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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

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A Better Way to Litigate Trade Secrets? – Congress Passes Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and the Bill Awaits the President’s Signature

Posted in Intellectual Property

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 410-2 vote. This bill was previously passed by the Senate earlier this month by a vote of 87-0, and will now proceed to the White House where the president will surely… Continue Reading

Netflix v. Rovi–and Today’s Software Patent Debate

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Netflix sued Rovi (formerly Macrovision) in federal court in California seeking a declaratory judgement of non-infringement and invalidity of five Rovi patents. Rovi recently lost and the patents were invalidated. The battle between Netflix and Rovi mirrors battles that are being fought daily throughout corporate America. The topic: the validity of software patents after the 2014… Continue Reading

FilmOn: (Alki) David Stuns Goliath in On-Demand and Mobile TV Victory

Posted in FCC, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments

Last week FilmOn quietly obtained a very important, preliminary decision from a California federal District Court that found that non-traditional, on-demand and mobile TV companies (the “Internet TV” providers) are entitled to a compulsory license under the Copyright Act. If upheld, this ruling will allow Internet TV providers to compete effectively with traditional cable and satellite… Continue Reading

Just Do It: Air Jordan, Raging Bull, and Resurrecting Copyright Infringement Claims

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

A new copyright lawsuit against Nike may signal a new wave of claims for infringement that began decades in the past. Last week, more than 30 years after he created the iconic image of  Michael Jordan elegantly soaring through the air, photographer Jacobus Rentmeester sued Nike for using that image as the logo for the… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Standard of Review for Appeal of Patent Claim Construction

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

In a 7-2 decision handed down on January 20th, the U.S. Supreme Court held that while the ultimate determination of what a patent claim means is still a question of law subject to de novo review at the Federal Circuit, a district court’s resolution of subsidiary factual findings made during claim construction should be set aside… Continue Reading

EU Legislators Vote To Break Up Google

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, Intellectual Property, Legal Developments, Media

The European Parliament has voted to break up Google. The resolution is non-binding. But even if the Commission does pursue a breakup, it’s unclear how the EU could affect the decision. Google is an American company, and the US antitrust authorities have declined to prosecute Google for monopolization under US antitrust laws. I doubt an… Continue Reading

Software Patents: What Software Is Eligible for a Patent?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Note: This blog is largely for our friends in the legal community. Increasingly, the court system is opposed to enforcing patents where the subject of the patent is an abstract idea. This has led to cases that undercut protections for software and “business method” patents. One such decision was the Supreme Court’s June 2014 decision… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment in Copyright Infringement Cases: Shall I Compare Thee to a Scented Wax-Warmer Product?

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

In an unpublished decision last week, Scentsy Inc. v. Harmony Brands, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed that subjective comparisons of a copyrighted visual work (in this case scented wax and wax-warmer products) to an allegedly infringing work should be left to a jury—not decided on summary judgment. To establish… Continue Reading

Amazon and Apple Fixing the Price of iPad Covers?

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Hard 2 Find Accessories, Inc., a third party vendor on Amazon’s marketplace, has sued Amazon and Apple for violating the Sherman Act, among other laws. H2F alleges that Amazon and Apple conspired to drive H2F off Amazon’s marketplace for purposes of stabilizing the price of iPad covers. The complaint makes some interesting allegations that stand… Continue Reading

Meal Planning Patent Invalidated Under Supreme Court’s Alice Corp Decision

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

In one of the first decisions applying the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Internt’l, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (which held that basic business methods may not be patented, even if computers are used to apply them), Judge Englemayer of the United States District Court for the Southern District… Continue Reading

You Are Invited: Trademark and Patent Enforcement in China: Recent Developments and Strategies

Posted in Intellectual Property, Legal Developments

Intellectual property enforcement in China has taken on increasing importance in recent years, and a new trademark law in China takes effect on May 1, 2014. Join this session at Chadbourne & Parke for a discussion with Beijing-based intellectual property lawyers from CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office concerning recent developments in patent and trademark… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Major Blow to Patent Trolls

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Today, the United States Supreme Court made it easier for courts to require patent trolls to pay for frivolous litigation by softening Federal Circuit standards that were too restrictive. In two unanimous decisions, the Court dismantled the Federal Circuit’s previous framework for determining what constitutes an “exceptional” case sufficient to award attorneys’ fees to the… Continue Reading

A Tangled Tail: Disney vs. Deadmau5?

Posted in Intellectual Property

Once upon a time, a dance music phenomenon named Joel Zimmerman, far better known by his stage name, Deadmau5 (pronounced “Dead Mouse”), began wearing a giant mouse mask over his head and became an electronica mega-star. The mouse mask has giant ears, big, convex eyes, and what can be only be described as a devilish grin. Under… Continue Reading

Seven-Year Battle Between Viacom and Google Finally Ends in Settlement

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits

Media heavyweights Viacom and Google announced last week that their massive, seven-year copyright lawsuit has settled, just days shy of arguments on the pending appeal. The companies jointly issued the following statement: “This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.” While… Continue Reading

The Wait Is Over! #NotThatExciting

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announced that the principles of prosecution history estoppel apply to design patents. While this may not come as a surprise to many, since treatises and district court decisions going back to the 1880s have recognized that the concept of prosecution history estoppel applies to… Continue Reading

Airbnb Birdhouse Ad Campaign Is a Lame Duck

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits, Media

Airbnb has settled a lawsuit filed against it by HomeAway, Law360 reports. Airbnb, like HomeAway, is an Internet purveyor of travel accommodations. HomeAway is the owner of various federal trademark registrations for its birdhouse design mark, and has allegedly used its birdhouse design mark in connection with its business for a number of years. Airbnb’s… Continue Reading

US Organic Mushroom Producer Succeeds in Stopping Importation of Gray-Market Goods

Posted in Intellectual Property, Lawsuits

The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment against an importer of Japanese mushrooms for trademark infringement and upheld a permanent injunction against the company’s importation of the mushrooms into the United States. The dispute arose between two mushroom growers – Hokto Kinoko Co. (“Hokto USA”), a wholly owned US subsidiary of Japanese mushroom producer Hokuto Co.,… Continue Reading

Proposed Copyright Reform Would Pay Recording Artists, Cost Radio Broadcasters

Posted in Intellectual Property

Our previous post introduced the recent copyright Green Paper released by the Obama Administration, which outlines proposals to bring US copyright policy into the digital era. One of the major ideas advanced in the Green Paper is the extension of a full performance right in sound recordings. The Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF), which drafted… Continue Reading

The Obama Administration Advances Views on Copyright Law Reform

Posted in Intellectual Property

The US Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) recently released a long-awaited green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper). The Department of Commerce touts the Green Paper as “the most thorough and comprehensive analysis of digital copyright policy issued by any administration since 1995,” emphasizing the… Continue Reading