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Design Patents and Damages

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.

Accelerated Examination Possibly Coming to a Halt

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.

Google v. Oracle: The Software Developer’s Roller-coaster Ride With No Clear Winner

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 Long Reach of A Big Hammer: DMCA’s Creep Into Corporate Adjudication of Pre-Crime

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

Are Big Companies Taking Their Trademarks Too Far?

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.

With DMCA Safe Harbor Removed, ISP’s Blown Into Stormy Water: But Don’t Grab the Life Rafts Yet

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.

Apple v. Samsung: Latest Developments in ongoing Litigation

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.

“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

February 2015 News

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...

October 2014 News

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....

August 2014 News

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...

July 2014 News

In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank the Supreme Court addressed the patent eligibility of computer-related patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Court adopted a two-part test from Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories to determine whether patent claims fall...

April 2014 news

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...