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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Intellectual Property Legal News
Headline Intellectual Property Legal News from LexisNexis®
Jury Finds Apple's Devices Infringe Cellular Patent, Awards Plaintiff $22 Million
TYLER, Texas - After a seven-day trial in Texas federal court, a jury on Sept. 14 found that Apple Inc. infringed the asserted claims of a patent related to a method for detecting buffer status conditions, awarding the patentee more than $22 million (Cellular Communications Equipment LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 6:14-cv-00251, E.D. Texas).
On Remand, Federal Circuit Vacates Treble Damages In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although reaffirming a jury's finding that three patents are valid and willfully infringed, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 12 vacated a Michigan federal judge's award of treble damages and his subsequent determination that the case qualifies as exceptional (Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer Inc., et al., No. 13-1668, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16646).
Antitrust Claims Over Patent Litigation Revived By 3rd Circuit
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge erred in treating antitrust standing as an issue of subject matter jurisdiction in dismissing a putative class action against alleged supracompetitive pricing of medicated eye drops, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 (Hartig Drug Company Inc. v. Senju Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-3289, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16404).
Delaware Federal Judge Rejects Patent Ineligibility Challenge
WILMINGTON, Del. - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations that it infringed four patents were unsuccessful on Sept. 7 when a Delaware federal judge found that it remains unclear whether the patents in suit are invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 (JSDQ Mesh Technologies LLC v. Fluidmesh Networks LLC, No. 16-212, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119811).
Illinois Federal Judge Won't Reconsider Dismissal Of Patent Case
CHICAGO - An April 2016 dismissal, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), of allegations that myriad defendants infringed a patented method for enhanced mercury control in coal-fired power plants will not be reconsidered, an Illinois federal judge revealed Sept. 14 (Nalco Company v. Chem-Mod LLC, et al., No. 14-2510, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124800).
Federal Circuit Affirms: Monoclonal Antibodies Are Not Infringed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings in favor of a declaratory judgment plaintiff that patented monoclonal antibodies are not infringed by chimeric and humanized antibodies found in the "Cimzia" anti-inflammatory drug will stand in light of a Sept. 8 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (UCB Inc. v. Yeda Research and Development Co., No. 15-1957, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16474).
Michigan Federal Judge Allows Damages Testimony In Patent Infringement Suit
DETROIT - An expert may offer damages testimony on behalf of Garmin International Inc. in a patent infringement lawsuit concerning car navigational methods, a Michigan federal judge ruled Sept. 12 (Visteon Global Technologies Inc. and Visteon Technologies LLC v. Garmin International Inc., No. 10-10578, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122922).
Federal Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Patent Dispute, Says Standing Not Lacking
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia federal judge erred in finding no substantial controversy between a plaintiff and defendant in a patent lawsuit that requested a declaration of noninfringement and invalidity, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 8 (Asia Vital Components Co. v. Asetek Danmark A/S, No. 15-1597, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16476).
Federal Circuit Reverses Patent Board, Deems Deicing Patent Valid
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the use of desugared, sugar beet molasses (DSBM) to deice road surfaces would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art were reversed Aug. 31 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Natural Alternatives LLC, No. 15-1911, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16278).
Siding With Facebook, Divided Federal Circuit Invalidates 5 Patent Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board properly held two claims of two patents invalid, but erroneously deemed five other claims not anticipated and not obvious, according to a divided ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 (Software Rights Archive LLC v. Facebook Inc., et al., Nos. 15-1649, -1650, -1651, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16561).
Patent Board Grants Covered Business Method Review Of Trading Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented method that purportedly improves electronic trading is likely invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board concluded Sept. 13 in a decision to institute covered business method (CBM) review (CQG Inc., et al. v. Chart Trading Development LLC, No. CBM2016-00046, PTAB).
Oracle Patent Will Face Inter Partes Review By Patent Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Six claims of a patent covering database query optimization will be the subject of an upcoming inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced Sept. 14 (Realtime Data LLC v. Oracle International Corp., No. IPR2016-00695, PTAB).
Hypermedia Navigation Patent Is Invalid, Netflix Says In New Petition
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Citing four pieces of allegedly invalidating prior art, Netflix Inc. on Sept. 15 sought inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a patent relating to the use of one device to select content for playback on another device (Netflix Inc. v. Convergent Media Solutions LLC, No. IPR2016-01812, PTAB).
