Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • July 02, 2020

    Manufacturer, Contractors Debate Technical Drawings’ Copyright In 6th Circuit

    CINCINNATI— In corrected briefs filed June 24 in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an injection molding manufacturer and its current and past contractors argue over whether a control system made via the former contractor’s technical drawings and designs constitutes copyright infringement or, as a trial court found, is covered by patent law (RJ Control Consultants Inc., et al. v. Multiject LLC, et al., No. 20-1009, 6th Cir.).

  • July 02, 2020

    High Court Grants Certiorari, Vacates Fee Award In Trademark Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its July 2 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari by Booking.com B.V. in which the travel website asserted that it cannot be made to reimburse the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) attorney fees the agency incurred in connection with its defense of a denied trademark registration (Booking.com B.V. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 18-1309, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 16, 2020

    COMMENTARY: Flexible Copyright Office Guidelines During COVID-19 Pandemic

    By Meaghan H. Kent and Danae Tinelli

  • July 01, 2020

    Mask Maker Files Suit To Combat ‘Exploitation’ Of Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic

    LOS ANGELES — A provider of renewable energy, clean transportation and design and manufacturing services and its subsidiary that is the exclusive seller of Build Your Dreams (BYD) health care products in North America filed an unfair competition, trademark dilution and trademark infringement lawsuit in a California federal court on June 22, alleging that “bad actors” used their “brand recognition and trademarks to deceive and harm the public” and that the consequences of counterfeit respirator masks “can literally be deadly” (BYD Company Ltd, et al. v. Alexander Khazai, et al., No. 20-5530, C.D. Calif.).

  • July 01, 2020

    In Cross-Appeal, Patent Owner Disputes Board Anticipation Holding

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred when it determined that an inter partes review (IPR) petitioner established by a preponderance of the evidence that five claims of a valve assembly patent are anticipated by a German patent application, a cross-appellant told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals June 15 (Power-Packer North America Inc., d/b/a Gits Manufacturing Co. v. G.W. Lisk Co. Inc., Nos. 2020-1250, -1323, Fed. Cir.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Gaming ‘Bonus Feature’ Patent Claims Wrongly Canceled, Owner Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 22 appellant brief, an inventor defended as patentable his “novel bonus feature for a card game,” while also levying a constitutional challenge to the covered business method (CBM) review procedure administered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) (New Vision Gaming and Development Inc. v. SG Gaming Inc., No. 20-1399, Fed. Cir.).

  • July 01, 2020

    Juniper Tells Board Interference Reducing Patent Is Obvious

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a June 30 petition for inter partes review (IPR), Juniper Networks Inc. asserts that a patented “phase cancellation” method for reducing wireless signal interference is not patentable (Juniper Networks Inc. v. American Patents LLC, No. IPR2020-01115, PTAB).

  • July 01, 2020

    Panel Confirms:  Aircraft Lavatory-Related Patents Are Obvious

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Without reaching the question of whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board erred in allowing an expert to rely on nonpublic documents to support his opinion of unpatentability, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 26 upheld the board’s cancellation of various claims of two aircraft lavatory-related patents (B/E Aerospace Inc. v. C&D Zodiac Inc., Nos. 2019-1935,  Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19886).

  • July 01, 2020

    In New Petition By Nintendo, Gaming Controller Targeted

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Citing a recent final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that canceled all challenged claims of a gaming controller patent, Nintendo Of America Inc. on June 26 told the board that it should also cancel a related patent that “claims effectively the same” invention (Nintendo Of America Inc. v. Gamevice Inc., No. IPR2020-01179, PTAB).

  • June 30, 2020

    Comcast Persuades Board To Cancel Challenged Claims Of Rovi Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a June 29 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with Comcast Cable Communications LLC that 28 claims of an on-demand media delivery patent should be canceled (Comcast Cable Communications LLC v. Rovi Guides Inc., No. IPR2019-00299, PTAB).

  • June 30, 2020

    Divided Supreme Court: Booking.com Trademark Is Valid, Protectable

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the addition of a generic top-level domain (TLD) to a generic term can transform that combination into a protectable, descriptive trademark were affirmed June 30 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court (U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. v. Booking.com B.V., No. 19-46, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 30, 2020

    4th Circuit Finds Jurisdiction Over Russian Stream-Ripping Websites

    RICHMOND, Va. — The operator of two Russian-based “stream-ripping” websites, which a group of record labels accuse of engaging in piracy, has contacts with Virginia that “are quantitatively and qualitatively sufficient to demonstrate that he purposefully availed himself of the privilege of conducting business” in the state, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 26, reversing a trial court’s dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (UMG Recordings Inc., et al. v. Tofig Kurbanov, et al., No. 19-1124, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 20037).

  • June 30, 2020

    Judge Denies Injunction To Chicken Wings Restaurant In Trademark Infringement Suit

    DETROIT — A chicken wings restaurant was denied a preliminary injunction on June 26 by a Michigan federal judge on claims for trademark and trade dress infringement and copyright infringement against another wings restaurant and its franchising company because many restaurants that serve chicken use circles or images of chicken in their logos (Eastpointe DWC, LLC v. Wing Snob Inc., et al., No. 19-13768, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108526).

  • June 29, 2020

    Panel Partly Affirms, Partly Reverses Verdict In Trade Dress Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 25 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for a new trial on allegations that a furniture maker willfully infringed the trade dress of the Herman Miller Inc. (HMI) “Aeron” chair (Blumenthal Distributing Inc. v. Herman Miller Inc., Nos. 18-56471, -56493, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19950).

  • June 29, 2020

    In Little Caesars Franchise Row, 6th Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction

    CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal judge’s preliminary injunction barring the former franchisees of four Little Caesars from operating their restaurants or from continued use of the Little Caesars trademarks was not an abuse of discretion, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25 in an unpublished order (Little Caesars Enterprises Inc., et al. v. Miramar Quick Service Restaurant Corp., et al., No. 19-1860, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19962).

  • June 26, 2020

    9th Circuit Affirms: Jurisdiction Lacking In Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California properly concluded that a Canadian resident accused of copyright infringement is not subject to specific jurisdiction in California under that state’s long-arm statute, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 19 (Jeffrey R. Werner v. Landon Dowlatsingh, No. 18-56349, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19320).

  • June 26, 2020

    Microsoft Petition Should Be Denied, Patent Owner Tells Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The creators of the “HandlePa” selfie stick defended their invention as patentable in a June 18 filing with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Microsoft Corp. v. Dareltech LLC, No. IPR2020-00483, PTAB).

  • June 25, 2020

    Cert Denied In Dispute Over Retroactive Inter Partes Review Application

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 22 orders list the U.S. Supreme Court revealed that it will not address a petitioner’s assertion that it is unconstitutional to subject patents issued before the establishment by Congress of the inter partes review (IPR) procedure to IPR (Collabo Innovations Inc. v. Sony Corp., No. 19-601, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 25, 2020

    Copyright Claims Over ‘The Shape Of Water’ Reinstated By Panel

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 22 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded to a California federal judge his dismissal of allegations that the popular book and award-winning film “The Shape of Water” infringes the copyrighted play “Let Me Hear You Whisper” (David Zindel v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., et al., No. 18-56087, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19444).

  • June 25, 2020

    Comcast Challenge To ITC Patent Authority Rejected By High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A petition for certiorari by Comcast Corp. that questioned, among other things, the ability of the International Trade Commission (ITC) to determine whether accused cable set-top boxes infringe two since-expired patents was turned away June 22 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Comcast Corp., et al. v. International Trade Commission, et al., No. 19-1173, U.S. Sup.).