Intellectual Property

  • July 30, 2014

    Mugshots Website Says Free Speech Bars Class Action

    JustMugshots.com Corp. urged a California judge on Wednesday to toss a putative class action alleging the website violated arrestees' publicity rights by publishing mugshots and arrest data without consent and charging to remove the information, saying the site is protected under the First Amendment because it provides a public service.

  • July 30, 2014

    Copyright Cases To Watch In The 2nd Half Of 2014

    Things move slowly in the dog days of summer, but expect the world of copyright law to speed up in the second half of the year, with highly anticipated decisions and developments on mass digitization, the controversial “Innocence of Muslims” ruling, Aereo's bid for a compulsory license, and more.

  • July 30, 2014

    Judge Won't Toss Copyright Suit Over Disney's 'Frozen'

    A California federal judge refused Tuesday to toss a suit claiming the Walt Disney Co. infringed a short-film creator's copyright with the teaser trailer for its 3-D computer-animated blockbuster "Frozen," ruling its plot and sequence of events are substantially similar to the plaintiff's two-dimensional computer-animated movie.

  • July 30, 2014

    USPTO Head Says Fee-Shifting Should Be Part Of Patent Bill

    As members of Congress work to pass stalled legislation aimed at abusive patent litigation, they should include measures to clarify when losing parties should pay the winning party's legal fees, the head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office told Congress Wednesday.

  • July 30, 2014

    5 Tips For Food Cos. Looking To Outsource Production

    Food companies that outsource production need to ensure their deals with manufacturing partners contain all the right ingredients and account for concerns such as quality control, labor issues and intellectual property protection. Here, experts provide tips companies should heed to keep these agreements from becoming recipes for disaster.

  • July 30, 2014

    PTAB Denies AIA Petition It Says Is Too Hard To Evaluate

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has denied a petition seeking America Invents Act review of a Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC data analysis patent, ruling that fully evaluating the scores of "underdeveloped" arguments the petition contains would be too much work for the board.

  • July 30, 2014

    Cephalon Can't Fight IP Battle In FTC Pay-For-Delay Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Tuesday that Cephalon Inc. cannot make arguments about the strength of a Provigil patent in the Federal Trade Commission's pay-for-delay suit against the drugmaker because of an earlier trial finding the patent invalid and unenforceable.

  • July 30, 2014

    Boehringer Sues Amneal To Block Generic Aggrenox

    Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. hit Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC with a lawsuit Wednesday in New Jersey federal court, claiming Amneal’s plan to develop a generic version of Aggrenox, a long-acting aspirin, infringes Boehringer’s patent on the drug.

  • July 30, 2014

    AmEx Hit With $14M Copyright Suit Over Software Code

    Enterprise software developer Micro Focus (US) Inc. hit American Express Co. with a $14 million lawsuit on Tuesday that claims the financial services giant vastly exceeded a license it had to use Micro Focus' copyrighted software.

  • July 30, 2014

    Kia Can't Register 'K9' Mark, TTAB Says

    The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has ruled that Kia Motors couldn’t register the mark “KIA K9” for cars because of a prior registered “K-9 CAR ALARM” mark, saying the mark could result in reverse confusion, where consumers assume the K-9 alarm was actually produced by Kia rather than the alarm manufacturer.

  • July 30, 2014

    Schlumberger's Ex-GC Wants Fees, Sanctions In IP Spat

    Schlumberger Ltd. could be slapped with a $611,000 attorneys' fees bill plus additional sanctions if a Texas judge decides the oilfield giant’s suit accusing its former intellectual property general counsel of stealing trade secrets lacks merit, according to Tuesday court filings.

  • July 30, 2014

    Apple Tells Fed. Circ. To OK $930M Samsung Patent Verdict

    Apple Inc. on Monday urged the Federal Circuit to uphold a $930 million judgment as part of an ongoing smartphone patent infringement suit against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., saying its rival presented no evidence to overturn a jury's infringement verdict and damages award.

  • July 30, 2014

    PTAB Paid Paralegals To Do Laundry, Watch TV, Report Says

    Paralegals employed by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board spent nearly five years with little work to do and were paid for thousands of hours spent watching TV, doing laundry and other nonwork activities, a scathing report by the Commerce Department's inspector general says.

  • July 30, 2014

    Bosch Releases Trico From Suit Over Wiper Trade Secrets

    Windshield-wiper maker Robert Bosch LLC said Wednesday that it had reached a settlement releasing competitor Trico Products Corp. from its trade secrets suit against a former Bosch employee it claims stole confidential information when leaving the company to join Trico as an executive, according to a Wednesday filing in Virginia federal court.

  • July 30, 2014

    China Trumpets Advancements In IP Protection Regime

    The Chinese government on Wednesday touted its ramped-up efforts to crack down on various forms of intellectual property infringement within its borders regarding products such as food, medicines and car parts, which has repeatedly drawn the ire of U.S. businesses operating in China.