Belt Connector Patent Is Invalid, New Inter Partes Review Petition Asserts
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Several medical device makers on Sept. 15 took aim at a patent that claims a belt connector for electrically connecting an electrode belt to a biometric device, in a new petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Natus Medical Inc., et al., v. Nox Medical EHF, No. IPR2016-01822, PTAB).
With Registration Requirement Now Met, West Virginia Judge Reinstates Copyright Case
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - One month after dismissing a purported copyright infringement case, a West Virginia federal judge on Sept. 12 granted a plaintiff leave to amend in light of the plaintiff's recently received copyright registrations (CSS Inc. v. Christopher Herrington, et al., No. 16-1762, S.D. W.Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122869).
Wisconsin Federal Judge Clears Path For Trial, Won't Invalidate Copyrights
MILWAUKEE - Efforts by myriad infringement defendants to invalidate various copyrights as a sanction for the alleged spoliation of evidence were unsuccessful on Sept. 12, when a Wisconsin federal judge denied the request and instead scheduled the case for trial, indicating that no reference to spoliation will appear in the jury instructions (Design Basics LLC v. Campbellsport Building Supply Inc., et al., No. 13-560, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123126).
9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Plaintiff Failed To Prove Access To Work
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge properly granted three defendants summary judgment on allegations that they infringed a copyrighted two-measure vocal melody in their hit song "Domino" because the plaintiff failed to present any admissible evidence that established access to the allegedly infringed work, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 2 (Will Loomis v. Jessie J., et al., No. 13-57093, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16261).
Dismissal Of Copyright Claims Against Beyonce Explained By Federal Judge
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 12 explained, in writing, his Aug. 31 "bottom-line Order" that dismissed allegations of copyright infringement levied against pop star Beyonce and others associated with the film and musical album "Lemonade" (Matthew Fulks v. Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, et al., No. 16-4278, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123150).
Federal Judge Allows California Law Claims Against Spice Maker To Proceed
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 6 dismissed an organic spice maker's claims for trademark infringement with leave to amend, but allowed its claims for violation of various California laws (Morton & Basset LLC v. Organic Spices Inc., No. 15-cv-01849, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120092).
2nd Circuit Affirms: Pregnancy Test Claims Were False Advertising
NEW YORK - Findings by a New York federal judge that the marketer of a home pregnancy test committed false advertising under the Lanham Act by implying that the product measures weeks of pregnancy in a manner consistent with that used by doctors were affirmed Sept. 9 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics GMBH, No. 15-2411, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16625).
Florida Federal Judge Dismisses Trademark Claims, With Leave To Amend
MIAMI - A contractual dispute was dismissed Sept. 12 by a Florida federal judge, who found that a plaintiff's allegations of trademark infringement - the only alleged basis for federal jurisdiction - fail to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Mainstream Advertising Inc. v. Moniker Online Services LLC, No. 16-61316, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123132).
Navajo Nation, Retailers To Discuss Settling Trademarks Claims
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The trial for a trademark infringement dispute between a Native American tribe and several retailers should be delayed until the new year so the parties have time to work on a settlement, according to a joint motion filed Aug. 30 in New Mexico federal court, a day after a magistrate judge scheduled a settlement conference for the parties (The Navajo Nation, et al. v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., No. 12-195, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63599).
5th Circuit Affirms: Trade Secret Claims Not Preempted By Copyright Act
NEW ORLEANS - A $15 million judgment on allegations of trade secret misappropriation will stand, in light of findings on Sept. 7 by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the case is not preempted by the Copyright Act (GlobeRanger Corporation v. Software AG, No. 15-10121, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16429).
LifeTech Argues To High Court: Patent Law Was Wrongly Broadened Abroad
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a $52 million patent case over DNA tests, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred when it extended U.S. patent law's reach to allow for infringement damages if a component of a patented invention originates from the United States and is combined with others overseas, Life Technologies Corp. (LifeTech) argues in a Sept. 1 petitioner brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).
Geotag Asks U.S. Supreme Court To Review Patent Dispute With Google
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should review the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision affirming that Google Inc.'s advertising platform did not infringe GeoTag's patent for geographic search because the district court never had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the case, GeoTag Inc. argues in an Aug. 26 petition (GeoTag Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 16-268, U.S. Sup.).
