Our monthly Intellectual Property Update sheds light on important IP events and decisions from the preceding weeks.
Index to Our Newsletter
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IP Update, April 2017
- It used to be risky for a patent owner to lie in wait for several years before suing a suspected infringer. That risk is gone, now that the Supreme Court has struck down the laches defense to infringement suits. More. . .
- The designs on cheerleader uniforms are not high art, but they have enough pictorial quality independent of the uniforms to qualify for copyright protection. The Supreme Court’s decision brings cheer to the fashion industry. More. . .
- It’s easy for an accused infringer to say the asserted patent is an obvious combination of existing innovations. It’s much less easy, however, to prove that a motivation to combine existed, which is critical to an obviousness defense. More. . .
IP Update, February 2017
- Parody protected: Louis Vuitton not only loses a trademark infringement suit against a canvas-tote maker that poked fun at the pricey bags but is faulted for lacking a sense of humor. More. . .
- No standing: A non-infringer who initiates an IPR may not be able to show sufficient stake in the outcome to appeal an adverse decision of the PTAB. More. . .
- Eleventh Amendment to the rescue: Sovereign immunity is ruled to protect state universities from having their patents challenged in the patent office. More. . .
- Supreme Court cheat sheet: Here’s a rundown of IP cases to be decided this term. More. . .
- Sometimes, it takes a village to infringe a patent. The combination of doctors advising patients to take vitamins before chemotherapy and patients following that advice is held to infringe a method of administering a drug. More. . .
IP Update, November 2016
- Our litigation victory for Iatric Systems contributes to recent jurisprudence on the dividing line between software inventions that are eligible for patent protection and those that aren’t. More. . .
- Challenging the validity of your competitor’s patent before the patent office is an attractive strategy. It can also, however, leave you more vulnerable in a subsequent infringement lawsuit. More. . .
IP Update, June 2016
- Software inventions that improve computer functionality stand a better chance of passing the Supreme Court’s patent-eligibility test than software that merely implements well-known business practices. More. . .
- Due to the broad reach of assignor estoppel, a company that sells a patent will often be barred from challenging its validity if the company is later sued for infringing that patent. More. . .
- The Supreme Court has changed the calculus for litigants, making it easier for patentees who win at trial to recover enhanced damages, up to triple the amount awarded for infringement. More. . .
- In inter partes reviews (IPRs), the parties must be given the chance to argue the validity of a challenged patent claim in the wake of any new claim construction that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board develops during the course of the proceeding. More. . .
- Google copied 170 lines of Oracle’s code to enable the operability of Android apps on the popular Java platform. A jury has decided this was fair use under copyright laws. More. . .
- The First Circuit has adapted a VCR-era statute to protect the privacy of mobile phone subscribers. More. . .
- A trial court decision casts doubt on the value to retailers of “comprehensive” cybersecurity insurance policies. Some expensive consequences of a security breach may not be covered. More. . .
IP Update, April 2016
- How much control can a patent owner retain over the use or resale of a product covered by his patent? The Federal Circuit’s answer raises shades of the first-sale doctrine under copyright law. More. . .
- Will patent holders ever catch a break in defending against validity challenges in the patent office? Apparently not: Recent decisions give challengers a second bite at the apple–in federal court. More. . .
- The patent office and the federal courts interpret patent claims according to different standards. The Federal Circuit harmonizes the disparity, but the Supreme Court may soon take a different view. More. . .
- These are the high points of the new trademark regulations that the European Union has just put into effect. More. . .
- Any U.S. company that receives personal data from EU businesses should know about the demanding new Privacy Shield rules. More. . .
IP Update, February 2016
- US companies doing business in Europe must navigate between the EU’s reverence for data privacy and the US’s emphasis on law enforcement. The regulatory situation is now chaotic. More. . .
Patent owners often ask the International Trade Commission to bar the importation of infringing goods. Recent court decisions both expand and contract the ITC’s jurisdiction. More. . .
The Google Books project continues to push the boundaries of fair use. The Second Circuit is the latest court to examine the elasticity of that doctrine. More. . .