Intellectual Property

  • April 17, 2017

    Civil Rights Firm Sanford Heisler Adds Ex-Fed. Judge

    Sanford Heisler has become Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP with the addition of the former chief federal judge for the Middle District of Tennessee to lead its new Nashville office and bolster its civil rights and public interest practice in the South, the firm announced Monday.

  • April 17, 2017

    Beyoncé Calls 'Formation' Video Protected Fair Use

    Beyoncé is pushing a federal judge to toss out a $20 million copyright lawsuit accusing her of illegally sampling YouTube clips in the music video for her song "Formation," saying she is clearly protected by copyright’s fair use doctrine.

  • April 17, 2017

    'Reserve' Variations Can’t Be Trademarked, Judge Rules

    A California federal judge on Friday tossed a trademark suit brought by restaurant and hotel reservation software maker Efficient Frontiers Inc. that alleges the restaurant app startup Reserve Media Inc. infringed its “reserve” trademarks, finding that the word is common in the hospitality industry and can’t be trademarked.

  • April 17, 2017

    Apple Settles Unwired Planet’s IP Suit On Eve Of Trial

    Unwired Planet LLC on Monday announced that it settled its patent infringement suit with Apple Inc., just as a California federal trial was set to begin, ending more than four years of litigation that Apple said was frivolous and Unwired said was worth an estimated $33 million.

  • April 17, 2017

    Cogenra Fights Bid To Dismiss Claims In Trade Secrets Suit

    Cogenra Solar Inc. asked a California federal judge Friday not to toss claims in its suit against Elon Musk's solar power company SolarCity Corp. for allegedly stealing trade secrets, arguing that Cogenra has adequately alleged claims for unfair competition and promissory estoppel.

  • April 17, 2017

    Justices Won't Hear Snowplow Patent Case To Clarify Alice

    The U.S. Supreme Court will not review the invalidation of five snowplow technology patents to clarify how the patent eligibility precedent it set in 1981 in Diamond v. Diehr holds in light of its landmark 2014 Alice ruling, according to an order list issued on Monday.

  • April 17, 2017

    Justices Won't Hear Appeal Of Alice Wins On Streaming IP

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear Affinity Labs’ appeal of a pair of Federal Circuit decisions that held two streaming media patents asserted against Amazon, DirecTV and major sports leagues are invalid for claiming only abstract ideas.

  • April 17, 2017

    Alcoa Can't Nix Claim That $200M Trade Secrets Suit Is 'Sham'

    Alcoa's efforts to evade counterclaims assailing its $200 million trade secrets theft suit against an aircraft parts manufacturing rival are better left until after discovery closes, a Georgia federal judge has said, finding Universal Alloy's assertion it is a “sham” lawsuit meant to dissuade competition is strong enough to survive dismissal.

  • April 14, 2017

    Timberlake And Spears Seek $756K In Concert Screen IP Row

    Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears on Friday told a California federal judge their request for about $756,000 in attorneys’ fees was reasonable after beating an infringement suit over display screens at concerts, saying their Pryor Cashman LLP team was asking a fair price for its work on the complex suit.

  • April 14, 2017

    Longtime MoFo, Pomerantz Attys Launch Boutique Firm

    Three former BigLaw partners have started a boutique Bay Area firm specializing in tax, intellectual property, white collar and consumer protection law.

  • April 14, 2017

    Ex-Patton Boggs Partner Can't Advance Ch. 7 Malpractice Suit

    A former Patton Boggs intellectual property partner cannot sue his bankruptcy attorney for malpractice over her handling of his personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy case since that claim is property of his bankruptcy estate and can only be brought by the trustee, a Virginia federal judge held Friday.

  • April 14, 2017

    Fed. Circ. Backs Apple’s Texas Jury Win On Ex-Nokia Patent

    The Federal Circuit on Friday let stand an Eastern District of Texas jury verdict that cleared Apple of infringing a cellular communications patent originally issued to Nokia and now owned by a patent licensing company led by an ex-Apple executive.

  • April 14, 2017

    Brand Battles: Dr. Pepper, MLB, Dom Perignon

    In Law360’s latest roundup of new actions at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, Dr. Pepper is stymied in its efforts to register a hard root beer brand, Major League Baseball takes on a bong maker over "Major League Dabbing," and Dom Perignon is nonplussed about a dog pun.

  • April 14, 2017

    3rd. Circ. Backs Dow Unit In Ex-Worker's Retaliation Suit

    The Third Circuit on Friday backed Rohm & Haas Co.’s victory over a former employee’s allegations that the Dow Chemical Co. unit retaliated against her for filing bias complaints, ruling that flaws in the company lawyer’s testimony were understandable given the time span of the litigation.

  • April 14, 2017

    Facebook, Instagram Lose Bid For CBM Patent Review

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has held that four patents covering media file playback are not eligible for review under the America Invents Act's covered business method program, saying the owner was not wrong to strike finance-related elements from the patents once Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC challenged them.