Painkiller Maker Seeks Review Of Obviousness Inquiry In Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following an appellate court's decision that four patents covering the pain-relieving drug OxyContin are invalid, a painkiller manufacturer in a Sept. 1 petition for writ of certiorari asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether an inventor's discovery is relevant to the obviousness inquiry (Purdue Pharma LP, et al. v. Epic Pharma LLC, et al., No. 16-289, U.S. Sup.).
Commil Tells High Court: Error In Use Of Expert Testimony To Reverse $74M Patent Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Commil USA LLC argues in an Aug. 29 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals violated its Seventh Amendment rights when the court reversed a jury's factual finding and a $74 million patent verdict against Cisco Systems Inc. based upon expert testimony (Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-1446, U.S. Sup.).
YouTube User Seeks High Court Clarification On Fair Use In Copyright Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A YouTube user asks the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 12 petition for certiorari to consider whether a user is liable under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) when she had a good faith belief that a video was protected by the fair use doctrine (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., Nos. 16-217 & 16-218, U.S. Sup.).
Company Tells Supreme Court Appellate Decision On Limitations Period Conflicts With Petrella
CHICAGO - An appellate court's decision that a copyright complaint must be dismissed for falling outside the three-year statute of limitations proscribed by the Copyright Act conflicts with Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1962, 1969 ), Consumer Health Information Corp. (CHIC) says in a July 14 petition to the U.S. Supreme Court (Consumer Health Information Corp. v. Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-282, U.S. Sup.).
Diagnostic Center Says Judge's Rejection Of Injunctive Relief Was Proper In Trademark Case
CINCINNATI - A diagnostic center argues in a Sept. 12 brief to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a federal judge properly declined awarding preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over "Ancestry," "Ancestry.com" and "AncestryDNA" trademarks (Ancestry.com Operations Inc. and Ancestry DNA LLC v. DNA Diagnostic Center Inc., No. 16-3468, 6th Cir.).
Auto Wholesaler Says It Did Not Infringe Trademark By Importing Parts
LOS ANGELES - An auto parts wholesaler argues in a Sept. 6 brief that a California federal judge should not find that parts imported into the United States were imported illegally and infringe a car company's trademarks (Hyundai Motor America Inc. and Hyundai Motor Co. v. Pinnacle Group LLC, No. 14-00576, C.D. Calif.).
Judge Partially Bars Expert's Testimony On Damages In Patent Infringement Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO - In a patent infringement lawsuit concerning computer security technology, a damages expert's apportionment methodology is unreliable as it improperly inflates the apportionment base, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 15, partially excluding the testimony (Finjan Inc. v. Sophos Inc., No. 14-01197, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107831).
Patent Board's Rejection Of Obviousness Challenge Affirmed By Federal Circuit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that 23 claims of a patented composition for tigecycline and an acid or buffer are not obvious were not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 16 (Apotex Inc. v. Wyeth LLC, No. 15-1871, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14991).
Federal Circuit: 'Common Sense' Presumption By Patent Board Was Error
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that rendered obvious various claims of a computer-aided search patent was reversed Aug. 10 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which deemed "conclusory" the board's presumption that the addition of a telephone number search feature to prior art would be "common sense" (Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 15-2073, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14652).
Federal Circuit: DuPont Printing Plate Patents Invalid, Not Infringed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New Jersey federal judge's decision to grant a summary judgment of patent invalidity and noninfringement was affirmed Aug. 19 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found that patent owner E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. failed to establish that an accused substrate is controlled by an accused adhesive drying process (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. MacDermid Printing Solutions LLC, No. 15-1777, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15231).
Federal Circuit Reverses Invalidation Of Collating Unit Patent
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Kansas federal judge erred in deeming a patent covering a collating unit used during prescription dispensing invalid for lack of written description, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 15 (ScriptProLLC and ScriptPro USA Inc. v. Innovation Associates Inc., No. 15-1565, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14919).
Federal Circuit: Fact Issues Remain In Dispute Over Patent Validity
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge's decision to invalidate a semiconductor wafer patent as anticipated was vacated and remanded Aug. 19 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that should have precluded summary judgment (Semcon Tech LLC v. Micron Technology Inc., No. 15-1936, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15233).
Federal Judge Rejects Joint-Ownership Position Advanced In Patent Case
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 17 turned away a request for dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit based upon a claim of joint ownership by three defendants, finding instead that the plaintiff - as an exclusive licensee - can sue a patentee or an infringer (The Medicines Company v. Eagle Pharmaceuticals, et al., No. 16-569, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108855).
