Intellectual Property

  • February 27, 2015

    Gayes' Expert Faces Absent Notes At 'Blurred Lines' Trial

    Attorneys for Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams on Friday grilled a musicologist called by Marvin Gaye’s family to testify that their hit "Blurred Lines" infringes Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up,” asking how "Blurred Lines" could have copied note sequences that don’t appear on Gaye’s sheet music.

  • February 27, 2015

    Mid-Continent Must Cover Advertising Damages In IP Row

    Insurer Mid-Continent Casualty Co. must pay “advertising injury” damages in an intellectual property suit brought by an architectural firm against a bankrupt homebuilder that allegedly used its designs without permission, the Fifth Circuit said on Thursday.

  • February 27, 2015

    Beef Over Royalties For Unpatented Features Hits High Court

    Six electronics makers have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to undo a Federal Circuit decision affirming a $1 million jury verdict that they say wrongly includes royalties for a motherboard switch's unpatented elements and opens the door for an “improper damages model” on patent infringement cases.

  • February 27, 2015

    Brand Battles: NCAA, Margaritaville, Rothschild Family

    In Law360's latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the NCAA claims trademark rights to the name and the actual image of tournament "brackets," a Margaritaville-brand margarita maker ends up in a fight with Fiji Water and the heirs of the Rothschild give TTAB a history lesson.

  • February 27, 2015

    8th Circ. Revives Fraud Claim In Blood Patent License Beef

    The Eighth Circuit ruled Friday that Safeblood Technologies Inc. must face fraud claims brought by two patent licensees, saying they were not required to investigate the status of the licensed patent, even though the information was publicly available, unless it was obvious they were being duped.

  • February 27, 2015

    Stan Lee Media Urges High Court To Revive Spider-Man Suit

    Stan Lee Media Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court in a filing made public Friday to revive its suit seeking profits and ownership rights to Spider-Man and other characters created by its ex-president Stan Lee, arguing that the Ninth Circuit’s dismissal deviated from Twombly.

  • February 27, 2015

    AlvaradoSmith DQ'd In SM Graphics Patent Fee Row

    A California appeals court on Friday disqualified AlvaradoSmith APC from representing an expert seeking consulting fees from Shared Memory Graphics LLC for his work on a patent case, ruling AlvaradoSmith’s work representing SM Graphics’ former lawyers in a related case was a potential concern.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Won't Rehear Promega, Life Tech IP Dispute

    The Federal Circuit shot down on Thursday dueling petitions by Promega Corp. and Life Technologies Corp., which each sought to have the appellate court review its ruling that reversed an order vacating Promega’s $52 million win in a patent and licensing dispute over gene-testing technology.

  • February 27, 2015

    Despite Drop In New Patent Suits, Attys Hard At Work

    A 19 percent drop in the number of new patent lawsuits filed in 2014 can be traced to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that appear to be discouraging nonpracticing entities from bringing cases, but the reduction has had virtually no effect on the patent workload at major firms, attorneys say.

  • February 27, 2015

    Apple Still Top IP Target, But Pharma Takes More Fire

    Although technology giants such as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. still dominate the list of most-named defendants in intellectual property lawsuits, an uptick in patent litigation between pharmaceutical companies has pulled generic heavyweights like Actavis Inc. and Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. into the top ranks of companies most frequently targeted by a patent suit in 2014, an analysis by Law360 shows.

  • February 27, 2015

    Actavis Fights For Earlier 2nd Circ. Date In Antitrust Suit

    Actavis PLC urged the Second Circuit Thursday to hear its appeal of an injunction forcing the company to continue making an older version of dementia treatment Namenda by mid-March, saying the May oral arguments date the clerk's office proposed would be too late to protect its rights for the drug.

  • February 27, 2015

    '70s Rocker Slams Keith Urban With TM Suit Over Guitar DVDs

    Peter Beckett, lead singer and guitarist for 1970s soft-rock band Player, on Thursday slapped Keith Urban with a California federal suit alleging the country-music star infringed Beckett’s trademarks with his Keith Urban Player instructional DVD set, which is sold on the Home Shopping Network.

  • February 27, 2015

    Nike Calls Racism, Hacking Claims Latest Salvo In Futile Suit

    Nike Inc. on Thursday objected to reopening a failed suit accusing it of squashing competitors in the soccer equipment market, calling accusations it may have hacked the plaintiffs’ email and had an anti-Semitic picture on its website a baseless attempt to harass the manufacturer.

  • February 27, 2015

    Judge Dismisses Patent Suit Over Ticket Reservation System

    A North Carolina federal judge on Thursday granted Vivid Seats Ltd.'s motion for judgment on the pleadings in a suit accusing it of infringing a patent for a reservation system that controls inventory, citing recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • February 27, 2015

    Redskins Challengers Say The Clock Didn't Expire On This Suit

    With the Washington Redskins aiming for a First Amendment victory, the American Indians who are challenging the team's trademarks asked a federal judge Thursday for a big ruling of their own: Their fight against the team isn't barred by the doctrine of laches.