  • April 14, 2017

    Accused Infringer Defends Fed. Circ.'s One-Line Affirmances

    An Oregon company locked in a dispute over patents on a system for detecting gas leaks defended the Federal Circuit’s use of summary orders Thursday, saying the court is not legally required to write an opinion in all appeals arising from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

  • April 14, 2017

    Chamberlain Hrdlicka Nabs Osha Liang IP Atty In Houston

    Chamberlain Hrdlicka White Williams & Aughtry has bolstered its intellectual property practice with the addition of a former Osha Liang LLP attorney who brings more than 15 years of experience in a broad range of technologies, including medical devices and information security, the firm has announced.

  • April 14, 2017

    ‘Game of War’ Maker Can’t Dodge $100M Contract, IP Suit

    A California judge refused Friday to toss a $100 million suit accusing the maker of hit mobile phone game "Game of War" of driving a data storage center to bankruptcy, ruling that Peak Web LLC has adequately alleged that Machine Zone Inc. breached their contract and stole trade secrets to build its own data center.

  • April 14, 2017

    Allcare Principals Fight Bid To Pay $5M Fee From IP Loss

    Three Allcare Health Management Systems shareholders on Thursday urged a Texas federal judge to shut down Highmark Inc.’s attempt to hold them individually responsible for $5.2 million in attorneys’ fees from a lost patent infringement suit, arguing the insurer failed to outline what role they had in the company’s wrongdoing.

  • April 14, 2017

    Apple Patent In Samsung War Partly Revived By Fed. Circ.

    The Federal Circuit on Friday revived part of an Apple touch-screen patent that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated after Samsung was ordered to pay $113 million for infringing it, though the court found the claim at issue in the Samsung case invalid.

Expert Analysis

  • Where To Sue For Data Misappropriation

    Richard M. Reice

    Determining where a company’s data is stored for purposes of venue is a relatively new issue not resolved in current case law. Traditionally, courts have focused on the location of the relevant server. But in this age of the cloud, with multiple and redundant servers enhancing access and security, we argue that the place where data is managed and controlled is the proper venue, says Richard Reice of Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney LLP.

  • A March Madness Bracket Based On Team Trademarks

    Michael N. Spink

    I decided to see what an NCAA tournament bracket would look like if based on the number of trademark registrations for each school competing. During my search of federal trademark records, I noted that universities are increasingly protecting hand and body gestures, says Michael Spink of Brinks Gilson & Lione.

  • A Dive Into BPCIA Confidential Info Disclosure Requirements

    Will Orlady

    Although courts have not definitively interpreted what confidential information a biosimilar manufacturer must disclose to a reference product sponsor if it wishes to engage in the patent dance, future biosimilar litigants can reduce risk and increase benefits by noting issues raised in Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act litigation thus far, say Will Orlady and Tasha Francis of Fish & Richardson PC.

  • Means-Plus-Function Trends At PTAB

    Roger Lee

    When it comes to means-plus-function claim terms, inter partes review petitioners are required to provide explicit claim constructions of such terms. Recent institution decisions have turned on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s assessment of means-plus-function claim terms, say Roger Lee and Jonathan Bowser of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • EU May Soon Surpass US As Patent Center

    Ashley Keller

    Despite some uncertainty surrounding Brexit’s impact, the changing patent regime in Europe likely will make things easier for patent holders. Indeed, the new Unified Patent Court has several features that suggest it will be an appealing alternative to U.S. patent courts, say Ashley Keller and Katharine Wolanyk of Burford Capital LLC.

  • How The Most Profitable Law Firms Structure Their C-Suites

    Anita Turner

    The most successful Am Law 200 law firms have evolved from being partner-run to being run by a group of highly skilled professionals reporting to firm shareholders. The data collected from our recent survey indicates this model is generally conducive to increased profitability, says Anita Turner, senior director at Colliers International.

  • Rebuttal

    Why China Is A Good Place For NPEs

    Erick Robinson

    A recent Law360 guest article's conclusion that China will see little nonpracticing entity activity over the next five years is short-sighted. I currently represent several NPEs in China, and my view is quite different, says ‎Erick Robinson, director of patent litigation at Beijing East IP Ltd.

  • 'March Madness' Trademark Tips And Traps

    Roberta Jacobs-Meadway

    As the nation’s major college basketball tournament kicks off on Tuesday, the debate continues as to whether and to what extent the NCAA has the right to engage in rigorous trademark policing efforts when the use of "March Madness" is informational rather than suggesting some official connection or sponsorship, say Roberta Jacobs-Meadway and Alexander Fleisher of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC.

  • 4 Years In, Inter Partes Review May Not Be The Best Strategy

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    For the first few years of inter partes review, the data told a story of unfettered success. Recent data, however, tells a changing story. While filings have continued to rise, institution and invalidation rates have declined, say Paul Collier and Bruce Ratain of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • Settlement Strategy: What Does The Client Really Want?

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    The best outside counsel think like the client. That includes understanding the client’s perspectives and goals with regard to reaching a settlement — because “good results” mean different things for different clients. Outside counsel must ask themselves the right questions, and know the answers, to shape a client-focused settlement strategy, say Kate Jackson of Cummins Inc. and Patrick Reilly of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.