Archives: IP Litigation

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Illinois District Court Reaffirms Broader Interpretation Of IPR-Estoppel

As we previously reported (here), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in an August 2017 decision in Oil Dri Corp. v. Nestle Purina Petcare Co., No. 1-15-cv-01067 (N.D. Ill., Aug. 2, 2017) joined the seeming trend of courts interpreting estoppel against patent challengers in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings more broadly … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court To Decide Whether Patent-Holders Can Recover Foreign Lost Profits

On January 12, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011.  The case stems from an opinion of the Federal Circuit in which a divided panel affirmed a jury’s verdict of patent infringement and its damages award of $12.5 million in reasonable royalties but reversed the jury’s additional … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit To Decide Whether A Corporation Can Be Sued For Patent Infringement In Any Federal District In Its State Of Incorporation

The patent venue statute provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides.”  28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (emphasis added).  In TC Heartland, LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands, LLC, 137 S.Ct. 1517 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a corporate defendant resides in the state … Continue Reading

The Pendulum Continues To Swing On The Scope Of IPR Estoppel

The America Invents Act of 2011, which ushered in a new regime for post-grant patent challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), provides that any patent challenger initiating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the PTO “may not assert” an invalidity ground in a patent case in U.S. district court or in the U.S. … Continue Reading

The $93.4 Million Question: Can Patent-Holders Recover Profits Lost On Contracts To Be Performed Outside The U.S.?

Is a patent-holder precluded from recovering lost-profits damages for patent infringement if those profits would have been earned on contracts for services to be performed outside of U.S. territory?  That is the $93.4 million question presented by the cert petition in WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011 and that the Supreme Court is … Continue Reading

USITC Denies Early Disposition Pilot Program Status In Three More Section 337 Investigations

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has denied respondents’ requests for entry into the ITC’s pilot program for early case disposition in a trio of recent orders: in Certain Insulated Beverage Containers, Components, Labels, and Packaging Materials Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-1084 (Nov. 17, 2017); and in the companion cases of Certain Color Intraoral Scanners and Related Hardware … Continue Reading

Key Intellectual Property Enforcement Mechanism or Toothless Tiger? – The US Department of Justice and Department of State Launch Intellectual Property (IP) Law Enforcement Coordinator Network

On Friday, December 15, 2017, the US Department of Justice and Department of State announced the launch of an IP Law Enforcement Coordinator Network.  The Network focuses on international trademark counterfeiting, copyright piracy and other forms of intellectual property rights infringement across the world, spanning all industry sectors.  Though the components of the Network are … Continue Reading

Giving Defendants a Second Chance: Failure to Assert Improper Venue Prior to TC Heartland is Not a Waiver Under the Federal Rules

In its May 2017 decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC, 137 S.Ct. 1514 (2017), the Supreme Court shocked the patent world by restricting the range of permissible venues in patent infringement cases for  domestic corporations.  (See our prior posts, here and here).  The Federal Circuit has now found – in … Continue Reading

USITC Denies Request For Entry Into Early Disposition Pilot Program

Under a pilot program initiated in 2013, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) may designate an investigation for early disposition if the ITC believes that there is a potentially case-dispositive issue warranting the program’s speedy (100-day) treatment.  Since the program’s inception, however, the ITC has designated only a handful of cases for early disposition.  Although … Continue Reading

USITC Maintains General Exclusion Order Against Foam Footwear Despite PTO’s Finding of Unpatentability On Reexamination

For the second time in the past few months, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has decided to maintain an exclusion order despite final unpatentability findings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The investigation is Certain Foam Footwear, Inv. No. 337-TA-567, which resulted in a general exclusion order in July 2011 based on … Continue Reading

An easier route to pan-European relief for online design infringement?

Half of the world’s population is now online. That’s around 4 billion people worldwide with access to the internet.  Little wonder then that intellectual property rights holders are having to take active steps to respond to the infringement challenges that this multi-territorial digital marketplace presents. Occasionally, governments respond directly to curb infringement online. For example, … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Rejects Requirement That Patent Owners Have the Burden to Prove the Patentability of Amended Claims Proffered During Inter Partes Review Proceedings

The Federal Circuit has issued its long-awaited ruling in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, No. 2015-1177, with the majority of the en banc court agreeing that the requirement by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that patent owners have the burden to prove the patentability of amended claims proffered during inter partes review (IPR) … Continue Reading

ITC Refuses To Allow Limited Usage Of Protected Material In European Patent Proceedings; Calls For Granular Examination Of Public Interest Issues

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has decided to review in part an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)’s finding of violation of Section 337 based on patent infringement in Certain Semiconductor Devices, Semiconductor Device Packages, and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1010 (Sept. 29, 2017).  While review of patent issues is not unusual, the Notice of … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit in Visual Memory Struggles with Alice Test (Part Two)

In Part One of this post, I summarized the Federal Circuit’s recent ruling on patent eligibility in Visual Memory LLC v NVIDIA Corp. In this second part I look at Judge Hughes’ dissent and the majority’s response to Hughes. Dissent Judge Hughes believed the claims could not be described at a lower level of abstraction … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit in Visual Memory Struggles with Alice Test (Part One)

In a rare reversal of a district court’s patent-ineligibility holding, the Federal Circuit found the claims at issue in Visual Memory LLC v NVIDIA Corp. patent-eligible under Step 1 of the Supreme Court’s two-part eligibility test in Alice v. CLS Bank.  The Federal Circuit found that the claims (directed to computer memory) were, for purposes … Continue Reading

District Court Non-Infringement Ruling Does Not Warrant Rescinding USITC Exclusion Order

In yet another decision concerning how rulings in parallel, patent challenge proceedings impact Section 337 investigations, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has refused to rescind an exclusion order issued against a defaulted party despite a district court’s summary judgment ruling that it did not infringe the patent. The investigation is Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, … Continue Reading

USPTO Continues Outreach on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility with Recap of Roundtable Discussions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently released a Report summarizing the comments received during two roundtable discussions that the USPTO hosted in 2016 on patent subject matter eligibility. Since 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued four major decisions that have transformed subject matter eligibility law, and the USPTO has responded with … Continue Reading

USITC Remands ALJ’s Enforcement Decision to Address Infringement Issues

In an August 4, 2017 Notice, the US International Trade Commission announced that it has determined to review an administrative law judge (ALJ)’s initial determination in the enforcement proceeding in Certain Network Devices, Related Software, and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-944 (Enforcement Proceeding).  The Commission’s notice could lead to additional rulings by the presiding ALJ (Shaw) … Continue Reading

Illinois District Court Continues Trend Toward Broader Interpretation of IPR-Estoppel

The America Invents Act of 2011, which ushered in a new regime for post-grant patent challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), provides that any patent challenger initiating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the PTO “may not assert” an invalidity ground in a patent case in U.S. district court or in … Continue Reading

USITC Will Not Bar Hoverboards

In a much-anticipated ruling, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has declined to issue an exclusion order barring hoverboards from the U.S. market, finding that the popular consumer items did not infringe the claims of the patent asserted against them. The investigation, captioned Certain Motorized Self-Balancing Vehicles, Inv. No. 337-TA-1000, was instituted in May 2016 … Continue Reading

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
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