California's new, landmark privacy law will mean significant changes for companies dealing in personal data. The law, considered the most stringent in the United States today, is part of a global movement to protect consumers as they share more personal information...
The Federal Circuit issued its decision regarding Natural Alternatives Intl. v Creative Compounds, potentially impacting the patentability of inventions incorporating natural law. Specifically, the Court held that the particular manner in which a natural law is...
The USPTO issued a memorandum on April 19, 2018 further clarifying the continually evolving USPTO subject matter eligibility guidance, addressing an update to the procedure in evaluating step 2B of the eligibility guidance, i.e. step 2 of the Alice/Mayo test....
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court handed down a decision striking down the federal prohibition on sports betting. This decision allows states to begin offering legal sports betting, in accordance with the state laws they develop…Professional leagues are trying to get in on the action as well.
Recently, with the aid of the much-discussed DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), game developers have begun to use the law as another tool in their arsenal in combatting cheaters. The application of these laws however can be controversial.
With patent infringement suits frequently being filed in venues which would normally not be proper, but for long-arm statutes exercising personal jurisdiction, this recent ruling stands to have a significant impact.
While design patents are an important piece of intellectual property protection, the contours of damages that can be sought based on infringement of a design patent can be confusing and easily misunderstood. Below is an outline of what damages can be sought for infringement of a design patent.
Patent marking, or the act of displaying the patent number on the product sold containing patented claims, is crucial for maintaining rights and allowing for full recovery against infringers. This is because “[a patentee] is entitled to damages from the time when it...
Amazon takes on counterfeiters for the first time in its 20 year history. Here are the details you need to know.
GIFs just became big business, and with money always come laws…
One of the primary requirements for trademark registration is that the mark is “Use in Commerce”, or that the mark was used in commerce in connection with a good or service for which it is being registered. The exact definition of the extent of “use” required was vague however.
This argument revolves around a basic premise of copyright law that says copyright protection is only offered for expressive content of work, not functional ideas or objects…
The important take-away from this case is first, the affirmation the Lanham Act can be applied extraterritorially. Second, the fact that the Lanham Act can reach into areas where other doctrines had previously barred relief, such as the “first-sale doctrine”.
Important…the notice requirement of this statute, requiring an employer to disclose these new immunity provisions whenever making someone sign an agreement limiting disclosure of information
The district court had previously held that the subject matter of the patent were directed at ineligible subject matter, however, in their reversal in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America, the Federal Circuit fleshed out how eligibility standards set forth in Alice apply to software-related patents.
This ruling is very important for the copyright holders of pre-1972 works, and sound engineers alike
Initially billed as something that would help streamline and expedite the patent examination process, Accelerated Examination is slowly losing favor with the public as the patent environment continues to evolve. The USPTO has signaled it will soon take public comments as to whether the Accelerated Examination process should continue to exist altogether.
Even though an individual may not be hosting or displaying copyrighted material on their website, in certain circumstances outlined in this new ruling, an individual can still be liable for copyright infringement for the act of linking to said copyrighted work hosted on other websites
“An inventive concept can be found in the non-conventional and non-generic arrangement of known, conventional pieces.”
…if a website sends you a cease and desist letter revoking your access, it then becomes a federal crime under the CFAA to access said website.
The only rights that are affected by the Brexit are those that are governed by unified EU regulations.
May 2016 saw the conclusion of one of the most contentious copyright battles involving software, between two of the industry’s heavyweights: Google v. Oracle. What made this case so interesting was the calling into question of software development practices that had been considered legitimate for the past two decades, and what made it so important was the potential fallout of a verdict on either side of the issue.
The concern over drone technology seems to be a ubiquitous worry in society these days…one overlooked area has been the interaction of drones with a little discussed area of intellectual property protection, trade secret law.
When the DMCA was made into law at the turn of the century, the excitement over new powers given to the enforcement of intellectual property rights was tempered by deep concerns of possible regulatory overreach and unintended consequences. With the law having over a decade to now play out, some of the more consequential, albeit tangential, unintended consequences are beginning to show their head.
“Disparaging” is Not Grounds to Deny: USPTO Not Allowed to Deny Trademark Registration For Being Disparaging Under §2(a)
This case revolved around an Asian-American rock band with the potentially racially charged name of “The Slants”. The band was denied federal registration of their trademark of the same name, but appealed claiming this was unconstitutional; Federal Circuit Court of Appeals agreed stating, “content-based regulations are presumptively invalid.” Refusal of trademark registration on the grounds of being disparaging is an improper limiting of speech.
