLC, No. IPR2017-00676, PTAB).
Patent Board Turns Away Fujitsu Patent Challenge
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a ruling issued Jan. 31, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board rejected assertions by Fujitsu Network Communication Inc. that a patented cross-polarization interference canceler (XPIC) is unpatentable under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a) (Fujitsu Network Communication Inc. v. Core Optical Technologies LLC, No. IPR2016-01618, PTAB).
6th Circuit Partly Vacates Decision Voiding Trademark Applications
CINCINNATI - When an intent-to-use (ITU) trademark applicant proceeding under Lanham Act 1(b) lacks a bona fide intent to produce some, but not all, of the goods and services listed in the application, the application "should not be voided in its entirety absent fraud or other egregious conduct," a divided panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 23 (Kelly Services Inc. v. Creative Harbor LLC, No. 16-1200, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1131).
Illinois Federal Judge: Australian Must Defend Trademark Claims In United States
CHICAGO - Efforts by an individual defendant accused of trademark infringement to obtain dismissal on jurisdictional grounds were rejected Jan. 25 by an Illinois federal judge, who noted that the person - as owner and director of a co-defendant corporation - would be "be significantly involved in the case regardless of the claims against him personally" (Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Australian Leather Pty. Ltd., et al., No. 16-3676, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11087).
7th Circuit Affirms: Shape, Design Of Bag Are Functional
CHICAGO - Allegations of trade dress infringement by the maker of personal care kits were properly rejected by an Illinois federal judge, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 27 (Arlington Specialties Inc. v. Urban Aid Inc., No. 14-3416, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1506).
Florida Federal Judge Sides With Ford In Trade Dress, Infringement Case
ORLANDO, Fla. - Allegations that Ford Motor Co. committed tortious interference were rejected Jan. 30 by a Florida federal judge, who found that trademark and trade dress-related demand letters sent by the automaker to distributors of allegedly infringing products were not objectively baseless (Silverhorse Racing LLC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 16-53, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12213).
Plaintiffs In Philadelphia Restaurant Battle Fight Attempt To Dismiss Case
PHILADELPHIA - Plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging intentional infringement and misappropriation of intellectual property, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duties that has the owners of a 116-year-old restaurant fighting over its name and franchising on Jan. 18 filed an opposition to a motion to dismiss their lawsuit for failure to state a claim, saying they have alleged more than enough facts to support all of their claims (Karen Castagna, et al. v. James Rubino Jr., et al., No. 2:16-cv-05066, E.D. Pa.).
New Jersey Federal Judge Dismisses Complaint In Tony Luke's Name Battle
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 30 granted a defendants' motion to dismiss a trademark infringement and unfair competition complaint in a family feud over control of the name of the Tony Luke's sandwich empire for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (TR Worldwide Phillyfood LLC v. Tony Luke Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-01185, D. N.J.).
Impression Argues To High Court: Patentee May Not Avoid Patent Exhaustion
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patentee may not avoid patent exhaustion "by selling its goods with putative post-sale restrictions attached," Impression Products Inc. argues in a Jan. 17 brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in response to the question of whether foreign sales exhaust a patent owner's right to sue and if they 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.).
Patent Owner Seeks Review In Lawsuit With Apple Over Claim Construction
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Patent owners ask the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 22 petition for writ of certiorari to answer whether claim construction presumes that "the ordinary meaning as understood by a person of skill in the art is the correct construction for claim terms, absent a redefinition or disclaimer in the patent specification" and whether the specification limits "the scope of claim terms to capture the 'actual invention' as implemented in the exemplary embodiments provided in the specification" (Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-913, U.S. Sup.).
Patent Owner Asks High Court For Clarification Of Eligibility Under Diehr/Alice
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court must consider whether a patent for a software-implemented industrial process that regulates and controls the operation of an oil rig, which was patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. 101 in Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981), can be rendered patent ineligible by Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 134 S. Ct. 2347, 2354 (2014), TDE Petroleum Data Solutions Inc. argues in its Jan. 13 petition (TDE Petroleum Data Solutions Inc. v. AKM Enterprise Inc. and DBA Mobilize Inc., No. 16-890, U.S. Sup.).