California Federal Judge Denies Fee Request By Oracle In Patent Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by Oracle Corp. to recoup attorney fees it incurred defending patent infringement allegations - and to have those fees assessed against counsel for the plaintiff under the vexatious litigation statute - were unsuccessful on Aug. 22, when a California federal judge disagreed that the case qualifies as "exceptional" under 35 U.S. Code Section 285 (Thought Inc. v. Oracle Corporation, No. 12-5601, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111661).
Patent Board Denies Mylan Bid For Review Of Taxoid Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Assertions that an Aventis Pharma S.A. patent is invalid as obvious under 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were rejected Aug. 23 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which turned away a petition for inter partes review by Mylan Inc. (Mylan Inc. v. Aventis Pharma S.A., No. IPR2016-00627, PTAB).
Patent Board Won't Review Internet Navigation Method Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by an infringement defendant to invalidate a patented method of gathering and presenting summary information as HyperText Markup Language (HTML) were unsuccessful on Aug. 16, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied a petition for covered business method (CBM) review (Plaid Technologies Inc. v. Yodlee Inc. and Yodlee.com Inc., No. CBM2016-00037, PTAB).
Sony Petitions Patent Board For Review Of Web Communication Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented method of communicating online with pre-stored sequences of actions or scripts is directed to nonstatutory subject matter under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. alleges in an Aug. 19 petition for covered business method (CBM) review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Sony Mobile Communications [USA] Inc. v. Content Aggregation Solutions LLC, No. CBM2016-00098, PTAB).
Fraud Prevention Patent Targeted In New Petition For Patent Board Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A claimed method of sending to a verified user a warning that a potentially fraudulent event has occurred and then requiring the user to acknowledge the event is invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, according to an Aug. 24 petition for covered business method (CBM) review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Twilio Inc. v. Telesign Corporation, No. CBM2016-00099, PTAB).
Telebrands Seeks Post- Grant Review Of Container Filling Method Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A system and method of filling containers with fluid should not have received a patent because what the patent claims is indefinite under 35 U.S. Code Section 112(b) as well as a violation of the written description requirement of Section 112(a), according to an Aug. 12 petition for post-grant review (PGR) filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Telebrands Corp. v. Tinnus Inc., No. PGR2016-00031, PTAB).
9th Circuit: Lanham Act Should Have Been Extraterritorially Applied
SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by Trader Joe's Co. that a Canadian grocer committed trademark infringement should not have been dismissed, for the plaintiff alleged a sufficient nexus between the grocer's conduct and American commerce to warrant extraterritorial application of the Lanham Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 (Trader Joe's Co. v. Michael Hallatt, No. 14-35035, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15792).
Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim Asserting Trade Dress Unenforceability
CHICAGO - A trade dress infringement defendant's request for declarations of trade dress noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability was turned away Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge, who concluded that the defendant "is essentially seeking an inappropriate advisory opinion" that would do nothing to resolve the parties' dispute (Bodum USA Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc., No. 16-2916, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111153).
10th Circuit: Colors Are Protectable When Combined With Shapes, Patterns
DENVER - A claimed trade dress for retail metalworking parts and accessories of packaging in a red, yellow, black and white color combination is neither inherently distinctive, nor has it acquired secondary meaning, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 (Forney Industries Inc. v. Daco of Missouri Inc., No. 15-1226, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15922).
Federal Judge Enters Default Against Seller Of Copied Smoking Products
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - After finding that the relevant factors weighed in favor of granting a smoking product maker's motion for a default judgment on its claims of trademark infringement and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a California federal judge on Aug. 10 granted its motion for default judgment against a store owner (Sream Inc. v. Pankaj R. Lavingia, et al., No. 16-00806, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106540).
7th Circuit Vacates Injunction In Dispute Over 'Bug Off' Trademark
CHICAGO - A Wisconsin federal judge abused his discretion and clearly erred when he "entertained" and accepted post-trial arguments by a plaintiff that a defendant failed to prove continuous use of the "Bug Off" trademark after 2012 when the parties' dispute was clearly centered on pre-2012 use, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 25 (S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. v. Nutraceutical Corporation, No. 15-3337, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15709).
New York Federal Judge Denies Relief In Dispute Over Fashion Week Marks
NEW YORK - Less than two months after denying a temporary restraining order in a dispute over the acronym "NYFW" - short for "New York Fashion Week" - and other trademarks, a New York federal judge on Aug. 12 again concluded that an infringement plaintiff is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claim (Fashion Week Inc. v. Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., et al., No. 16-5079, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107358).
