IP Litigation

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District Court Gatekeeping Responsibility for Expert Witness Testimony to Increase Under Proposed Changes to Federal Rule of Evidence 702

Sister blog Global Investigations and Compliance Review posted a very read-worthy recent blog authored by our colleagues Marisa Darden, Ayako Russell and Jay Thomas. Addressing proposed changes to the Federal Rule of Evidence 702 standards regarding the admissibility of expert witness opinions, the post is a must read for anyone involved in or concerned with … Continue Reading

China: The New Draft Trademark Law Increases Requirements for Recognition of Well-Known Status

The recently published Draft Amendment to the Chinese Trademark Law is proposing the introduction of important changes to the current trademark system in China. In addition to introducing tighter filing requirements and proof of use to combat trademark theft (see my prior blog), it is proposing amendments to the process for determination of a trademark’s … Continue Reading

Rulemaking at the US Patent Office: Does Director Guidance On Discretionary Denials of Review Require Opportunity for Public Comment?

The Federal Circuit has refused to uphold the dismissal of a complaint alleging that the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) improperly issued instructions to PTAB judges regarding whether to institute requested patent review proceedings. The complaint alleges that the so-called Fintiv factors – initially set forth in two opinions designated by the … Continue Reading

District Court Rules Internet Archive’s Open Library Project is Not Fair Use

A federal district court in New York held that the Internet Archive’s Open Library project was engaging in copyright infringement by publishing digital copies of millions of books online. Even though the Internet Archive and participating libraries purchased print copies of the books and, for the most part, made them available to borrowers on a … Continue Reading

Reining in The Western District of Texas? Recent Developments Affecting That Court’s Status As A Patent Infringement Filing Hotbed

In a unanimous February 1, 2023 Order, a Federal Circuit panel granted Google LLC’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to vacate its order denying transfer of patent infringement claims to the Northern District of California. As discussed here, this precedential decision signals the … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Commercial Brand Names Can Be Expressive Speech

In Punchbowl, Inc. v. AJ Press, LLC, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a trademark win for upstart news outfit Punchbowl News. In doing so, the court held that First Amendment protection extends to the names of commercial enterprises. This ground-breaking decision heralds the expansion of traditional fair use defenses to any trademark infringement claims where a … Continue Reading

ITC Denies Competing Motions for Sanctions For Failure to Comply with the Rules

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) continues to be a popular venue for patent litigation under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The speed at which Section 337 investigations proceed and the significance of an adverse decision can create circumstances that may lead to allegations of improper conduct. Similar to patent litigation in … Continue Reading

The Alice Test for Patent Ineligibility in Practice, Part Two: The Federal Circuit Affirms a Dismissal

In a recent post, I discussed a September Federal Circuit decision (Cooperative Entertainment v. Kollective Technology) that reversed a lower court dismissal of a patent infringement case on Section 101 eligibility grounds under the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank test. Just weeks after that ruling, the Federal Circuit in IBM v. Zillow … Continue Reading

What Gives You the Right to Be in This IPR? A Question OpenSky Should Have Answered

On October 4, 2022, in a 52-page Director review decision in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding involving recently-formed entity OpenSky Industries LLC, USPTO Director Katherine Vidal sanctioned OpenSky “to the fullest extent of [her] power” because of OpenSky’s abuse of the IPR process, including flaunting of the Director’s discovery orders. The Director applied negative … Continue Reading

The Alice Test for Patent Ineligibility in Practice: The Federal Circuit Reverses District Court’s Dismissal of an Infringement Case

One of the threshold requirements for obtaining a patent under U.S. law is that the invention is a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof…” In other words, the subject matter of the invention must be eligible for patenting. Many courts have used this requirement … Continue Reading

Bombshell Ruling Puts Amendments to Click-Wrap and Terms of Use Agreements in Question

In a potentially industry-changing ruling, Judge Gilliam of the Northern District of California ruled that amendments to click-wrap agreements, like Dropbox’s terms of use, are invalid unless the user had to manifest assent through some act more than continued use of the service: Defendant essentially argues that it contracted for the right to change the … Continue Reading

An International Drama Over the Maradona Heir’s Right to Use Their Dad’s Name

The heirs of Argentinian soccer super star, Diego Maradona, as well as a John Doe identified only by an IP address, have been sued for trademark infringement based on their use of the name “Maradona.” The suit was filed on January 13, 2022, and is just another episode in an ongoing struggle over the rights … Continue Reading

Are All the Terms in Your Standard Terms and Conditions Incorporated?

