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Category Archives: Lawsuits

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Net Neutrality—Analyzing Georgetown’s Position

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, FCC, Lawsuits, Net Neutrality

Georgetown University’s business school (specifically the Center for Business and Public Policy) submitted an Amicus Brief in the currently pending net neutrality lawsuit at the D.C. Circuit. It is highly critical of the FCC and dependent upon ideas that are deeply suspect. The Brief is based on the “Economic Policy Vignette.” Economic Flaws. The policy paper… 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

First Circuit: Puerto Rico’s Recovery Act Preempted, Ball in Congress’s Court—But a Curious Concurrence Too

Posted in Finance, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

On Monday, July 6, in a significant victory for objecting bondholders, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the “Recovery Act”) was fully preempted by Federal bankruptcy law. The Act, which was signed into law by Puerto Rico’s governor in… 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

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

Twitpic Is Dead, but Was It Twitter’s Fault?

Posted in Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Twitpic, the once-popular, photo-sharing add-on to Twitter, initially announced that it was shutting down on September 25, 2014, because it was unable to fight Twitter’s opposition to Twitpic’s trademark applications. Several days later, Twitpic announced that it was being acquired and that the service would live on. After almost a month of silence, Twitpic released… Continue Reading

*Can* You Monopolize a Coffee Cartridge Market?

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, Lawsuits, Legal Developments, Technology

Introduction If you read our recent article discussing the allegations of monopolization in the replacement k-cup market, you may have detected a certain measure of skepticism about the antitrust claims’ potential for success. And you’d be correct. But does that skepticism extend to all aftermarkets? Do we mean to suggest that all aftermarket manufacturers are… 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

A Coffee Monopoly?

Posted in Antitrust and Competition Policy, Lawsuits, Legal Developments

Back in February 2014, makers of a generic version of Keurig’s K-Cup coffee cartridges sued Keurig for monopolizing the market for k-cup cartridges. Since the initial suit was filed, dozens have filed follow-on suits. The gravamen of the original complaint is that there is a relevant antitrust market that consists of k-cups, the coffee-containing cartridges… 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

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

Mt. Gox’s Collapse Leads to First Major US “Bit-igation”

Posted in Finance, Lawsuits, Privacy and Data Security, Transactions

It’s no secret that Bitcoin businesses and their customers have been having a rough time lately. On March 3, 2014, Bitcoin wallet service Flexcoin announced that it was shutting down after hackers stole 896 Bitcoins (approximately US$600,000). On March 4, 2014, Bitcoin exchange Poloniex admitted that hackers had stolen 12.3% of its funds. And, of… 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