Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is a catch phrase well known and of ancient origin. Benjamin Franklin even had a wry turn at it in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1741: “Beauty, like supreme dominion is but supported by opinion.” As it turns out, however, in the opinion of the District Court of Delaware, “beauty,” or in this case, enhancement of the skin is not a term one ought to have in their patent claims, because that which relies on opinion is indefinite in the eyes of the court. Univ. of Mass. and Carmel Labs., LLC v. L’Oréal Inc., D.Del. (April 21, 2021).
University of ... Read More ›
A recent opinion issued by a federal court in the District of New Jersey provides a cautionary tale regarding patent infringement cases. In EagleView Techs., Inc. v. Xactware Solutions, Inc., plaintiff, EagleView filed a motion for enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees. The Court granted enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees, excluding those associated with the pretrial phase. The basis for this judgement follows.
Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284, the court may increase damages up to three times the amount found. Enhanced damages serve as a punitive sanction for ... Read More ›
The requirements for ownership of a patent and the right to bring suit for the enforcement of the patent would seem to be well settled in patent law. As demonstrated in the recently decided Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (Case 2019-2244), AntennaSys, Inc. v. AQYR Technologies, Inc., et al., overlooking the ownership or enforcement requirement can result in wasted time and cost for the litigants and frustration for the courts. This article raises awareness of the nuances of ownership and enforcement rights in the hope of avoiding the cost and frustrations for all involved.
The ... Read More ›
On Thursday, April 23, 2020, in the case Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., the Supreme Court held that the statutory provision governing remedies for violations in the Trademark Act, §1117(a), does not require a showing of willfulness in order for a plaintiff to recover profits in an infringement action arising under Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a). This decision could tip the scales in favor of trademark owners.
The case involved a fastener manufacturer, Romag, that originally contracted with Fossil, to allow Fossil to use Romag’s magnetic snap fasteners for ... Read More ›
For many of us, New Year’s resolutions typically involve various forms of self-improvement, such as dieting or getting to the gym. Just as individuals adopt personal New Year’s resolutions, it is important for companies and business to set goals that improve their competitive fitness in the upcoming year. One way to improve a company’s well-being is to ensure that its intellectual property assets are being protected, maintained, and properly leveraged. Since intellectual property is not tangible, it can be overlooked particularly by companies that focus on physical and ... Read More ›
Does a generic term in one country render trademark protection unavailable in another? Not in the U.S.!
Under U.S. law, generic trademarks are common terms used to refer to products or services. What you’re using right now to read this blog post – a computer, a phone – no one can claim rights to these terms. Generic trademarks are not qualified for protection and cannot be registered. Conversely, even the strongest of trademarks can, over time, become generic and lose their registration. Products like aspirin, linoleum, and yo-yo were once registered as federal trademarks ... Read More ›
The United States Supreme Court today (June 22, 2018) ruled that a plaintiff in a patent case can recover damages for foreign sales, under certain circumstances. The case is WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corporation, 2013-1527, 2014-1121, 2014-1526, 2014-1528.
WesternGeco LLC originally sought to recover damages for patent infringement based on Ion Geophysical Corp.’s sales of product components shipped outside the United States. The plaintiff argued that the Patent Act provided for recovery against patent infringement related to the supply of components of the ... Read More ›
On March 21, 2018, a split Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a verdict confirming copyright infringement in the case of the song “Blurred Lines,” and the decision left many in the music community “all shook up.” The song, recorded in 2012 and released in 2013, hit number one on the Billboard Top 100 songs in 25 countries and became a best-selling single with more than 14.8 million sales. It was also nominated for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards. As the song rapidly climbed the charts, media interest in the song grew due to its ... Read More ›
Divided infringement, or infringement carried out by multiple actors, seemed like an easy escape from accusations of direct infringement for entities teaming up to perform different steps of a patented method. That is until the Federal Circuit ultimately expanded the scope of direct infringement in the recent Travel Sentry, Inc. v. Tropp1 case. The Federal Circuit’s decision expanded the scope of direct infringement by loosening the standard used to determine whether all steps of a claimed method are attributable to a single entity.
In the midst of evolving case ... Read More ›
The identification of the proper venue for commencing a patent infringement or declaratory judgement action was rather straight forward for a number of years. However, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive appellate jurisdiction in patent matters, addressed the venue issue in VE Holding v. Johnson Gas Appliance, 917 F.2d 1574 (Fed. Cir. 1990), it liberalized the venue requirement to where the defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction. This decision lead to lower courts applying a liberal view of personal jurisdiction when ... Read More ›
The holiday industry in the United States is a multi-billion dollar business. In 2016, U.S. consumers spent $655.8 billion dollars between Black Friday and Christmas Eve and the average household budget for holiday gifts came in at approximately $588.90.1 Given the volume of consumer spending devoted to holiday cheer, most companies aim to capture a slice of the proverbial fruitcake. Occasionally, this battle for profit can pit companies against one another, leading to less-than-cheerful legal showdowns. One case in particular comes down to a battle over a quintessential ... Read More ›
Designers of haute couture fashion have long been troubled by the inability to protect their designs, and the speeds at which designs can be copied now have added to their frustrations. The root of the problem for many years was the U.S. copyright law, which was considered to prohibit enforcement of a copyright in wearable fashions. The Copyright Act, 17 U.S. C. Section 101 et seq., limited copyright protection for “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features” of “a useful article” to features that “can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing ... Read More ›
The Supreme Court issued a decision today removing the laches as a defense to patent infringement. The case is reported at SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag et al. v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, et al., Slip. Op. No. 15–927 (March 21, 2017).
Historically, laches is an equitable defense to patent infringement, based upon an unreasonable and prejudicial passage of time in bringing a lawsuit. Thus, if a patent owner knew of an alleged infringer for a long period of time, an accused infringer could argue that the patent owner waited too long to sue for patent infringement and that the ... Read More ›
- Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 Provides New Tools for Removing Deadwood Trademark Registrations from the Trademark Register
- Advice from Ben Franklin on Choosing Patent Terms
- EagleView Techs., Inc. v. Xactware Solutions: A Cautionary Tale
- Using Opinions of Counsel as a Budgeting Tool
- In Celebration of Earth Day: How Trademark Law Helps The Environment
- Uniswap v3 Employs a ‘New’ License Agreement to Stake Copycat Vampire Attacks
- Are You Maintaining Privilege When Using Zoom?
- Supreme Court Google-Oracle Ruling: The Highlights
- Federal Circuit Invalidates Means-Plus-Function Claims for Computer-Implemented Inventions
- Protection By Design: An Often Under-Utilized Tool
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