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Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • June 24, 2019

    Dispute Over Patent Priority Dates Won’t Be Heard By High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 announced that it will not review a 2017 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that affirmed the rejection of a petition for inter partes review because the filing relied on unavailable prior art (Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. v. Illumina Inc., No. 18-109, U.S. Sup).

  • June 24, 2019

    Federal Circuit Affirms: ‘Gamvatar’ Gaming Patent Is Obvious

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 21 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that 11 claims of a patented process for generating a “gamvatar” are invalid (Game and Technology Co. v. Activision Blizzard Inc., et al., No. 18-1981, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18601).

  • June 24, 2019

    Ex-Franchisee Seeks Reconsideration After Tim Hortons Is Granted Injunction

    MIAMI — A former franchisee on June 18 moved for a Florida federal court to reconsider its order a day earlier granting a motion for preliminary injunction that bars it from using Tim Hortons trademarks or service marks and from representing the restaurants as authorized Tim Hortons restaurants (Tim Hortons USA, Inc., States, et al. v. Tims Milner LLC, et al., No. 18-cv-24152, S.D. Fla.; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100978).

  • June 24, 2019

    Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban On Immoral, Scandalous Trademarks

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Drawing heavily on its 2017 holding in Matal v. Tam that the Lanham Act ban on registering disparaging marks is unconstitutional, a divided U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 found that the statute’s related prohibition on registrations for “immoral or scandalous” trademarks also “collides” with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 24, 2019

    Certiorari Granted In Dispute Over Appealability Of Patent Time Bar

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to take on a dispute that poses the question of whether Section 314(b) of the America Invents Act (AIA) permits an appeal of a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with regard to the time bar established by Section 315(b) of the statute (Dex Media Inc. v. Click-To-Call Technologies L.P. and Andrei Iancu, No. 18-916, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 24, 2019

    Supreme Court Will Decide Copyrightability For State Law Annotations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 24 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to address the question of whether the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) is entitled to copyright protection (Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., No. 18-1150, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 21, 2019

    Federal Circuit Upholds Cancellation Of Patent Covering Antifungal Drug

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 21 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found no error in findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that eight claims of a patented composition of largely insoluble azole antifungal drugs would be anticipated or rendered obvious by prior art (Mayne Pharma International Pty Ltd. v. Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp., No. 18-1593, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 20, 2019

    In Texas, Trademark Defendants Win Summary Judgment

    AUSTIN, Texas — Allegations of trademark dilution and infringement were rejected on summary judgment on June 18, when a federal judge in Texas found that confusion between Austin-area restaurants “Picnik” and “Bento Picnic” is possible, but not probable (Picnik Holdings LLC v. Bento Picnic LLC, et al., No. 18-897, W.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101439).

  • June 20, 2019

    Jury Finds VidAngel’s Infringement Willful, Awards Studios $62.4 Million

    LOS ANGELES — On the fifth and final day of oral arguments in the liability trial for VidAngel Inc. in California federal court, a jury on June 17 found that the online video-filtering service’s infringement of the plaintiff studios’ copyrighted works was willful, awarding the studios $61,425,000 related to copyright infringement (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 20, 2019

    Challenge To Validity Of Copyright Agreement Tossed In Michigan

    DETROIT — Efforts by the son of the author of the hit song “Mustang Sally” to invalidate his father’s grant of all interests in that work and others were unsuccessful June 19, when a Michigan federal judge found that the copyright case is time-barred (Duane Rice v. Music Royalty Consulting Inc., et al., No. 18-13517, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102469).

  • June 20, 2019

    Claimed Concepts Were Well-Known, Petitioner Tells Patent Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a June 18 petition for inter partes review (IPR), a Canadian telecommunications company maintains that two claims of a patented process for managing content and services over a network were well-known in 2012 at the time of patenting (Guest Tek Interactive Entertainment Ltd. v. Nomadix Inc., No. IPR2019-01191, PTAB).

  • June 19, 2019

    Board Rejection Of Samsung Patent Allegations Reversed By Panel

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An unsuccessful inter partes review (IPR) proceeding initiated by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will be revisited in light of a June 18 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that Samsung failed to establish obviousness (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. v. UUSI LLC, No. 18-1310, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18185).

  • June 19, 2019

    On Remand, California Federal Judge Again Dismisses Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 14 in-chambers order, a federal judge in California rejected allegations that the creators of the television show “Empire” committed copyright infringement, citing a plaintiff’s “repeated failures” to plausibly allege access by the defendants to the plaintiff’s copyrighted work (Jon Astor-White v. Daniel William Strong, et al., No. 15-6326, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100247).

  • June 19, 2019

    7th Circuit Affirms Cancellation Of ‘Capsule’ Mark For Phone Cases

    CHICAGO — In a June 11 holding, a panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a determination by a federal judge in Illinois that the “capsule” trademark for use in connection with cellular phone cases is invalid as descriptive (Uncommon LLC v. Spigen Inc., No. 18-1917, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17350).

  • June 18, 2019

    Judge:  Company’s Unfair Competition Claim Against Apple Superseded By CUTSA

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 17 ruled that a technology company has failed to sufficiently show that Apple Inc. engaged in unfair competition under California common law when it allegedly infringed on the company’s patented technology and intellectual property to develop its “Emergency SOS” product for its Apple devices because the claim is preempted by federal patent law and is superseded by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Zomm LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 18-4969, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101029).

  • June 18, 2019

    Federal Circuit Affirms: Workpiece Support Reissue Patent Is Invalid

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in Oklahoma did not err in finding that because a reissue patent claims an invention not disclosed by the original patent, the reissue claims fail to comply with the original patent requirement of the Patent Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found June 17 (Forum US Inc. v. Flow Valve LLC, No. 18-1765, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18055).

  • June 18, 2019

    Studios, VidAngel Debate Judgment As A Matter Of Law During Damages Trial

    LOS ANGELES — Online video-filtering service VidAngel Inc. on June 17 opposed a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that plaintiff movie studios filed in California federal court on day four of oral arguments in a damages trial related to copyright infringement and violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).

  • June 18, 2019

    Panel Finds No State Sovereign Immunity In Inter Partes Reviews

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Efforts by the Regents of the University of Minnesota (UMN) to avoid a challenge to various UMN patents were unsuccessful June 14, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that states do not enjoy sovereign immunity in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings (Regents of the University of Minnesota v. LSI Corporation, et al., No. 18-1559; Regents of the University of Minnesota v. Ericsson Inc., Nos. 2018-1560, -1561, -1562, -1563, -1564, -1565, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17887).

  • June 18, 2019

    Rejection Of Interpolation Patent Application Upheld By Federal Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A patent application relating to a “method of efficiently implementing a multi-dimensional interpolation” was properly rejected, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 13 (In re: Roman Gitlin, No. 18-1461, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17702).

  • June 17, 2019

    In French Press Trade Dress Row, 7th Circuit Upholds Verdict

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 found no error in an Illinois federal judge’s decision to deny a trade dress infringement defendant judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that a plaintiff failed to prove that its “Chambord” French press coffeemaker features a nonfunctional design (Bodum USA Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc., No. 18-3020, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17555).