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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®



 



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.).



Fastener Maker Appeals Fraud Finding, Award Denial In 'Sealtight' Trademark Suit
ST. LOUIS - A maker of industrial fasteners argues in an Aug. 16 brief that a trial court erred in declining to grant an award of infringer's profits and in finding that it acted fraudulently in obtaining its trademark registration, asking the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the judgment in the long-running trademark dispute's third time before the appeals court (B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., No. 17-1570 and 17-1755, 8th Cir.).



Oracle To Federal Circuit: Google's Java Code Copying For Android Wasn't Fair Use
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 4 reply brief, Oracle America Inc. calls a fair-use ruling in favor of Google Inc. "an aberration," telling the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Google copied a substantial amount of its Java code in creating the Android operating system (OP), which competes directly with its Java-based products (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).



Screenplay Copyright Owner Asks High Court To Review Selection, Arrangement Test
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Appealing noninfringement rulings by trial and appeals courts, the owner of a screenplay filed a petition for certiorari July 31, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the proper standard for determining substantial similarity between two works when the alleged infringers had access to the purportedly infringed work (Shame On You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 17-180, U.S. Sup.).



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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