ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A recent final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a prior art reference anticipates five patent claims should be vacated, and the claims should instead be confirmed as patentable, the patent owner told the board April 17 (Power-Packer North America Inc., d/b/a GITS Manufacturing Co., v. G.W. Lisk Company Inc., No. IPR2017-02034, PTAB).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 found that a New York federal judge erred when he found that an agreement between a songwriter and two music labels permitted the labels to offset royalties due to the songwriter by attorney fees the labels incurred in defending a copyright infringement action (Robert Pettibone v. WB Music Corp., et al., No. 18-1000, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11201).
CHICAGO — Stating that there has already been “enough discovery . . . to choke a horse” in a dispute over two-way radio technology between Motorola Solutions Inc. and a Chinese firm, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 15 denied Motorola’s motion to compel discovery related to a product that he found was outside the scope of the trade secret and copyright claims at issue (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Hytera Communications Corp., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01973, N.D. Ill.; 20192019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64005).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A month after the U.S. Supreme Court found that an award of nontaxable costs for Oracle USA Inc. was not permissible under the Copyright Act, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 16 vacated and remanded that portion of the appeal in a long-running software licensing dispute, while a possible July argument is being considered for the recently briefed remaining appeal issues related to a permanent injunction and attorney fees (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., Nos. 16-16832, 16-16905 and 18-16554, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK — A per curiam panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 found that disputes of material fact regarding the creation of multiple copies of a plaintiff’s photographs not at the direction of users should have precluded summary judgment on allegations of direct copyright infringement (BWP Media USA Inc. v. Polyvore Inc., Nos. Nos. 16‐2825‐cv, 16‐2992‐cv, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11208).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 left intact a Delaware federal judge’s denial of motions for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) regarding infringement and invalidity of a composite laminate patent (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company v. Unifrax LLC, No. 17-2575, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11207).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an April 16 petition for inter partes review (IPR), Microsoft Corp. told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a claimed digital media asset identification system and method owned by Uniloc 2017 LLC is unpatentable as obvious (Microsoft Corp. v. Uniloc 2017 LLC, No. IPR2019-00976, PTAB).
NEW YORK — In an April 16 ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld findings by a New York federal judge that efforts by a third party to intervene in a copyright infringement action over the Ed Sheeran song “Thinking Out Loud” are untimely (Kathryn Townsend Griffin, et al. v. Edward Christopher Sheeran, et al., No. 18-1862, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11053).
SAN DIEGO — A multibillion dollar dispute in California federal court between Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. over cellular chipset technology ended April 16, the second day of a trial, with a settlement between the parties, according to a docket minute entry (In re: Qualcomm Litigation, No. 3:17-cv-00108, S.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge erred in instructing jurors in a copyright infringement case that they could find willfulness if a defendant “should have known” that his acts were infringing, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 (Erickson Productions Inc., et al., v. Kraig Kast, No. 15-16801, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 11037).
TRENTON, N.J. — Allegations that two banks breached their agreements to settle patent infringement claims by causing a third party to challenge the patent in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding were dismissed April 15 by a New Jersey federal judge (Verify Smart Corp. v. Askeladden LLC, et al., No. 17-4248, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64070).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — At oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court April 15, an attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) told the justices that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in declaring the agency’s ban on registrations for “immoral and scandalous” trademarks unconstitutional (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — In an April 11 holding, a New York federal judge refused to dismiss allegations of infringement levied against a defendant that purchased the assets of a company accused of continued use of a copyrighted software program after defaulting on a license agreement (New London Associates LLC v. Kinetic Social LLC, et al., No. 18-7963, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62731).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an April 11 decision, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed findings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that a patent owner had not established that an inventor acted diligently to reduce his invention to practice (ATI Technologies ULC v. Andrei Iancu, Nos. 2016-2222, -2406, -2608, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10704).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Indian tribes will not be able to use their tribal sovereign immunity to prevent patents from facing inter partes review (IPR) before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) after the U.S. Supreme Court on April 15 declined to review the issue (Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 18-899, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A musicologist’s expert report and testimony on the similarities between copyrighted New Orleans jazz songs and accused infringing hip-hop works was stricken April 10 by a Louisiana federal judge, who said the plaintiff’s expert admitted that the jazz songwriter actually performed the analyses for the report, not the expert (Paul Batiste v. Ryan Lewis, et al., No. 17-4435, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61605).
HOUSTON — A provider of oil and gas services on April 2 accuses a competitor of patent infringement in a new complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Schlumberger Technology Corporation v. EnerPol LLC, No. 19-1196, E.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what it calls “the copyright case of the decade,” Google LLC filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court April 10, arguing that a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in which the court found the copying of certain Java software interface code to be infringement conflicts with longstanding precedent and industry practices, thus meriting high court review despite the lack of a circuit split (Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., No. 18-956, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Claim constructions recently proposed by a patent owner are “improperly narrow” and “contravene the broadest reasonable interpretation” (BRI) standard, Apple Inc. asserts in an April 9 reply brief filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Apple Inc. v. Universal Secure Registry LLC, No. IPR2018-00813, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of five disparate religious organizations teamed up to file an amicus curiae brief April 5, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a standard used by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in finding the “Universal Church” trademark to be generic, arguing that religious trademarks merit the same consideration and protection as any other trademarks and suggesting that issues of religious liberty are implicated in the present case (The Universal Church Inc. v. Calvin Toellner, et al., No. 18-1159, U.S. Sup.).