Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • August 20, 2021

    Panel:  Construction Of ‘Toolbar’ Proper, Claims Ineligible For Patenting

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in California did not err, on remand, in construing the disputed term “toolbar” as it exists in two patents, or in declaring the technology ineligible for patenting, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 19.

  • August 19, 2021

    9th Circuit Upholds Disgorged Profits Award In Lanham Act Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — Citing a defendant’s willful infringement of a competitor’s trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 left intact a Washington federal judge’s award of disgorged profits in the case.

  • August 19, 2021

    Federal Circuit Affirms: Patented Spinal Surgical System Is Obvious

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its second ruling in the case, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 upheld findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a person of ordinary skill would be motivated to combine prior art references to arrive at a safer system for providing surgical access to the spine.

  • August 19, 2021

    Attorney Fee Award Tossed, But Denial Of Witness Fees Affirmed In Patent Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 18 holding, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that in light of its recent decision to vacate an order compelling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to issue several applied-for patents, a patent applicant no longer qualifies as a prevailing party.

  • August 18, 2021

    Federal Circuit Partly Vacates Patent Board Nonobviousness Holdings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Aug. 13 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that certain claims of two patents directed to a tray used in a common medical procedure were not proven obvious by a medical technology company in an inter partes review.

  • August 18, 2021

    8th Circuit Reinstates Copyright Claims Over Real Estate Listings

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge erred in concluding that a provision in the Copyright Act relating to architectural works bars allegations of infringement against real estate companies, agents and their contractors from generating drawings of home floorplans in the course of selling a home, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 16.

  • August 18, 2021

    Fracking Patent Holders: Evidence Shows Parties Had ‘Deceptive Intent’

    NEW ORLEANS — The holders of a patent for equipment used in hydraulic fracturing operations on Aug. 13 filed a redacted appeal brief in Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should reverse a lower court ruling that granted summary judgment dismissal of their claims for patent infringement because the holders maintain that they have “presented evidence of facts susceptible to opposing inferences regarding fraudulent concealment, deceptive intent related to inequitable conduct, and reasonable due diligence.”

  • August 17, 2021

    Publisher Appeals Fees Denial In Copyright Suit Over Instagram Photo Post

    NEW YORK — A publisher that prevailed in a photographer’s copyright infringement suit against it but was denied a motion for attorney fees, argues in an Aug. 16 brief to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court judge improperly focused on the novel aspect of the photo at issue being an embedded Instagram post, rather than on the fact that the publisher’s posting of the picture was deemed fair use.

  • August 16, 2021

    Law Firm Obtains Default Judgment, Domain Transfer In Cybersquatting Suit

    PHOENIX — A law firm prevailed in its efforts to regain control of an internet domain for which it had allowed the registration to lapse, when an Arizona federal judge granted its motion for a default judgment on Aug. 12, finding that the firm had sufficiently stated its claim under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and that the unidentified defendant had failed to defend against the claim or to respond to the suit at all.

  • August 12, 2021

    Nickleback Members Should Face Copyright Claims, Magistrate Judge Says

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal magistrate judge in Texas on Aug. 10 recommended that a motion by Live Nation Entertainment Inc. to dismiss allegations the concert promoter infringed a copyright in the musical composition “Rock Star” be granted.

  • August 12, 2021

    Amici Brief High Court On Trademark Functionality Rule In Pocky Trade Dress Spat

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four amicus curiae briefs supporting the maker of “Pocky” biscuit sticks were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court July 29, urging the high court to grant the petition for certiorari and to reverse a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that they say altered longstanding precedent on deterring whether a product’s trade dress is functional and, therefore, not protectable.

  • August 12, 2021

    Supreme Court Asked To Find Federal Circuit’s 1-Word Judgments Unconstitutional

    WASHINGTON, D.C.— A litigant that was unsuccessful in bringing patent and trade dress infringement claims against a competitor filed a petition for certiorari on Aug. 2, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to find the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ practice of affirming lower court rulings with one-word judgments to be unconstitutional.

  • August 12, 2021

    Federal Circuit: Patent Board Adopted Erroneous Claim Construction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a petitioner for inter partes review (IPR) failed to prove various claims of a patented seismometer are anticipated or obvious were reversed and remanded by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 11.

  • August 11, 2021

    Copyright Office Prevails In Nebraska Litigation Over Denied Registrations

    OMAHA, Neb. — A federal judge in Nebraska on Aug. 10 rejected allegations that the U.S. Copyright Office acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it rejected copyright applications for three new corporate logos on grounds of insufficient creativity.

  • August 11, 2021

    California Federal Judge Stands By Refusal To Query Copyright Office

    SAN DIEGO — A motion for reconsideration of a 2017 order denying a request by several infringement defendants for a referral to the Register of Copyrights to determine copyright validity was itself denied Aug. 9 by a federal judge in California, who instead found for a second time that the applications at issue were not inaccurate.

  • August 11, 2021

    Patent Owner Disputes Attorney Fee Award On Appeal To Federal Circuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The owner of a patent relating to mobile image capture, transmission and storage who voluntarily dismissed its infringement claims on July 22 told the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it should not be required to reimburse a defendant $86,150 in attorney fees.

  • August 11, 2021

    Parties Square Off In Appeal Of Protective Order In Patent Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alaska Airlines Inc. tells the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 29 brief that an appeal by a patent owner of a Utah federal judge’s decision to maintain a standard protective order and designate Alaska Airlines’ source code “attorneys’ eyes only” (AEO) should be turned away as improper.

  • August 11, 2021

    Fabrics Firm To High Court: Fraud Required For Copyright Office Referral

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Referral to the U.S. Copyright Office over inaccuracies in a copyright registration requires a showing that the inaccuracies were made knowingly, a fabrics manufacturer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Aug. 3 opening merits brief, arguing that in finding no fraud requirement for such referrals, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals broke with long-standing legal precedent, including its own.

  • August 10, 2021

    In New York Patent Row, Plaintiff Prevails In Invalidity Challenge

    ALBANY, N.Y. — Just over a month after denying a request by Honeywell International Inc. for a summary judgment of noninfringement, a federal judge in New York on Aug. 9 granted a patent owner’s motion for partial summary judgment, rejecting Honeywell’s assertions of patent invalidity and misuse.

  • August 10, 2021

    Texas Federal Judge Tosses Patent Claims Against ZTE Subsidiaries

    WACO, Texas — A patent owner’s attempt to establish venue based upon two defendants’ alleged installation and servicing of equipment on cell towers and storage of equipment at warehouses located within the Western District of Texas was rejected by a federal judge there on Aug. 9.

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