Choice Hotels Prevails In Trademark Infringement Suit Against Ex-Franchisees
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 granted Choice Hotels International Inc.'s (CHI) motion for summary judgment in a suit alleging that former CHI franchisees continued to use CHI trademarks after termination of their franchise agreement for nonpayment of certain fees (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Frontier Hotels Inc., et al., No. 4:15-2355, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107460).
Louisiana Federal Judge: Area Of Use, Secondary Meaning Questions Preclude Ruling
BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).
8th Circuit Vacates Trademark Cancellations, Cites Lack Of Damages
ST. LOUIS - Although clarifying that their conclusions "should not be read as condoning . . . knowing misrepresentations" made by a trademark owner to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11 nonetheless vacated an Iowa federal judge's cancellation of the "Pakster" trademark after finding that the judge lacked jurisdiction (East Iowa Plastics Inc. v. PI Inc., No. 15-2757, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14762).
Imminent Cruise Launch Cited As Grounds For Allowing Trademark Case To Proceed
NEW ORLEANS - Although a Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 24 ultimately granted in part a motion to dismiss a declaratory judgment action, the plaintiff in the case was granted leave to amend while the defendant was criticized for arguing that no actual controversy exists between the parties, despite sending the plaintiff a cease-and-desist letter that alleged trademark infringement (Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co. LLC v. American Cruise Lines Inc., No. 16-3278, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112122).
Illinois Federal Judge Awards $100,000 On Counterfeiting Claims
CHICAGO - An online retailer that sold earrings bearing a fake Tory Burch trademark was ordered Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge to pay two plaintiffs $100,000 in statutory damages, as a result of the retailer's failure to ensure that its product offerings were not counterfeit (River Light V L.P., et al. v. I Love You To The Moom And Back, No. 15-5918, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111301).
5th Circuit: Sanctions Not Warranted In Longstanding Trademark Case
NEW ORLEANS - Allegations by myriad plaintiffs that a trademark and patent infringement defendant committed violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act were "creative" but not "ridiculous," the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15 (Southern Snow Manufacturing Company, et al. v. SnoWizard Inc., No. 15-30393, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14977).
Federal Judge Stays UCL And Trademark Claims Pending Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 stayed a trademark infringement case filed in relation to a mark for apparel, pending the outcome of a motion to dismiss a related case filed in New York (Therapy Stores Inc. v. JGV Apparel Group LLC, et al., No. 4:16-cv-02588-YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115012).
Internet Service Provider Launches Appeal Of Copyright Verdict
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Aug. 23 transmitted to the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals an Aug. 19 notice of appeal by Cox Communications Inc. and CoxCom (Cox, collectively) of a December 2015 jury verdict that the Internet service providers (ISPs) committed contributory copyright infringement (BMG Rights Management [US] LLC v. Cox Communications Inc., et al., No. 14-1611, E.D. Va.).
9th Circuit: Willful Copyright Infringement Claim Improperly Rejected
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting Live Nation Merchandise Inc. summary judgment on allegations of willful infringement because a reasonable jury could have concluded that Live Nation distributed a plaintiff's photographs with knowledge that copyright management information (CMI) had been removed, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 18 (Glen E. Friedman v. Live Nation Merchandise Inc., No. 14-55302, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15178).
3rd Circuit Affirms: Defendant Benefitted From Distributor Infringement
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge did not err in upholding a jury verdict of direct and contributory copyright infringement in a dispute over stem cell photographs, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 24 (Andrew Paul Leonard, et al. v. Stemtech International Inc., Nos. 15-9138, -3247, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15565).
Illinois Federal Judge Says Meijer, Others Infringed Copyright
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A copyright infringement plaintiff on Aug. 25 won partial summary judgment when an Illinois federal judge found that the "undisputed facts" demonstrate that three defendants copied the "particularized expression" of an idea for a clothespin featuring a silhouetted bird design (Design Ideas Ltd. v. Meijer Inc., et al., No. 15-3093, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113704).
Federal Judge Declares Copyrights, Trade Dress, Patents Not Infringed
FORT WORTH, Texas - A defendant has failed to show "where, how and why" a plaintiff's planned fiberglass utility body (FUB) would infringe any protectable trade dress belonging to the defendant, thereby entitling the plaintiff to a declaration of noninfringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 29 (Industrial Models Inc. v. SNF Inc., et al., No. 15-689, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115644).
