Archives: IP Litigation

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Christian Louboutin’s Red Sole – Is it Solely a Shape Mark?

On June 22, an advocate general at the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) issued an opinion indicating that Christian Louboutin S.A.’s signature red sole might be a protectable trademark — or it might not be — depending on whether the protection of the shape in combination with color would afford the mark … Continue Reading

One Win, One Loss for the ITC on Invalidity Holdings at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit has recently ruled on two appeals of Section 337 investigations involving findings of patent invalidity. As we reported in a prior blog, in Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-929, the products under investigation were reusable beverage brewing capsules designed to replace the prior art cup-shaped … Continue Reading

A New Slant: Supreme Court Invalidates Bar to Registering “Disparaging” Trademarks

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Matal v. Tam, 15-1293 (June 19, 2017), that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) from declining to register trademarks deemed offensive or disparaging.  While the decision concerned the PTO’s rejection of an application to register the name of the … Continue Reading

Are Inter Partes Reviews “Quintessential” Agency Adjudications?

A superlative or excessive statement is often a dead give-away that the statement may not be true.  In deciding whether the America Invents Act’s inter partes review provisions violate Article III of the Constitution of the United States, the Federal Circuit in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Company, 815 F.3d 1284, 1291 (Fed. Cir. 2015) … Continue Reading

Uncharted Waters: ITC Administrative Law Judge Recommends $37 Million Penalty For Prohibited Fish-Finder Sales

In an enforcement proceeding stemming from the ITC’s December 2015 decision in Certain Marine Sonar Imaging Devices, Inv. No. 337-TA-921, ALJ David Shaw has found that the ITC’s cease and desist order was violated by continued infringing sales of imported products and has recommended that respondent Garmin be assessed a civil penalty of $37 million. … Continue Reading

Exhausted: The Supreme Court Takes The Federal Circuit To Task (Again)

On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court continued its recent string of decisions reversing Federal Circuit holdings on fundamental issues of patent law.  Taking on patent exhaustion in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., No. 15-1189, the Court unanimously held that that “a patentee’s decision to sell a product exhausts all of its … Continue Reading

Change of Scenery: TC Heartland Reshapes the Patent Litigation Landscape

Earlier today (May 22, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that venue for patent infringement suits against U.S. companies is limited to the company’s state of incorporation or where the company has a “regular and established place of business.”  The Supreme Court’s decision—TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, Case No. 16-341—dramatically … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Holds The GOOGLE Trademark Is Not The Victim Of “Genericide”

Ninth Circuit Holds The GOOGLE Trademark Is Not The Victim Of “Genericide” On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit issued its decision in Elliott v. Google, Inc., No. 15-15809 (9th Cir. May 16, 2017), affirming the District of Arizona’s ruling granting Google’s motion for summary judgment that its GOOGLE trademark is not subject to cancellation as generic. … Continue Reading

ALJ Finds No Violation In Beverage Capsules Enforcement Proceeding And Recommends Temporary Rescission of Remedial Orders Based On U.S. District Court Judgment of Non-Infringement

On June 1, 2016, the complainant in Certain Beverage Capsules (Inv. 337-TA-929) filed a complaint with the ITC seeking enforcement of ITC remedial orders issued against a respondent (Eko Brands) that had been defaulted for failing to participate in the original investigation. The presiding administrative law judge (ALJ) has now issued his ruling finding no … Continue Reading

U.S. International Trade Commission Simultaneously Announces Reversal of ALJ’s Dismissal of False Designation of Origin Claims and Schedules Oral Argument On Dismissal of Antitrust-Based Claims In Carbon And Alloy Steel Products

The USITC’s investigation in Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products, Inv. No. 337-TA-1002 was instituted to investigate alleged violations of Section 337 by the Chinese steel industry based on claims of trade secret misappropriation, false designation of origin, and antitrust violations.  In November of last year, the presiding administrative law judge (as we previously reported) … Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolution: Make Sure Privacy Policies are Followed and Opt-Out Procedures Work

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement is a reminder that companies should make sure that they live up to their privacy policies and that their opt-out procedures work as promised.  If not, the FTC is likely to claim that the company violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive … Continue Reading

U.S. International Trade Commission To Review ALJ’s Dismissal Of Antitrust-Based Claims In Carbon And Alloy Steel Products

The USITC’s investigation in Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Products, Inv. No. 337-TA-1002 was instituted to investigate alleged violations of Section 337 by the Chinese steel industry based on claims of trade secret misappropriation, false designation of origin, and (atypically for a 337 proceeding) antitrust violations.  While the first two claims are proceeding to trial, the … Continue Reading
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