Intellectual Property

  • March 21, 2018

    'Blurred Lines' Ruling Leaves Big Questions Unanswered

    While some hoped the "Blurred Lines" case would offer clear guidance on the distinction between musical inspiration and copyright infringement, Wednesday's ruling by the Ninth Circuit was anything but — wonky, consciously narrow, and a case study in appellate deference.

  • March 21, 2018

    Canadian Airline Says Consultant Is Holding Website Hostage

    Low-cost Canadian airline Flair Airlines Ltd. sued a travel consulting company in Illinois federal court Tuesday over claims the company is holding Flair’s website hostage after their business relationship fell apart.

  • March 21, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Reverses UnitedHealth Unit $12.3M Patent Loss

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday tossed a $12.3 million jury verdict against a UnitedHealth unit accused of infringing a patent for measuring doctors’ efficiency, saying that the lower court erred in its construction of one of the key claims in the case.

  • March 21, 2018

    Rival’s Sesame Product Infringes TM, Lebanese Food Co. Says

    A Lebanese food processor slapped a Michigan-based distributor of Middle Eastern foods with a trademark suit in Chicago federal court Tuesday, saying the distributor is selling an "inferior" ground sesame seed product with packaging and a logo that are nearly identical to its own.

  • March 21, 2018

    2nd Circ. Upholds FedEx Win In Textbook Copying Suit

    A Second Circuit panel on Wednesday upheld a win for FedEx in a copyright infringement suit brought by an educational materials maker who sought to force the store to pay royalties each time a teacher copied its textbooks without permission, agreeing with a lower court that the company’s licensing agreement didn’t include such requirements.

  • March 21, 2018

    Fed. Circ. Says No Fees For PTAB Indefiniteness Finding

    The Federal Circuit on Wednesday upheld a decision denying attorneys’ fees to Brainlab Inc. after it prevailed in a patent case, finding the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s conclusion that the plaintiff’s patent was indefinite doesn’t mean the infringement case was weak.

  • March 21, 2018

    US Poised To Strike Back At China For IP Malfeasance

    President Donald Trump on Thursday will unveil new trade restrictions against China in light of "strong evidence" the administration has uncovered regarding Beijing’s flouting of U.S. companies' intellectual property rights, the White House announced on Wednesday.

  • March 21, 2018

    Hogan Lovells Snags Ex-Finnegan Trademark Pro

    A 23-year veteran of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, who represented Starbucks Corp. in the case that led to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s finding that the company’s mark is famous, has joined Hogan Lovells.

  • March 21, 2018

    DLA Piper Hires IP Pro From Venable In LA

    A former Venable LLP intellectual property lawyer with deep expertise in trademark and copyright matters has joined DLA Piper as a partner in Los Angeles, the firm announced on Tuesday.

  • March 21, 2018

    Michael Best Adds 4 Ex-Lathrop Gage IP Attys In Denver

    Michael Best & Friedrich LLP has expanded its Denver office with the addition of four former Lathrop Gage attorneys to its intellectual property group, according to the firm.

  • March 21, 2018

    Endo, Others Ink $166M Lidoderm Pay-For-Delay Settlements

    Direct purchasers of the Lidoderm pain patch asked for preliminary approval in California federal court Tuesday of pay-for-delay class settlements totaling $166 million reached with branded pharmaceutical makers Teikoku and Endo and generics maker Actavis.

  • March 21, 2018

    9th Circ. Says 'Blurred Lines' Infringed Copyright

    A split Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday upheld a verdict that the 2013 chart-topper “Blurred Lines” infringed the copyright to Marvin Gaye’s iconic “Got To Give It Up,” rejecting warnings from a dissenting judge that the ruling “strikes a devastating blow to future musicians.”

  • March 21, 2018

    Reverse Vs. Remand: Fed. Circ. May Rethink USPTO Appeals

    The Federal Circuit may be shifting toward reversals, rather than remands, when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office fails to support its decision that an invention is unpatentable, highlighting the need for inventors to carefully consider arguments about a potential remedy on appeal.

  • March 20, 2018

    Virtual Reality Legal Concerns On The Rise, Survey Finds

    As augmented and virtual reality offerings continue to expand, companies are paying more attention to the legal issues raised by the emerging technology, including the potential for disputes in the areas of consumer data collection and use, personal injuries and property damage, and patent infringement, according to a survey released Tuesday by Perkins Coie LLP.

  • March 20, 2018

    FX Slams De Havilland’s ‘Feud’ Portrayal Suit On Appeal

    FX Networks and the producers of “Feud: Bette and Joan” urged a California appeals court on Tuesday to toss Olivia de Havilland’s suit alleging the docudrama dirties and improperly profits off her name, arguing the First Amendment clearly protects their right to use artistic license in portraying the 101-year old actress.

  • March 20, 2018

    Reps. Introduce Wide-Ranging Bill To Bolster Patent Owners

    A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday would make it more difficult to invalidate patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and easier for patent owners to obtain injunctions, drawing praise from the life sciences industry and strong opposition from the technology sector.