Florida Federal Judge Strikes Defenses, Dismisses Copyright Counterclaims
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A seven-count declaratory judgment counterclaim was rejected in its entirety by a Florida federal judge on Aug. 30 as a shotgun pleading without prejudice to refile, with the exception of two counts seeking cancellation of a plaintiff's copyright and an award of attorney fees, which were dismissed with prejudice (PK Studios Inc. v. R.L.R. Investments LLC, et al., No. 15-389, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116057).
4th Circuit Orders Forfeiture Of Megaupload's Foreign-Held Assets
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on Aug. 12 upheld a trial court ruling ordering the forfeiture to the U.S. government of New Zealand and Hong Kong-held assets of now defunct Internet file storage service Megaupload and others involved in a criminal copyright infringement conspiracy, finding the forfeiture to be supported by the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (United States of America v. Finn Batato, et al., No. 15-1360, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14861).
Request For Temporary Restraining Order In Trade Secret Case Denied
MINNEAPOLIS - A dispute over allegations that three defendants misappropriated trade secrets by emailing themselves certain documents before leaving the employ of a plaintiff will proceed without a temporary restraining order (TRO) in place, in light of an Aug. 24 ruling by a Minnesota federal judge (Berkley Risk Administrators Company v. Accident Fund Holdings Group, et al., No. 16-2671, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113421).
Panel: Claims Looked, Walked, Quacked Like Typical Trademark Infringement Claims
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark dispute, concluding that the underlying claims "looked, walked, and quacked only like typical trademark infringement claims-not unpled disparagement or trade dress claims" (S. Bertram, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2552, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15886).
Cisco Tells High Court To Uphold Reversal Of $74M Patent Award, Not To Consider Evidence
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cisco Systems Inc. argues in an Aug. 15 brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that it should not consider whether there was sufficient evidence and expert testimony to support a $74 million patent verdict in favor of Commil USA LLC but rather uphold a reversal of that award by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-1446, U.S. Sup.).
Patent Owner Asks High Court To Consider Mayo, Alice Test On Patent Ineligible Concept
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A patent owner asks the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 8 petition for certiorari to decide if the definition of a patent-ineligible concept may include both a natural phenomenon and an inventor's ingenuity in applying that natural phenomenon to a new and useful purpose under the Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., Inc. (132 S. Ct. 1289, 1298 ) and Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l (134 S. Ct. 2347, 2355 ) framework (Genetic Technologies Ltd. v. Merial LLC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., No. 16-188, U.S. Sup.).
Google Asks High Court To Review Use Of Prosecution History In Patent Claim Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Google Inc., facing allegations that it infringed an inventor's patents for computer malware protection software, asked the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 10 brief to resolve 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.).
DuPont Argues To High Court That No 'Rigid' Standard Was Used In Thermal Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. argues in an Aug. 5 response brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not use a "rigid" standard as part of a determination that its thermal plates patent is not obvious (MacDermid Printing Solutions LLC v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., No. 15-1499, U.S. Sup.).
Amphastar Argues To Supreme Court: Hatch-Waxman Patent Safe Harbor Is Too Narrow
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An appellate court's interpretation of the Hatch-Waxman safe harbor, 35 U.S. Code Section 271(e)(1), is "overly narrow" and puts generic manufacturers at risk of patent suits, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc., International Medication Systems Ltd., Actavis Inc. and Actavis Pharma Inc. (Amphastar, collectively) argue in an Aug. 16 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court (Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. v. Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sandoz, Inc., No. 15-1402, U.S. Sup.).
Trademark Owner Of Snap Fasteners Seeks High Court Review Of Reduced Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trademark owner of magnetic snap fasteners for handbags asks the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 12 petition to consider whether under Section 35 of the Lanham Act, willful infringement is a prerequisite for an award of infringer's profits that was reduced to $6.8 million (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 16-202, U.S. Sup.).
Copyright Owners Ask High Court To Deny Review Of Copyright Term Extension Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Copyright owners to the classic holiday song "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" argue to the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 8 response brief that an appellate court did not err in rejecting a music company's bid to reconsider publisher's rights under Section 304(d) of the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1978 (CTEA), which is set to expire (EMI Feist Catalog Inc. v. Gloria Coots Baldwin, et al., No. 15-1335, U.S. Sup.).
