Mealey's Intellectual Property

  • October 09, 2019

    Pfizer Seeks Dismissal Of Claims In Trade Secret Dispute With Merck

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania should deny pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.’s motion to dismiss a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit filed against it and one of its employees because each of Pfizer’s arguments in support of its motion is meritless, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. argues in an Oct. 7 opposition brief filed in Pennsylvania federal court (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Pfizer Inc., et al., No. 19-2011, E.D. Pa.).

  • October 09, 2019

    Tortious Interference Counterclaim In Patent Suit Tossed In Maryland

    BALTIMORE — Allegations by a defendant that a plaintiff committed tortious interference with prospective advantage when it filed a patent infringement complaint in April 2019 were rejected Oct. 8 by a federal judge in Maryland (Leading Technology Composites v. MV2 LLC, No. 19-1256, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174829).

  • October 09, 2019

    Board Sides With Apple, Deems Authentication Patent Obvious

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an Oct. 8 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with inter partes review (IPR) petitioner Apple Inc. that a patent directed to authenticating the identity of multiple users would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art (POSITA) (Apple Inc. v. Universal Secure Registry LLC, No. IPR2018-00809, PTAB).

  • October 09, 2019

    On Remand From Federal Circuit, Samsung Defends Prior Art

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In an Oct. 7 brief filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Samsung Electronics Co. argues that “in light of the . . . guidance” provided in a July 019 decision by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a draft included in a listserv qualifies as a printed publication and is thus relevant prior art (Samsung Electronics Co. v. Infobridge PTE Ltd., Nos. IPR2017-00099, IPR2017-00100, PTAB).

  • October 08, 2019

    Florida Federal Judge: Plaintiff Lacks Standing In Trademark Row

    TAMPA, Fla. — In a blow to Sream Inc., exclusive licensee of the “RooR” trademark, a federal judge in Florida on Oct. 7 found that only a registrant or its assignee has standing to sue for infringement (RooR International B.V., et al. v. Good Timez III LLC, et al., No. 19-439, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173283).

  • October 08, 2019

    6th Circuit Vacates Summary Judgment On Copyright Claim

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 7 vacated a Michigan federal judge’s grant of summary judgment that two defendants are not liable for copyright infringement because the copyrights at issue were not unambiguously transferred in a 2013 asset sale (Evoqua Water Technologies LLC v. M.W. Watermark LLC, et al., Nos. 18-2397, 18-2398, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30023).

  • October 08, 2019

    Panel Upholds Fee Award For Trade Dress, Trademark Defendant

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge did not err in granting $518,817 in attorney fees to a vineyard accused of infringing the trade dress of Sazerac Co. Inc.’s “Buffalo Trace” bourbon, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 4 (Sazerac Company Inc. v. Fetzer Vineyards Inc., Nos. 17-16916, 17-17511, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 29728).

  • October 07, 2019

    Patent Office To High Court:  ‘All Expenses’ Phrase Is Unambiguous

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart on Oct. 7 argued that the U.S. Supreme Court should reverse a June 2018 en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) cannot recoup attorney fees incurred in connection with its defense of an action under Section 145 of the Patent Act (Laura Peter v. NantKwest Inc., No. 18-801, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Agrees: Bankcard Transfer Patent Is Ineligible

    NEW YORK — An infringement action involving a method of transferring money through a bankcard was dismissed Oct. 2 by a New York federal judge, who found that the claimed technology covers patent-ineligible subject matter (Western Express Bancshares LLC v. Green Dot Corporation, No. 19-4465, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171412).

  • October 07, 2019

    Certiorari Denied In Dispute Over Patent Fraud Jurisdiction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 7 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take on a dispute that poses the question of which court of appeals is tasked with deciding antitrust cases involving allegations of improper enforcement of a fraudulently obtained patent (Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp., No. 18-1170, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2019

    Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board In Win For ZTE, Apple, Others

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a case in which the federal government intervened to defend the constitutionality of the inter partes review (IPR) procedure, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 4 endorsed a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a data transmission patent is unpatentable as obvious (Evolved Wireless Inc. v. ZTE USA Inc., et al., Nos. 18-2008, 18-2009, 18-2010, 18-2011, Fed. Cir.).

  • October 07, 2019

    Supreme Court Won’t Review Dispute Over Trademark Fraud Standard

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A purported split among the circuit courts of appeal as to what constitutes fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will not be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court, which on Oct. 7 denied a petition for certiorari by a trademark holder (B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., et al., No. 19-48, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2019

    Panel Reverses Patent Board Obviousness Ruling In Tarceva Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 4 disagreed with a determination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have enjoyed a reasonable expectation of success in treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with erlotinib (OSI Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Apotex Inc., et al., No. 18-1925, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 29851).

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Denies Copyright Volitional Conduct Petition Over Online Photo Use

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 declined to consider three questions over the role that volitional conduct plays in copyright infringement, denying a petition for certiorari by a real estate photography firm, which sued Zillow Inc. for its purportedly infringing use of certain photographs in its online listings that the petitioner said Zillow had the ability to control (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., et al., No. 18-1540, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 04, 2019

    Fastener Firm To High Court: Infringer’s Profits Award Requires No Willfulness

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A fastener manufacturer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Sept. 13 opening merits brief that the Lanham Act does not require a trademark holder to prove that a defendant acted willfully in infringing its mark, arguing that the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals incorrectly read this provision into the statute (Romag Fasteners Inc. v. Fossil Inc., et al., No. 18-1233, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 04, 2019

    Eli Lilly Asks High Court To Hear Functional Claims Dispute With ‘Patent Troll’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an Oct. 2 reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, Eli Lilly and Co. asks the U.S. Supreme Court to consider a ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which it says has continued a trend that rewards nonpracticing entities for obtaining patents with functional claims that should be deemed invalid per provisions of the Patent Act and high court precedent (Eli Lilly and Co. v. Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep GbR, No. 18-1515, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 03, 2019

    Challenge To Solar Tracking Patent Rejected By Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A wind-resistant solar tracking system was confirmed as patentable on Oct. 2 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which rejected an inter partes review petitioner’s assertion that the invention would have been obvious (ArcelorMittal v. Array Technologies Inc., No. IPR2018-00801, PTAB).

  • October 03, 2019

    Fracking Companies Allege Trade Secret Misappropriation And Patent Infringement

    MIDLAND, Texas — Two hydraulic fracturing services companies on Sept. 30 sued a competitor that provides similar fracking services, contending that it is liable for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets (Coil Chem LLC, et al. v. Durachem Production Company, et al., No. 19-225, W.D. Texas).

  • October 03, 2019

    In New York, VARA Claim Survives But Copyright Claim Tossed

    NEW YORK — Allegations by an artist that two individual defendants falsely attributed her name as the creator of an oil painting will proceed in New York federal court, according to an Oct. 2 ruling (Annamarie Trombetta v. Marie Novocin, et al., No. 18-993, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171228).

  • October 03, 2019

    University Responds To Apple Appeal, Defends Validity Of Patent

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a recent appellee brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) maintains that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not err in rejecting allegations of obviousness made by Apple Inc. in an inter partes review (IPR) (Apple Inc. v. California Institute of Technology, Nos. 19-1580, -1581, Fed. Cir.).

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