  • July 30, 2014

    Calif. Brewer Attacks Rival Over Shark Trademark

    California-based brewer Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe accused Aviator Brewing Company Inc. of ripping off its "great white" shark trademark in federal court on Tuesday, claiming the rival brewer is selling a wheat beer with a confusingly similar logo.

  • July 29, 2014

    Square Counters Patent-Holder Letter With Lawsuit

    Square Inc. launched a lawsuit in California federal court on Monday in which it insists its online marketplace product does not infringe on a pair of patents owned by data encryption company Protegrity Corp., in response to a letter it received from the company.

  • July 29, 2014

    Bankrupt Ship Co. CEO Casts $100M IP Suit Over Vessel Sale

    The CEO of troubled Taiwanese shipping firm TMT Group launched a suit in Texas federal court Monday, alleging that a planned bankruptcy sale of three company ships to Mega International Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. will strip him of intellectual property worth more than $100 million.

  • July 29, 2014

    US Foods Moves Trade Secrets Case To Ill. State Court

    Barely a week after accusing Latina Boulevard Foods LLC of poaching its managers, US Foods Inc. dropped its federal case against the rival on Tuesday, refiling the suit in Illinois state court after Latina’s disclosure that it is an Illinois resident.

  • July 29, 2014

    Vizio's Bid For Fees In Oplus Patent Case Knocked By Judge

    An Illinois magistrate judge on Monday recommended rejecting Vizio Inc.'s motion seeking attorneys' fees from Oplus Technologies Ltd. as a sanction for what Vizio called a baseless patent suit, citing a February ruling by a different court denying Vizio fees in a closely related case.

Expert Analysis

  • Fed. Circ. And USPTO Diverge On Lead Compound Analysis

    William Carroll

    Recent decisions show that, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the Federal Circuit's so-called lead compound analysis has not displaced traditional approaches to analyzing chemical obviousness. Therefore, the forum where a chemical obviousness battle is played out can have a big impact on the results, say Jeffry Nichols and William Carroll of Brinks Gilson & Lione.

  • Court To Sen. Hershey: Tear Down Those Signs

    Susan Neuberger Weller

    The Hershey Company's trade dress infringement case against Maryland state Sen. Steve Hershey over his brown and white campaign signs is somewhat different from the usual campaign trademark dispute in that the politician is the one who was sued for use of a corporate trademark, says Susan Neuberger Weller of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Death Rattle For Unfinished Business Claims?

    Angelo G. Savino

    In a departure from Jewel v. Boxer, the decisions in the cases of Thelen LLP and Heller Ehrman LLP reflect a shift in the manner by which courts treat trustees’ claims for post-dissolution fees, say Angelo Savino and Julie Moeller Albright of Cozen O'Connor.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: Top 10 Venue Arguments

    Alan E. Rothman

    As the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation heads to the “Heart of America” for its July 31 hearing, this column will take a bit of a detour from its regular format and present a top 10 list of arguments — some strange, yet true — made in support of a particular MDL venue, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Redskins Ruling Is Consistent With TTAB Precedent

    Patricia Cotton

    While the highly publicized Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision canceling trademark registrations used by the Washington Redskins has taken some by surprise, the holding is in line with several recent TTAB decisions involving the registration of disparaging marks — decisions that received far less media attention, says Patricia Cotton of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Kinesiotherapy Decision Shakes Up ITC Enforcement Outlook

    Shara Aranoff

    The U.S. International Trade Commission's recent advisory opinion interpreting the scope of its previously issued 2013 exclusion order in Certain Kinesiotherapy Devices and Components Thereof is an important step toward making the ITC a more practical forum for timely resolution of disputes over the scope of its remedial orders, say Shara Aranoff and Ali Mojibi of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Limiting Choice Of Venue In Patent Litigation

    John B. Pegram

    Instead of trying to rewrite venue law with new and untested provisions, we suggest Congress could simply re-establish Section 1400(b) as the exclusive venue for patent infringement cases by defining a defendant’s residence for litigation purposes as its place of legal organization and its principal place of business, say John Pegram and Noori Torabi of Fish & Richardson PC.

  • What The Supreme Court Said About Patents This Term

    Michael Martinez de Andino

    This year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided on six patent cases that will have significant consequences for companies as they work to advance their strategy for protecting their intellectual property, say J. Michael Martinez de Andino and George Davis of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • The Untapped Gold Mine Of Transfer-Price Evidence

    Andrew Blair-Stanek

    Many patent, copyright and trademark owners generate evidence that their intellectual property has little value, to minimize taxes. IP defendants can discover this evidence and use it to argue for lower damages, no injunctions and no liability, says Andrew Blair-Stanek, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

  • Peregrine Puts Hired-To-Invent Issues In Spotlight

    Michael Bunis

    Do you think your employees are hired to invent? A California federal judge's recent ruling in Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. v. RF Micro Devices Inc. serves as a reminder that oral agreements are insufficient and employees who perform general engineering, development or other activities will likely fall outside the scope of the hired-to-invent doctrine, say Michael Bunis and Vanessa Arslanian of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.