DuPont Asks High Court To Review Obviousness Of Printing Patents Under KSR
WASHINGTON, D.C. - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. in a Jan. 18 petition asks the U.S. Supreme Court to answer whether the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution and KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398, 421 (2007), allow a court to find a claimed invention obvious on summary judgment because elements of the claimed invention may have existed in prior art (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. MacDermid Printing Solutions LLC, No. 16-905, U.S. Sup.).
Government Tells High Court Not To Review Drug Trademark Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The federal government argues in a Jan. 24 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should not review a ruling that held Bayer Consumer Care AG (BCC) and Bayer Healthcare LLC (Bayer, collectively) could sue under Sections 14(3) and 43(a) of the Lanham Act over a foreign brand name the company never used in the United States because concerns that it would dramatically change U.S. trademark law were "overblown" (Belmora LLC and Jamie Belcastro v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, et al., No. 16-548, U.S. Sup.).
University Opposes Supreme Court Review Of Trademark Case Over Use Of Name
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey university argues in a Jan. 20 opposition brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should not review whether the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protect an alumni association from trademark infringement claims in connection with its use of the words "alumni association" in conjunction with the university's name (Alumni Association of New Jersey Institute of Technology v. New Jersey Institute of Technology, No. 16-798, U.S. Sup.).
Supplement Seller Seeks Review On If Influence Shows Control For Vicarious Liability
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A seller of nutritional supplement products on Jan. 24 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if an appellate court improperly held "that indirect influence is sufficient to demonstrate the required control for vicarious liability and that no proof is needed that the claimed infringements act as a draw for customers" (Stemtech International Inc. f/k/a Stemtech Healthsciences Inc. v. Andrew Paul Leonard d/b/a APL Microscopic, No. 16-928, U.S. Sup.).
Music Industry Groups Support Review In Dispute On DMCA Immunity For Pre-1972 Works
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Music industry groups argue in a Jan. 17 amicus curiae brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up a petition from a group of record labels asking for a review on 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.).
Video-Streaming Company Tells 9th Circuit Its Movie- Filtering Service Is Fair Use
SAN FRANCISCO - Appealing a trial court injunction preventing it from providing content-filtered copies of four movie studios' films to its customers, a video-on-demand (VOD) provider told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 27 brief that its services constitute fair use under the Copyright Act and are specifically protected by the Family Home Movie Act (FMA) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).
Supreme Court Grants Certiorari In Patent Dispute Over Biologics
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 13 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear a closely watched dispute between two drug makers over their competing interpretations of several provisions of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) (Sandoz, Inc. v. Amgen, Inc., No. 15-1039, U.S. Sup.; Amgen Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., No. 15-1195, U.S. Sup.).
Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In 4 Patent Disputes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 denied certiorari in four patent cases covering technologies ranging from pharmaceutical compounds to surgical staplers (Mylan Pharmaceuticals, et al. v. Acorda Therapeutics, et al., No. 16-360; Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc. v. Covidien LP, et al., No. 16-366; Lifescan Scotland Ltd. v. Pharmatech Solutions Inc., No. 16-377; Merck & Cie, et al. v. Watson Laboratories, No. 16-493, U.S. Sup.).
Federal Circuit Affirms: Cancer Treatment Method Would Infringe
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Indiana federal judge properly found that under Akamai Technologies Inc. v. Limelight Networks Inc. (797 F.3d 1020, 1022 [Fed. Cir. 2015]) (Akamai V), a proposed generic chemotherapy drug would indirectly infringe "methods of treatment" claimed by an Eli Lilly & Co. patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 12 (Eli Lilly & Co. v. Teva Parental Medicines Inc., et al., No. 15-2067, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 555).
Summary Judgment In Favor Of Patent Defendant Reversed By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Disputed issues of material fact should have precluded a Florida federal judge from granting Ericsson Inc. a summary judgment that it does not infringe two patents relating to bandwidth allocation, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 17 (Wi-LAN USA Inc. v. Ericsson Inc., No. 15-1766, -1794, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 769).