A recent High Court decision in the case of Blu-Sky Solutions Limited (“Blu-Sky”) v Be Caring Limited (“BCL”) has put terms and conditions into the spotlight. The case has highlighted the importance of making sure that any onerous terms in your standard terms and conditions are clearly brought to the attention of the other party … Continue Reading

Litigators Take Note – Yu v. Apple is Not Just About Subject Matter Eligibility of Patents

Much of the discussion about the Federal Circuit’s precedential opinion in Yu et al. v. Apple, Inc. et al. has focused on the perceived confusion and dysfunction of U.S. patent law that invalidates a claim directed to an “improved digital camera” as a patent-ineligible “abstract idea.” After delving into the underlying record, this author posits … Continue Reading

Evidence Relating to Third Party Chips Better Be Good When It’s TV Time at the Federal Circuit: The admissibility of third-party source code as a business record under FRE 803(6)

In patent infringement cases involving consumer electronics and the like, the accused instrumentality oftentimes includes components the accused infringer obtained from third-party suppliers. To prove infringement, the patent owner may need discovery from the third party, such as source code, and that discovery would in turn be relied upon by the patent owner’s testifying expert. … Continue Reading

Move Over Marshall, There’s a New Sheriff in Town—The Rise of Waco and the Western District of Texas

Since the mid-2000s, mention Marshall, Tyler, Sherman, Beaumont or Texarkana to an experienced patent litigator and you would get knowing nods about this string of small Texas towns, tips on their favorite BBQ or Tex-Mex restaurants, and war stories about the big patent wars fought there. The Eastern District of Texas, along with the District … Continue Reading

Understanding IP in China: The Rules of Evidence

In his continued blog series, Dr. Paolo Beconcini and Elisa Li discuss the principles of evidence pertaining to IP disputes in China, including recent and substantial changes to those rules. In China, evidence must be collected prior to the filing of a case, as there is no discovery. The changes address commonly-occurring issues of authenticity, foreign … Continue Reading

Foreign Defendants, You’ve Got Mail! Substitute Service By Email Increasingly Permitted

Serving foreign corporate defendants with a complaint filed in a U.S. Federal Court has never been an easy task, but the COVID-19 global pandemic and regional shut-down orders have made finding someone to physically serve with process nearly impossible in many locations. Contrary to conventional wisdom, one district court recently made it clear that The … Continue Reading

New ITC 337 Investigation Powered by Battery Design Patents

Monday’s announcement of the institution of a section 337 investigation of Certain Batteries and Products Containing the Same, 337-TA-1244, is notable as the first time in recent memory that a battery company has sued in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) for design patent infringement. Battery patents typically cover new and useful features of a … Continue Reading

What Was Old Is New Again In IP Litigation — Thanks To Suspected Russian State-Sponsored Hack

Top technology trends in the legal profession for 2021 are likely to include artificial intelligence, block chain and cryptocurrencies, autonomous vehicles, digital health, and … court filings on paper. Following a recent widespread cybersecurity breach, the United States federal courts are prohibiting electronic filing of highly confidential documents. Parties must file such documents on paper … Continue Reading

Ferrari Loses Race for 250 GTO Trademark: Risks Arising From Non-Use of Registered Trademarks

Ferrari 250 GTO, often hailed as the most expensive car in the world, was initially introduced by Ferrari in 1962. Only 36 models of 250 GTO were exclusively produced between 1962 and 1964. The fact that each buyer had to be personally approved by Enzo Ferrari only added to the exclusivity of this particular car … Continue Reading

To Embed or Not to Embed?: A New Challenge to Embedding Images From Social Media

Embedding content from a social media site in one’s website initially seemed to be a safe harbor from a copyright infringement claim. In 2007, the Ninth Circuit adopted the so-called “server test,” ruling that in-line linking of images – now more commonly referred to as embedding – did not violate the exclusive display, copying or … Continue Reading

Interesting Changes to the Federal Circuit’s Rules of Practice

On July 1, 2020, the Federal Circuit’s Amendments to its Rules of Practice took effect. These Amendments were adopted to clarify and streamline the Court’s current practices, especially in view of the 2019 amendments to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. To assist practitioners, the Federal Circuit released a summary of its Adopted Rule Amendments. … Continue Reading
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