Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • February 23, 2017

    Judge Orders BMW To Show Cause As To Why UCL Case Should Not Be Transferred

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Feb. 21 ordered a car manufacturer to show cause as to why its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law and trademark infringement should not be transferred to another venue (BMW of North America, LLC, et al. v. Michael Chambers, et al., No. 17-0846, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24096).

  • February 23, 2017

    Patent Board Grants Apple Petition For Inter Partes Review

    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).

  • February 23, 2017

    Federal Judge Rejects Motorola's Request For Daubert Hearing

    MARSHALL, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Feb. 21 partially granted a motion to exclude testimony on damages in a patent infringement case, but found that most of the expert's opinions did not justify exclusion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. before trial (Saint Lawrence Communications LLC v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 2:15-cv-349, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).

  • February 23, 2017

    Michigan Federal Judge Denies Relief, Dismisses False Advertising Case

    DETROIT — A request for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief barring the host of a training program on tinnitus care from providing participants with a “Tinnitus Care Provider Certificate” upon completion of the program was rejected Feb. 21 by a Michigan federal judge, who found instead that the plaintiff lacks standing to levy claims of false advertising under Section 1125(a) of the Lanham Act (Academy of Doctors of Audiology v. International Hearing Society, No. 16-13839, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23652).

  • February 23, 2017

    Utah Federal Judge: No Copyright Preemption On Conspiracy Claim

    SALT LAKE CITY — Allegations that a counterclaim defendant interfered with a counterclaimant’s contractual rights and prospective business relations are sufficient to defeat the counterclaim defendant’s effort to invoke copyright preemption, a Utah federal judge ruled Feb. 21 (Advanced Recovery Systems LLC v. American Agencies LLC, No. 13-283, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24001).

  • February 23, 2017

    Judge Excludes Expert In Trademark Lawsuit For Lack Of Experience

    GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 21 excluded the testimony of an expert in a trademark infringement lawsuit on grounds that his opinions were “non-substantiated proclamations on the ultimate questions of law and he lacked the requisite training education or experience in the relevant field of proffered expertise” (JFJ Toys Inc., et al. v. Sears Holdings Corporation, et al., No. 14-3527, D. Md.).

  • February 22, 2017

    Federal Circuit: Covered Business Method Patent Review Was Error

    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).

  • February 22, 2017

    Supreme Court: Patent Liability Not Triggered By Single Component Supply

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in finding that the supply of one component of a five-component genetic testing kit manufactured abroad triggers domestic patent liability under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. §271(f)(1), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 22 (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 21, 2017

    Sua Sponte Rejection Of Copyright Claims Reversed By 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A decision by a California federal judge to grant, sua sponte, summary judgment on behalf of myriad fashion industry defendants accused of infringing copyrighted textile designs was reversed by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 (Acmet Inc. v. The Wet Seal Inc., et al., No. 15-55928, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2682).

  • February 21, 2017

    Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Ineligibility Ruling By Federal Court

    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).

  • February 21, 2017

    Federal Circuit Sides With Apple, Reverses Patent Board Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 17 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that two claims of a sound reproduction patent are unpatentable as obvious but also reversed the board’s determination that a third claim would not have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the art (Slot Speaker Technologies Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 15-2038, -2039, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2785).

  • February 21, 2017

    Judge Finds Salesman Did Not Infringe On Trade Secret With Boat Design

    TAMPA, Fla.— A Florida federal judge on Feb. 16 granted judgment in favor of a boat maker, finding that customer information did not constitute a trade secret and that a reasonable jury could not find that it infringed on another company's trade dress when it manufactured an allegedly similar boat (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 8:15-cv-990, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21745).

  • February 17, 2017

    Apple Takes Aim At University’s Channel Coding Patent

    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).

  • February 17, 2017

    2nd Circuit Remands Dispute Over Pre-1972 Works, Orders Dismissal

    NEW YORK — A December 2016 holding by the New York Court of Appeals that there is no right of public performance for creators of pre-1972 sound recordings under New York common law is determinative of claims that the subscription radio service Sirius XM Radio Inc. committed copyright infringement, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 16 (Flo & Eddie Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., No. 15-1164, 2nd Cir., Court, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2770).

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge: Misappropriation Of Trade Secrets Claims Against Samsung Are Time-Barred

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 14 granted Samsung’s motion to dismiss trade secret misappropriation claims in a lawsuit challenging the ownership of augmented reality technology, finding that these claims under California and New York law are barred by their respective statutes of limitations (GeoVector Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-02463, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20872).

  • February 16, 2017

    New York Magistrate Judge: Deny Sanctions In Copyright, Trademark Case

    NEW YORK — A request for sanctions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1927 by a prevailing copyright and trade dress infringement defendant should be denied, according to a Feb. 13 ruling by a New York federal magistrate judge, who found that plaintiff’s counsel did not commit fraud upon by failing to quickly correct perjured depositions (Crown Awards Inc. v. Trophy Depot Inc., No. 15-1178, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20393).

  • February 16, 2017

    Oil Services Company Tells High Court To Deny Review On IPR’s Constitutionality

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In response to a petition asking for a U.S. Supreme Court decision on whether inter partes review (IPR) violates the U.S. Constitution, an oilfield services company argues in a Jan. 30 opposition brief that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals “has repeatedly and correctly rejected the argument that the Constitution prohibits the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) from correcting its own error in issuing a patent that fails the statutory requirements” (Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group LLC, No. 16-712, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Washington Federal Jury: Zillow Infringed Copyrights, Owes $8.2 Million

    SEATTLE — Following an eight-day trial, a Washington federal jury on Feb. 9 deemed Zillow Inc. a direct and contributory infringer of 28,125 images belonging to a photography studio (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Alumni Association: 1st Amendment Bars Trademark Case Over Use Of Name

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects an alumni association from trademark infringement claims in connection with its use of the words “alumni association” in conjunction with the university’s name, the alumni association argues in its Jan. 30 reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, because it cannot identify who its members are without using the university’s name (Alumni Association of New Jersey Institute of Technology v. New Jersey Institute of Technology, No. 16-798, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 16, 2017

    Belmora Argues Courts Recognize Limits To Suing For Trademark Cancellation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 8 reply brief, Belmora LLC argues to the U.S. Supreme Court that courts “generally recognized that the principle of territoriality imposed a real limit on who could sue for cancellation of a trademark or unfair competition under the Lanham Act” (Belmora LLC and Jamie Belcastro v. Bayer Consumer Care AG, et al., No. 16-548, U.S. Sup.).