Music Publishers Argue Class Action State Law Claims Are Preempted Under Copyright Act
NEW YORK - Music publishers argue in an Aug. 20 reply brief that a New York federal court should dismiss a proposed class action seeking licensing fees collected from their alleged copyright to the song "We Shall Overcome" because the copyright is valid and that the class action plaintiffs' state law claims are preempted under the Copyright Act (We Shall Overcome Foundation and Butler Films LLC v. The Richmond Organization Inc. and Ludlow Music Inc., No. 16-02725, S.D. N.Y.).
Federal Circuit Vacates Unenhanced Damages On Remand From Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection in June of the two-part test for enhanced damages set forth in In re: Seagate Technology LLC (497 F. 3d 1360, 1371 ), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 vacated an award of unenhanced damages in a patent case and remanded the dispute to a Nevada federal court (Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., et al., Nos. 13-1472, -1656, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14366).
Federal Circuit Affirms: 2 Patents Properly Deemed Invalid As Indefinite
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Various claims of two patents deemed invalid as indefinite were properly determined by a Florida federal judge to be means-plus-function claims despite an absence of the word "means," the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 28 (Advanced Ground Information Systems Inc. v. Life360 Inc., No. 15-1732, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13707).
Federal Circuit Issues Mixed Ruling In Patent Dispute Over Defibrillators
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts federal judge's decision to let stand a jury verdict that both a plaintiff and defendant were liable for infringing one another's external defibrillator patents and that all patents asserted in the litigation are not invalid was partly vacated and reversed July 28 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found - among other things - that potentially invalidating prior art was improperly excluded (Koninklijke Philips N.V. et al. v. Zoll Medical Corporation, No. 14-1764, -1791, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13710).
Prevailing Patent Defendant Wins Partial Award Of Attorney Fees in Maryland
BALTIMORE - A plaintiff's decision to pursue patent litigation became "clearly unreasonable" once the plaintiff failed to adequately rebut or otherwise address a defendant's position that the case was barred by 28 U.S. Code Section 1498, a Maryland federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (Astornet Technologies Inc. v. BAE Systems Inc., No. 14-245, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102260).
Apple's Waiver Claim Fails, But Federal Circuit Upholds Noninfringement Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge properly construed the terms "specified connection" and "UL connections" in a dispute over wireless communication patents, according to an Aug. 1 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in favor of defendant Apple Inc. (Wi-LAN USA Inc., et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1256, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13860).
Federal Circuit Affirms: Paging Patents Not Invalid, Not Infringed By Apple
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's decision that upheld a verdict of patent invalidity and noninfringement following a seven-day jury trial was not erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 1 (GPNE Corp. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1825, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13862).
Minnesota Federal Judge Denies Request For Dismissal Of Patent Litigation
MINNEAPOLIS - Citing the interactive nature of a defendant's website, a Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 5 denied a motion to dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction (Imation Corporation v. Sanho Corporation Inc., No. 15-1883, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103626).
Magistrate Judge Says Patent Litigation Should Remain In Delaware
WILMINGTON, Del. - A request by a patent infringement defendant to transfer its dispute with a competitor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas should be denied, a Delaware federal magistrate judge recommended Aug. 11 (Smith International Inc. v. Baker Hughes Inc., No. 16-56, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105481).
Pennsylvania Federal Judge Says Patent Cannot Satisfy Alice Eligibility Standard
PITTSBURGH - Efforts to enforce a patent against myriad defendant insurers failed Aug. 4 when a Pennsylvania federal judge agreed with the insurer that the patent claims ineligible subject matter and "does not clear" the bar set in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l. (134 S. Ct. 2347, 2355 ) (Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Erie Indemnity Company, et al., No. 14-220, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102289).
Therapeutic Radiology Patent Will Be Reviewed By Patent Board
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A February 2016 request for inter partes review was granted Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, following failure by the patent owner to respond to the petition (Elekta Inc. v. Varian Medical Systems Inc., No. IPR2016-00551, PTAB).
Patent Board Turns Away Fitbit Petition For Inter Partes Review
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations of invalidity by FitBit Inc. with regard to a patented system for collecting health, wellness and fitness data with a sensor device were rejected Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (FitBit Inc. v. BodyMedia Inc., IPR IPR2016-00543, PTAB).