  • February 27, 2015

    Ericsson Says Apple Is Infringing 41 Essential Patents

    Ericsson Inc. on Thursday filed seven lawsuits in a Texas federal court against Apple Inc., saying the tech giant’s popular iPhone, iPad and other products infringe 41 of Ericsson’s standard-essential patents, following a breakdown in license negotiations between the parties.

  • February 27, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Urged To Revive Chrysler Pickup Storage IP Row

    The Federal Circuit on Thursday was urged to overturn a judgment in favor of Chrysler Group LLC in a suit claiming the automaker ripped off patents for a hidden storage unit in its Dodge Ram pickup trucks, with the inventors arguing the lower court disregarded evidence of the automaker's infringement.

  • February 26, 2015

    Universal VP Downplays Emails In 'Blurred Lines' IP Trial

    A Universal Music Enterprises executive  testified Thursday in the copyright trial alleging Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams ripped off Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” saying his email stating the duo’s “Blurred Lines” was “utterly based” on Gaye’s 1977 hit doesn’t mean the new song is an infringing copy.

  • February 26, 2015

    Phoenix Gets Rival's Claim Capped At $1M In Software Row

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Thursday refused to toss a suit seeking $10 million from Phoenix Payment Systems Inc. in a dispute over software rights, but effectively capped the rival card transaction company's claim against the debtor at $1 million.

  • February 26, 2015

    Ohio Restaurateur Appeals Recipe Copyright Ruling

    A restaurateur from Cleveland, Ohio, told an Ohio federal judge on Thursday that she would appeal to the Sixth Circuit a ruling that her food recipes can't be protected by copyright law as she seeks to revive a lawsuit filed against a local rival that was allegedly offering similar dishes.

Expert Analysis

  • Spotlight On Public Availability In Inter Partes Review

    Michael O’Neill

    Two back-to-back decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board — Sipnet EU S.R.O. v. Straight Path IP Group Inc. and Toyota Motor Corporation v. American Vehicular Sciences LLC — help to bookend its views on when information in an inter partes review proceeding is or is not a printed publication, says Michael O’Neill of Fitzpatrick Cella Harper & Scinto LLP.

  • Tips For Developing Effective Licensee Monitoring

    Sidney Blum

    Both novice and seasoned licensors make the same critical mistake — not adequately instructing the licensee on how to calculate the royalty and preserve supporting records, says Sidney Blum of Stout Risius Ross Inc.

  • From .Com To .Bank: What Financial Institutions Need To Know

    Eleanor Yost

    Trademark and brand owners can leverage the new .bank Internet domain as yet another way to build a company’s brand online. Importantly, however, the anticipated flood of new “real estate” that will become available as part of the .bank release will be tempered by mandated security measures, say attorneys with Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • Jury Bias And Big Numbers In Patent Litigation

    Andrew Clarke

    Given the lack of research into the existence of jury biases in patent damage awards to date, other factors — such as the higher costs of more granular apportionment — should be accorded greater weight by the Federal Circuit in determining whether to allow use of a larger royalty base, says Andrew Clarke of ARPC.

  • Gray Areas Of The 1-Year Inter Partes Review Bar

    Ross Culpepper

    Failing to comply with the inter partes review one-year bar may preclude a party from having the validity of a patent adjudicated by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. This seemingly straightforward provision, however, does not always have a straightforward application, says Ross Culpepper of Baker Botts LLP.

  • Teva May Have Little Impact On Claim Construction Appeals

    Kristoffer Leftwich

    In Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Circuit must apply a “clear error” standard of review to factual determinations underlying a claim construction ruling, but it is not clear to what extent the decision will, in practice, affect the outcome in claim construction appeals, says Kristoffer Leftwich of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Legal Departments Are Ramping Up Revenue Searches

    Daniel A. Sasse

    Companies today operate under intense cost and competitive pressures. That reality is driving many legal departments to not only defend cases, but to also get involved in recovering money owed to the company through legal action. And as they do so, they are likely to keep casting a wider net, say Daniel Sasse and Deborah Arbabi of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • Don't Forget About Publicity Rights In Estate Planning

    Barbara Wahl

    As "The Imitation Game" — the recent Oscar-winning movie about English code-breaker Alan Turing — demonstrates, there’s no telling whose life and image may get the Hollywood treatment after they are gone. Modern estate planning should account for this potential asset, says Barbara Wahl of Arent Fox LLP.

  • The 4 Corners Of The Innovation Act Of 2015

    J.C. Boggs

    The Innovation Act, recently reintroduced in the House, builds upon the already significant patent litigation reform that was adopted in the America Invents Act of 2011 in four fundamental respects, says J.C. Boggs of King & Spalding LLP.

  • Using Patents To Curtail Climate Change: A Proposal

    John Vandenberg

    Last fall, 74 countries and more than 1,000 businesses signed a declaration calling on all nations to price carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, yet the prospects of meaningful government action are dim. We see a possible solution in our patent system — impose a flexible license fee tied to greenhouse gas emissions, say attorneys with Klarquist Sparkman LLP, Green Patent Law, Robins Kaplan LLP, Burns & Levinson LLP and Susman Godfrey LLP.