  • March 20, 2018

    Future Of CBM Reviews Sparks Debate At House Hearing

    Members of the House Judiciary Committee appeared divided at a hearing Tuesday about whether the America Invents Act's covered business method review program is still necessary, with some saying it should be extended and others calling for it to end as scheduled in 2020.

  • March 20, 2018

    Nokia Subsidiaries Trimmed From BlackBerry Patent Suit

    A Delaware federal judge on Monday trimmed BlackBerry Ltd.’s suit against Nokia over the infringement of 11 patents describing proprietary technology underlying 3G and 4G mobile communication, agreeing with Nokia that some of its subsidiaries should be dismissed because BlackBerry didn’t allege an agency relationship between them.

  • March 20, 2018

    Insurer Doesn't Owe Defense In Website IP Battle, Judge Says

    A New York federal judge ruled Tuesday that Sentinel Insurance Co. doesn't have to cover business financing company BF Advance LLC's costs to defend a lawsuit accusing it of infringing copyrighted software for a "web spokesperson" video, holding that the underlying action falls squarely within a policy exclusion for claims relating to software use.

  • March 20, 2018

    Blue Cross Unit Fights Sanctions Bid In Aggrenox MDL

    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana on Monday urged a Connecticut federal judge to nix a sanctions bid from Boehringer Ingelheim and Teva in multidistrict litigation over an alleged pay-for-delay scheme for a generic of Aggrenox, saying the motion has “lost urgency and importance” as a result of recent schedule changes.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    National Lawyers Need National Licensing For National Courts

    EJ Hurst II

    Just last month, a number of legal groups asked the Northern District of California to strike its rule requiring that, before seeking federal court admission, attorneys first be licensed by the state of California. It is irrational to exclude seasoned federal practitioners from general admission due to state bar approval while allowing raw state lawyers who have never been inside a federal courtroom, says attorney EJ Hurst.

  • A View From Silicon Valley: Tax Reform And The Tech Industry

    Michele Alexander

    Many of the most discussed provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have particular significance for the technology industry, affecting companies’ choices about entity classification, where they do business and hold assets, and the manner in which they receive or make investments. Michele Alexander and Ryan Davis of Bracewell LLP discuss the options.

  • Metaphysical Questions After TC Heartland

    Ben Quarmby

    Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in TC Heartland, district courts are increasingly turning to the Federal Circuit’s 2005 opinion in NTP v. Research in Motion for insight on the “commitment” prong of the venue statute. This yields some guidelines for practitioners, but falls short of providing absolute clarity, say Ben Quarmby and Sara Margolis of MoloLamken LLP.

  • Navigating The USPTO First Action Interview Pilot Program

    Robert Curylo

    Practitioners who are well versed in the phases of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's First Action Interview pilot program — including enrollment, pre-interview considerations, and various outcomes following the interview — can fully leverage its advantages on behalf of clients, says Robert Curylo of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • An Update On The Blockchain Patent Landscape

    Nelson Rosario

    What is perhaps more interesting than the number of blockchain-related patent filings, or their subject matter, is the number of assignees for these patents, says Nelson Rosario of Marshall Gerstein & Borun LLP.

  • Don't Run Afoul Of NCAA Trademarks During March Madness

    Chas Rampenthal

    It’s tempting for your marketing campaign to get caught up in the frenzy that is the March collegiate basketball playoffs, but that isn’t a license to disregard the dangers of trademark infringement, says Chas Rampenthal, general counsel at Inc.

  • The Case For Early Mediation Or Arbitration In IP Disputes

    Jerry Cohen

    Alternative dispute resolution is one of the best ways to resolve disputes involving patents, copyright, trademark, trade secrets and other intellectual property issues. While not every situation lends itself to ADR, it is more accessible than many parties assume, says Jerry Cohen of Burns & Levinson LLP.

  • Thorny Questions For IP Rights Under Investment Treaties

    Claudia Annacker

    The recent ruling in Bridgestone Licensing Services v. Republic of Panama by an ICSID tribunal has implications for owners and licensees of IP rights, particularly with respect to the protections they can expect for their trademarks under investment treaties, according to attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • Making Sure A Noninfringement Opinion Is Effective

    Stephen Ball

    Obtaining a noninfringement opinion letter should be a part of all product development plans. However, simply obtaining any noninfringement opinion may not be sufficient. Competency matters, say Stephen Ball and Dov Hirsch of Whitmyer IP Group LLC.

  • Recent Patent Trends: Quantity Over Quality?

    Russell Binns

    What happens in the arms race for patent portfolios is that patent offices around the world become overburdened examining incrementally different — or not so different — patents, which reduces the quality control the patent offices can do and results in weaker patents being issued. I believe companies should be spending more money on filing clearly articulated and higher quality patents, says Allied Security Trust CEO Russell Binns.