Delaware Federal Judge: Bloomberg Entitled To Prevail In Patent Case
WILMINGTON, Del. - Allegations that Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Finance L.P. (Bloomberg, collectively) infringed a patented method for providing subscribers with real-time financial market information were rejected Jan. 19 by a Delaware federal judge in response to a defense motion for summary judgment (Quest Licensing Corporation v. Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Finance L.P., No. 14-561, D. Del.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7200).
Federal Magistrate Judge Largely Rules Against Google In Chrome Patent Case
MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by patent infringement defendant Google Inc. to bar an expert witness from calculating reasonable royalty damages based upon the number of users who access Google Chrome in a seven-day period were unsuccessful on Jan. 9, when a Texas federal magistrate judge found that the methodology "appears sound" (Alfonso Cioffi, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 13-103, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2614).
Federal Circuit Upholds Stipulations Of Patent Invalidity, Noninfringement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in construing "seal," "prevent" and other phrases of four patents relating to vehicular tilt control apparatuses, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 (Cloud Farm Associates LP v. Volkswagen Group of America and ZF Sachs AG, No. 16-1448, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 325).
Federal Circuit Says Patent Challenger Lacks Standing To Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appellant seeking to challenge a final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that confirmed the validity of a conjugated antibody patent was turned away on Jan. 9 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Phigenix Inc. v. ImmunoGen Inc., No. 16-1544, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 323).
Federal Circuit Affirms: Electronic Trading Method Is Patent Eligible
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 18 upheld findings by an Illinois federal judge that two patents directed to a method of electronic trading do not claim ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 (Trading Technologies International Inc. v. CQG Inc., et al., No. 16-1616, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 834).
Patent Board Denies Intel Request For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A petition for inter partes review (IPR) of a patented method for reducing power consumption in integrated circuits was denied Jan. 10 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Intel Corp. v. Future Link Systems LLC, No. IPR2016-01400, PTAB).
Patent Board Grants Mylan Request For Review Of Cancer Treatment Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Jan. 10 granted a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of a patented cancer treatment method but denied a petitioner's request for joinder with a similar IPR (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Janssen Oncology Inc., No. IPR2016-01332, PTAB).
Patent Board Rejects Volkswagen Challenge To Audio Integration Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by Volkswagen of America Inc. that a patented audio device integration system would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art were rejected Jan. 13 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Volkswagen of America Inc. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01448, PTAB).
Amerigen Seeks Patent Board Review Of Shire ADHD Drug
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented pharmaceutical composition containing three different beads of amphetamine salts is unpatentable pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Sections 102(b) and 103, Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Limited argues in a Jan. 13 petition for inter partes review (IPR) (Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Limited v. Shire LLC, No. IPR2017-00665, PTAB).
Inter Partes Review Request Filed By Facebook, Instagram
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Just three months after seeking inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a media delivery patent, Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC on Jan. 15 filed a second petition for IPR of the same patent (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Skky LLC, No. IPR2017-00688, PTAB).
Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Dispute Over Disparaging Trademarks
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An attorney representing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) defended the constitutionality of the Lanham Act's disparagement provision on Jan. 18 in oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court (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.).
9th Circuit: Dismissal Of Karaoke Company's Trademark Case Was Proper
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by a karaoke music producer that a defendant's practice of "media-shifting" karaoke tracks from physical compact discs to digital files violates the Lanham Act were correctly dismissed by an Arizona federal judge, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 18 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corporation v. Wired for Sound Karaoke and DJ Services LLC, No. 14-17229, 9th Cir.).
New York Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Canon's Trademark Claims
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A defendant's motion to dismiss, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), allegations that he infringed the "Canon" trademark was rejected Jan. 11 by a New York federal judge (Canon-U.S.A. Inc. v. F&E Trading, LLC, et al., No. 15-6015, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4223).
Texas Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment On Dilution Claim
HOUSTON - Although granting Viacom International Inc. summary judgment on allegations that a proposed "The Krusty Krab" restaurant would represent trademark infringement, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 11 denied Viacom's request as it relates to trademark dilution (Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, No. 16-257, S.D. Texas.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3948).