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Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • June 22, 2018

    PETA, Photographer Debate En Banc Rehearing In Monkey Selfie Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a wildlife photographer and a website operator filed supplemental briefs in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals June 15, addressing whether en banc rehearing is merited of a panel’s finding that a monkey lacked statutory standing to sue for infringement of selfie photos he took under the Copyright Act (Naruto. v. David J. Slater, et al., No. 16-15469, 9th Cir.).

  • June 22, 2018

    9th Circuit: Copyright Claim Over ‘Walk Of Shame’ Was Unreasonable

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge’s decision to award actress Elizabeth Banks and others attorney fees in connection with their successful defense of copyright infringement allegations was not erroneous, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 21 (Shame on You Productions Inc. v. Elizabeth Banks, et al., No. 16-55024, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16764).

  • June 22, 2018

    Supreme Court: Patent Damages Available For Overseas Combinations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed an award of lost profits for infringement damages stemming from the overseas combination of infringing components was reversed and remanded on June 22 by a divided U.S. Supreme Court (WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 22, 2018

    Washington Federal Judge Says Patents Claim Ineligible Subject Matter

    SEATTLE — A defendant won dismissal of patent infringement allegations on June 19 when a Washington federal judge agreed that two claimed inventions of pausing in the middle of copying information without deleting progress and providing customized service to customers at a central site cover abstract ideas (Uniloc USA Inc. v. Big Fish Games Inc., No. 17-1183, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102445).

  • June 22, 2018

    Federal Circuit Upholds Board’s Rejection Of ‘Aquapel’ Trademark

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to uphold an examiner’s rejection of the “Aquapel” mark for use in connection with leather or imitation leather home goods was affirmed June 13 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which agreed that the registration would likely cause confusion with the registered mark “Aquapel” (In re:  Halo Leather Limited, No. 17-1849, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16135).

  • June 21, 2018

    Judge Awards RE/MAX $231,989, Issues Permanent Injunction In Trademark Dispute

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on June 19 granted RE/MAX LLC’s motion for a default judgment against former franchisees, awarding the franchisor $231,989.23 in actual damages and issuing a permanent injunction enjoining the former franchisees from using, imitating, copying, duplicating or otherwise making use of RE/MAX marks (RE/MAX, LLC v. Robert Goodman Realty, LLC, et al., No. 17-0526, N.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101788).

  • June 21, 2018

    9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Against Software Provider Fail

    SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations by two residential real estate photographers that the real estate software provider for a multiple listing service (MLS) violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by removing their copyright management information (CMI) were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16620).

  • June 21, 2018

    Patent For Phonetic Symbol System Properly Denied, Federal Circuit Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A phonetic symbol system formed by phonetic symbols using letters of the English alphabet is directed to nonstatutory subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20, affirming a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (In re:  George Mizhen Wang, 17-1827, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 20, 2018

    9th Circuit Sides With Fast Food Franchisor On Contract, Trademark Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge did not err in granting Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) summary judgment on its allegations that a franchisee committed breach of contract and trademark infringement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18 in a per curiam opinion (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16362).

  • June 19, 2018

    9th Circuit Upholds Damages, Fee Award In BitTorrent ‘Swarm’ Cases

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 18 ruling, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Washington federal judge’s decision to award a single statutory damage award in each of five cases involving the same BitTorrent “swarm” upload of the film “London Has Fallen” (LHF Production Inc. v. Doe 1, et al., No. 17-35237, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16360).

  • June 19, 2018

    9th Circuit Reverses Finding Of ‘Mastermind’ Trademark Invalidity

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred when dismissing a trademark infringement complaint on grounds of trademark invalidity, as well as in his subsequent order canceling the “Mastermind” trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 15 (Raul Caiz v. William Leonard Roberts II, et al., No. 17-55051, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16171).

  • June 19, 2018

    Rehearing Denied In Dispute Over Alleged False Statements Made To PTO

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 15 order, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced that it will not rehear a dispute over whether it or the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to decide a dispute over antitrust violations stemming from fraud before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) (Xitronix Corporation v. KLA-Tencor Corporation, No. 16-2746, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16203).

  • June 18, 2018

    6th Circuit Affirms: Trademark Use Was In Good Faith, Descriptive

    CINCINNATI — A Kentucky federal judge did not err in finding that two distillery operators adopted the “Old Taylor” name descriptively and in good faith, thus entitling them to a fair use defense to allegations of trademark infringement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 14 (Sazerac Brands LLC v. Peristyle LLC, et al., No. 17-5933, -5997, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15940).

  • June 18, 2018

    Georgia Judge Largely Denies Defense Motions In AndroGel Antitrust MDL

    ATLANTA — Efforts by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. to obtain summary judgment on claims by the Federal Trade Commission that Solvay violated antitrust laws with reverse payments designed to prevent entry to the market of generic AndroGel were unsuccessful June 14, when a Georgia federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation found that the government has adequately pleaded that Solvay conspired to restrain trade (In re: AndroGel Antitrust Litigation No. II, MDL No. 2084 [All Cases], No. 1:09-md-2084, N.D. Ga., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99716).

  • June 15, 2018

    Parties Dispute Holdings In Consolidated Dispute Over Delzicol Capsule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Texas federal magistrate judge’s sua sponte construction of “gelling agent” as excluding water was erroneous, the licensee and owner of a patent covering the ulcerative colitis drug Delzicol maintain in an appeal to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Ltd., et al. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., No. 18-1241, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 15, 2018

    Method For Sorting Cells Is Obvious, Petitioner Tells Patent Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A patent at the center of infringement litigation pending in Wisconsin and Colorado federal courts would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art, according to a June 8 petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ABS Global Inc. v. XY LLC, No. IPR2018-01224, PTAB).

  • June 15, 2018

    High Court Asked To Decide If Nontaxable Costs Can Be Awarded Under Copyright Act

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 31 petition for certiorari, a software support firm argues that a prevailing party can be awarded only taxable, not nontaxable costs, under the Copyright, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a difference of opinions among the circuit courts of appeal on the issue (Rimini Street Inc., et al. v. Oracle USA Inc., et al.., No. 17-1625, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 15, 2018

    News Service Seeks Review Of Copyright Registration Requirement For Litigation

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Responding to a U.S. government amicus curiae brief, a news organization in a June 5 supplemental brief to the U.S. Supreme Court maintains that its petition for certiorari should be granted to resolve a circuit split over whether a copyright applicant is entitled to sue for infringement prior to achieving registration (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 15, 2018

    Successors To Abbott And Costello Estates Must Pay Fees In Copyright Case

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on June 12 adopted a New York federal magistrate judge’s recommendation that defendants accused of copyright infringement by the successors in interest to the estates of comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello should be awarded $50,123.04 in attorney fees in connection with the case (TCA Television Corp., et al. v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 15-4325, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98551).

  • June 14, 2018

    Amici Support Google’s Rehearing Petition In Java Fair Use Dispute With Oracle

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nonprofit organizations The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge (PK) were among the interested parties that filed amicus curiae briefs with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 and 12 in support of Google LLC’s petition for rehearing en banc, arguing that a panel ruling over Google’s use of Java technology in its Android smartphone operating system ignored fair use case law and could have a detrimental impact on technological innovations (Oracle America Inc. v. Google LLC, Nos. 17-1118, -1202, Fed. Cir.).