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Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • December 14, 2018

    Illinois Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Copyright Claims Against Bankers

    CHICAGO — A motion to dismiss filed by an investment bank and its agent was denied Dec. 13 by an Illinois federal judge, who rejected as premature the defendants’ claim that the information in dispute is factual and not subject to copyright protection (UIRC-GSA Holdings Inc. v. William Blair & Company, et al., No. 15-9518, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210499).

  • December 14, 2018

    Ed Sheeran To 2nd Circuit: Intervention In ‘Let’s Get It On’ Suit Was Untimely

    NEW YORK — In a Nov. 29 appellee brief, pop singer Ed Sheeran asks the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm the denial of a third party’s motion to intervene in a suit alleging copyright infringement of Marvin Gaye’s 1973 hit “Let’s Get It On,” arguing that the prospective intervenor waited more than three years to take action over its purported rights in the song (Kathryn Townsend Griffin, et al. v. Edward Christopher Sheeran, et al., No. 18-1862, 2nd Cir.).

  • December 13, 2018

    Scandalous Trademark Ban Not Unconstitutional, PTO Argues To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Dec. 11 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) defends its decision to deny registration of a trademark it deemed vulgar, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the scandalous-marks provision of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Andrei Iancu v. Erik Brunetti, No. 18-302, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 13, 2018

    California Federal Judge: Trade Secret Claims Require More Specificity

    SAN FRANCISCO — Efforts by SAP SE to obtain dismissal of allegations of copyright infringement allegations were unsuccessful Dec. 12, when a California federal judge deemed the claims adequately pleaded; in the same ruling, however, the judge agreed to dismiss allegations of trade secret misappropriation, upon finding that the asserted trade secrets are not sufficiently identified (Teradata Corp., et al. v. SAP SE, et al., No. 18-3670, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209872).

  • December 13, 2018

    Campbell Soup Tells Federal Circuit Design Patents Are Generic

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Nov. 5 reply brief, Campbell Soup Co. urges the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reject a design patent owner’s attempt to protect “generic, functional features” of a gravity feed dispenser (Campbell Soup Co. v. Gamon Plus Inc., No. 18-2029, Fed. Cir.).

  • December 13, 2018

    Petitioner Tells High Court Government Is Not A ‘Person’ For AIA Patent Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A patent holder that received an unfavorable ruling in a patent lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), argues in a Dec. 10 merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in finding that the government qualifies as a “person” and is, therefore, able to initiate covered business method (CBM) review of a patent under the Leahy Smith America Invents Act (AIA) (Return Mail Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service, et al., No. 17-1594, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 13, 2018

    Trademark Licensee Tells High Court Bankruptcy Filings Do Not Rescind Contracts

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A licensee of certain trademark and distribution rights argues in a Dec. 10 merits brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that a bankruptcy filing does not empower a debtor to rescind any agreements or revoke any licensed intellectual property rights that it could not do outside of the bankruptcy context (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 17-1657, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 13, 2018

    2nd Circuit: Music Service Infringes With Resale Of Digital Files

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 agreed with a New York federal judge that a digital music resale service infringes the recording industry’s exclusive right to reproduce copyrighted works under Section 106(1) of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 106(1) (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. ReDigi Inc., et al., No. 16-2321, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34914).

  • December 12, 2018

    Plaintiff Prevails In Dispute Over Photo Of Trump Wedding Crash

    NEW YORK — A wedding guest who later copyrighted his photograph of President Donald Trump crashing a wedding prevailed on summary judgment on Dec. 10 in his New York federal infringement lawsuit against a news outlet that published the image online (Jonathan Otto v. Hearst Communications Inc., No. 17-4712, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208698).

  • December 12, 2018

    Petitioner Cites Dissent, Says Inter Partes Review Request Not Untimely

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Dec. 11 petition for inter partes review (IPR) filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Mindgeek USA Inc. took aim at a University of Southern California patent asserted by a licensee first asserted against Mindgeek in 2014 (Mindgeek USA Inc. v. University of Southern California and Preservation Technologies LLC, No. IPR2019-00423, PTAB).

  • December 12, 2018

    Patent Board Sides With Samsung, Declares Huawei Claims Unpatentable

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a Dec. 11 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. showed by a preponderance of the evidence that 20 claims of a Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. patent relating to cell reselection would have been obvious (Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. v. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., No. IPR2017-01474, PTAB).

  • December 12, 2018

    llinois Federal Judge Orders Parties To Arbitrate Copyright Claim

    CHICAGO — An infringement dispute over copyrighted architectural plans for a hotel in Chicago will proceed, but not in federal court, an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 10 (Lothan Van Hook DeStefano Architecture LLC v. SB Yen Management Group Inc., et al., No. 18-275, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207656).

  • December 12, 2018

    Domain Registrar Again Denied Attorney Fees In Lanham Act False Advertising Suit

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With remand instructions from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on the proper standard for considering attorney fees awards under the Lanham Act, a Virginia federal judge on Nov. 28 denied an internet domain registrar’s fees motion for a second time, determining that although the defendant prevailed on the false advertising claims brought by Verisign Inc., it did not establish that the case was exceptional (Verisign Inc. v. XYZ.com LLC, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01749, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203037).

  • December 11, 2018

    Patent Owner Disputes Inter Partes Review Outcome In New Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board erroneously removed a claim limitation when it declared 12 claims of a garage door opener patent obvious and anticipated by prior art, the patent owner recently told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (The Chamberlain Group Inc. v. One World Technologies Inc., No. 18-2111, Fed. Cir.).

  • December 11, 2018

    AIA Constitutional Challenge Referred To Attorney General

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A patent owner’s recent assertion that the America Invents Act (AIA) vests the judges of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with excess authority in violation of the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution was referred to the U.S. attorney general by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 6 (Affinity Labs of Texas LLC v. Netflix Inc., Nos. 18-1920, -2020, Fed. Cir.).

  • December 11, 2018

    False Patent Marking, False Advertising Claims Are Precluded

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A North Carolina federal judge’s decision to dismiss claims of false patent marking and false advertising under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125, was affirmed Dec. 10 by a per curiam panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Gordon Gravelle v. Kaba Ilco Corp. et al., No. 18-1937, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34613).

  • December 10, 2018

    Ethicon Targets ELUTE Fiber Patent In Petition For Inter Partes Review

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patent relating to a biodegradable fiber useful in the delivery of certain drugs would have been anticipated by a person of skill in the art, Ethicon Inc. asserts in a Dec. 7 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Ethicon Inc. v. Board of Regents, University of Texas System, No. IPR2019-00407, PTAB).

  • December 10, 2018

    Federal Circuit: ITC Erred In Denying Relief On Trade Dress Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allegations that various defaulting respondents imported spine boards, cervical collars, CPR masks, training manikins and product literature that infringed the trade dress of two medical device makers were erroneously rejected by the International Trade Commission (ITC) as inadequately pleaded, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 7 (Laerdal Medical Corp., et al. v. International Trade Commission, No. 17-2445, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34465).

  • December 10, 2018

    Board Correctly Declared Claims Patent-Ineligible, Federal Circuit Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 found no error in a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that upheld an examiner’s rejection of four patent claims (In re: Robert E. Downing, No. 18-1795, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34464).

  • December 10, 2018

    Appellant Is Estopped From Challenging Prior Art, Federal Circuit Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A continued effort by a patent owner to assert that a prior art reference does not qualify as a printed publication within the meaning of Section 102 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), was rebuffed Dec. 10 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-2490, -2494, Fed. Cir.).