ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Feb. 22 found that Apple Inc. has established a likelihood that it will prevail on assertions that various claims of a virtual private network (VPN) patent would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art (Apple Inc. v. VirnetX Inc., No. IPR2016-01585, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a computer security patent is obvious never should have been reached because the board erroneously determined that the invention at issue qualifies as a covered business method (CBM), a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 21 (Secure Axcess LLC v. PNC Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-1353, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2902).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 10 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a trade secret misappropriation claim against Facebook Inc. and some of its affiliates, concluding that a claim under the Lanham Act was not valid, but that other claims for breach of contract were (Bladeroom Group Limited, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant’s Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California federal judge properly dismissed allegations that Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and others infringed two patents directed to data processing on grounds that the patents in suit are invalid under the Patent Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 17 (Evolutionary Intelligence LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., Nos. 2016-1188, -1190, -1191, -1192, -1194, -1195, -1197, -1198, -1199, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2784).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patent issued to the California Institute of Technology covering channel coding and error-correcting codes would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art, Apple Inc. asserts in a Feb. 16 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, No. IPR2017-00702, PTAB).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Feb. 3 granted final approval of a settlement that will end two class complaints over antivirus software designer McAfee Inc.’s auto-renewal program (Sam Williamson, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-158, Samantha Kirby, et al. v. McAfee, Inc., No. 14-2475, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15838).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Opposing a motion for partial dismissal by computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. in a Feb. 10 brief, the plaintiffs in a class action over purported laptop spyware told a California federal court that they had standing to bring a New York law deceptive acts claim based on a choice-of-law provision in their sales agreements (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — International Business Machines (IBM) Corp. on Feb. 6 won summary judgment on allegations that it committed breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing; in the same ruling, a New York federal judge agreed with a New York federal magistrate judge that the plaintiff in the case should not be granted leave to add a claim of copyright infringement against IBM (MPI Tech A/S v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 15-4891, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16432).
RICHMOND, Va. — Without expert testimony, a seller of internet domain name rights could not establish the elements of its deceptive advertising claim against a rival firm, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 8, affirming a trial court’s finding that there was no evidence that the seller suffered an actual injury as a direct result of the defendant’s conduct (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 15-2526, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2264).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 10 appellant brief in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Oracle America Inc. asserts error in a trial court’s finding that Google Inc.’s copying of certain elements of its Java technology constituted fair use, arguing that the court failed to consider Google’s misrepresentations and harm to the Java market (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 17-1118 and 17-1202, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should review an appellate court ruling that the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board's (PTAB) final decision in an inter partes review (IPR) did not need to address every challenged patent claim but rather only some, an analytic software developer says in a Jan. 31 petition (SAS Institute Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ComplementSoft LLC, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Several movie studios tell the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 8 appellee brief that a video-streaming service provider blatantly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by circumventing the technological protection measures (TPMs) on DVD and Blu-ray copies of their movies to offer edited versions to customers, also arguing that the defendant’s defenses under the Family Movie Act (FMA) are incompatible with that statute’s purposes (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 16-56843, 9th Cir.).
By Hiram Kuykendall
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge properly rejected claims by the owner of a copyrighted computer-aided design (CAD) program that its copyright extends to images and files produced by the program, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 9 (Design Data Corp. v. Unigate Enterprise Inc., et al., Nos. 14-16701, No. 14-17317, 9th. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2333).
ATLANTA — On the second appeal regarding the alleged copyright infringement of educational materials by electronic posting of their excerpts by Georgia State University (GSU) faculty, the university argues in a Feb. 6 appellee brief that a trial court judge correctly determined fair use of the works at issue by finding that the postings had not led to market substitution of the works (Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Georgia State University, et al., No. 16-15726, 11th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patent owners ask the U.S. Supreme Court in a Dec. 22 petition for writ of certiorari to answer whether claim construction presumes that “the ordinary meaning as understood by a person of skill in the art is the correct construction for claim terms, absent a redefinition or disclaimer in the patent specification” and whether the specification limits “the scope of claim terms to capture the ‘actual invention’ as implemented in the exemplary embodiments provided in the specification” (Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-913, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Music industry groups argue in a Jan. 17 amicus curiae brief that the U.S. Supreme Court should take up a petition from a group of record labels asking for a review on whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides for internet service providers apply to sound recordings from before 1972, which are governed by state law, rather than federal copyright law (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS — A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants — including Facebook Inc. — to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 31 refused to decide the question of whether inclusion of an altered, copyrighted song in a 30-second advertisement critical of former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold qualifies as a fair use under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 107, deeming such a determination inappropriate in response to a motion to dismiss (Roger Nichols, et al. v. Club for Growth Action, No. 16-220, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12820).