R.J. Reynolds Seeks Inter Partes Review Of Electronic Cigarette Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patented electronic cigarette is not entitled to the filing date of a parent patent pursuant to rulings by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in ICU Medical, Inc. v. Alaris Medical Systems, Inc. (558 F.3d 1368 [Fed. Cir. 2009]), Research Corp. Techs. v. Microsoft Corp. (627 F.3d at 871-872 [Fed. Cir. 2010]) and Anascape v. Nintendo of America Inc. (601 F.3d at 1334, 1340 [Fed. Cir. 2010]), according to an Aug. 5 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company v. Fontem Holdings I BV, No. IPR2016-01532, PTAB).
Honda Seeks Inter Partes Review Of 'Integration Subsystem' Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent that is currently the subject of several pending inter partes review (IPR) requests filed by companies including Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Toyota Motor Co. is under fire again, in light of an Aug. 4 petition for IPR filed by America Honda Motor Co. Inc. (Honda) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (American Honda Motor Co. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01533, PTAB).
Patent Board Will Review Fraud Prevention Patent
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by various banking institutions to obtain covered business method (CBM) review of a patent that claims improvements in fraud detection and notification during remote and electronic transactions were successful Aug. 1, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board approved the request (Southside Bancshares Inc., et al. v. St. Isidore Research LLC, No. CBM2016-00027, PTAB).
California Federal Judge Orders Couple To Stop Using Tobacco Trademark
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Aug. 8 granted a motion for default judgment in favor of a hookah tobacco company that sued a couple who was using the company's trademarked brands and ordered the couple to pay $575,000 (Starbuzz Tobacco Inc. v. Issa Hilo, et al., No. SACV 16-0303 AG, C.D. Calif.).
1st Circuit: Finding Of Noninfringement In Trademark Case Clearly Erroneous
NEW YORK - In its second ruling in a longstanding trademark dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 vacated and remanded a Puerto Rico federal judge's findings of noninfringement, directing the district court to instead reconsider an earlier-entered injunction (Oriental Financial Services Corp., et al. v. Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Oriental, No. 15-1009, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14162).
Connecticut Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment On Typosquatting Claim
HARTFORD, Conn. - Citing a lack of evidence linking two digital marketing companies with the use of various domain names featuring a deliberate misspelling of a plaintiff's trademark, a Connecticut federal judge on July 29 dismissed allegations that the defendant that hired the companies violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) (Edible Arrangements LLC v. Provide Commerce Inc., No. 14-250, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99291).
California Federal Judge Rejects Lanham Act Counterclaims In Patent Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO - Assertions by a patent infringement defendant that a plaintiff committed false advertising and defamation in a letter it sent to the defendant's current and prospective customers were rejected on summary judgment Aug. 8 by a California federal judge (Johnstech International Corp. v. JF Microtechnology SDN BHD, No. 14-2864, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104380).
Following Trademark Trial, Federal Judge Sides With Macy's Subsidiary
NEW YORK - Allegations that Macy's Merchandising Group Inc. (MMG) infringed the "Joules" trademark by selling women's clothing under the "Maison Jules" trademark were rejected Aug. 2 by a New York federal judge following a two-day bench trial in July (Joules Limited v. Macy's Merchandising Group Inc., No. 15-3645, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101151).
7-Eleven Sues Lookalike Brooklyn Bodegas In New York Federal Court
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Convenience store franchisor 7-Eleven Inc. on July 25 filed two trademark infringement complaints in New York federal court against two Brooklyn bodegas for having names and signage similar to 7-Eleven stores (7-Eleven Inc. v. Z-Eleven Convenience Store Inc., No. 1:16-cv-4116, Eleven 7 Food Mart Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-4124, E.D. N.Y.).
South Carolina Federal Judge Triples Damages, Awards Infringer Profits
FLORENCE, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on July 29 awarded Choice Hotels International Inc. triple damages plus $1.18 million of infringer profits in a trademark infringement case against defendants who bought a North Myrtle Beach hotel from one of Choice Hotels' former franchisees and operated a "virtually identical business with a virtually identical name on the very same property" (Choice Hotels International Inc. v. Zeal LLC, et al., No. 4:13-01961, D. S.C., Florence Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99342).
Google, Oracle Spar Over Post-Judgment Sanctions For Financial Info Disclosure
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 8 opposition brief filed in California federal court, Oracle America Inc. calls a post-trial motion for civil contempt and sanctions by Google Inc. "unprecedented," asserting that the discovery trial statements that purportedly disclosed confidential information "were responsive" to arguments from Google and probing questions from the presiding magistrate (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).