The interesting part about this case, and the issue writ large, is the collision of best intentions with undesired consequences. In this case, those consequences are infringements on constitutionally protected speech by the government. This article explores the legal implication of attempts to limit this type of speech, and the implications of this ruling on current litigation
In what appears to be another slew of trademark battles, Red Bull energy drinks has challenged the use of the word “ox” in the brand name of a small craft brewery in Virginia. Red Bull filed its opposition with the USPTO against trademark applications from “Old Ox Brewery,” which opened in the northern Virginia suburb of Ashburn in June 2014. Old Ox Brewery is scheduled to produce over 4,000 kegs of beer by December, set for distribution to only a small area of Virginia.
This is only one example of many instances where larger corporations try to stretch the protection of their marks. In the same token, companies and individuals are beginning to seek trademark protection on seemingly generic terms as a means of revenue generation, creating licensing schemes for widely used song lyrics for example. This article explores both practices, their merits, and general strategies when confronting an issue such as these.
This article discuses a landmark ruling in BMG Rights Management LLC et al. v. Cox Enterprises Inc, a highly contentions case between an internet service provider (ISP) and a large-scale music rights holder. The dispute was between Cox Communications, the ISP, and BMG Rights Management, a company holding copyrights for numerous musical artists and songs. BMG alleged there was a high volume of music that was improperly downloaded, or pirated, through Cox Communication’s Internet service, and that when given notice of said infringements, Cox did not properly respond.
While a jury found Cox guilty of both direct and contributory copyright infringement, the real crux of the case was the ruling made in a motion for summary judgment, which made the above jury findings possible.
Media pundits have gotten the details of this case wrong. We unpack this holding, detail the consequences had the ruling gone the other way, and outline its impacts in the future.
We reflect on the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Apple on September 17, 2015, regarding a permanent injunction that would bar Samsung from making, using, selling, developing, advertising, or importing into the United States any software or code capable of implementing features in Samsung’s products which infringe Apple’s patents.
We discuss the role of “fair use” considerations in infringement proceedings. Specifically, the aptly coined “Dancing Baby case” involving Prince’s song “Lets Go Crazy”, a YouTube video, and a dancing baby. This case brings up important procedural considerations for claimants when considering an infringement suit.
“Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Enforce It”: New case law on IP assignment contracts obligates employers to diligently protect their legal rights
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which hears all appeals involving patent law complaints, recently decided Personalized User Model, LLP, and Konig v. Google, Inc., case 14-1841/15-1022 (Fed. Cir., Aug. 18, 2015), which focused on an employment agreement for the assignment of intellectual property rights. This decision handed down important new guidelines for employers to take when dealing with enforcing assignments of employee’s IP
In this newsletter we discuss the demise of the music sharing service “Grooveshark” and the nuances of DMCA “Safe Harbor” laws for online content service-providers
In Ericsson, Inc., et al v. D-Link Systems Inc., et al, No. 2013-1625, -1631, -1632, 1633, a case relating to Wi-fi technology, the Texas federal judge upheld a 2013 jury verdict that found that D-Link Systems, Netgear Inc., and five other companies infringed three...
Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies, Corp. (SpaceX) is challenging a patent on which Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, is a named inventor. SpaceX has initiated an inter partes review stating that the patent belonging to Blue Origins is invalid for obviousness....
In Limelight v. Akamai, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the Federal Circuit's rule on induced patent infringement. The Court reaffirmed the requirement that induced infringement cannot occur without direct infringement. In the case of method patents, there is...
In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank the Supreme Court addressed the patent eligibility of computer-related patents under 35 U.S.C. Â§ 101. The Court adopted a two-part test from Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories to determine whether patent claims fall...
In Lexmark v. Static Control, the Supreme Court resolved a three-way split in the Federal Circuit courts regarding the standing requirements to bring a suit for false advertising under the Lanham Act. After considering the three tests used in the Federal Circuit...
Last week a new coffee shop opened up to Los Angeles, intriguing and baffling residents. It was called "Dumb Starbucks Coffee," and was almost indistinguishable inside and outside from a Starbucks, with the addition of the word dumb. For a few days, the proprietors...