Category Archive for "Litigation"

Supreme Court disparages ban on offensive trademarks

What’s offensive is often in the eye of the beholder. Where federal trademark registration is sought, this has long meant that registration could be denied if the mark was considered disparaging. Now, in a landmark 8-0 decision in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the so-called “disparagement clause” in federal trademark law, opening the door to the registration of marks that may have been rejected as offensive in the past.

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Ideas on Intellectual Property Law – Year End 2017

Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the Year End 2017 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.

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Coding error: Court rejects software patent

Oops — they did it again. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected yet another software patent. The court, which hears all appeals involving patents, found that the patent was for a patent-ineligible invention.

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SCOTUS limits venue for patent lawsuits

In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has dramatically tightened the restrictions on where patent owners can file infringement lawsuits. The court’s unanimous ruling is expected to rein in the “forum shopping” that so often occurs in patent infringement cases, where patentees try to file in judicial districts considered to be more plaintiff-friendly, such as the defendant-dreaded Eastern District of Texas.

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A uniform standard for copyright industrial designs

Fashion and apparel have long existed in a cloud of copyright confusion. Clothing often incorporates design elements, which may be protectable, and functional elements, which aren’t. The U.S. Supreme Court has now established a two-part test intended to resolve “widespread disagreement” regarding copyright protection for such “industrial designs.”

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Manufacturer vs. distributor: Who owns that unregistered trademark?

Manufacturers that let their distributors use their unregistered trademarks may later find themselves in a fight over the marks’ ownership. This article highlights how one federal court of appeals recently addressed such ownership disputes and adopted a different test for determining ownership of common law trademarks where there is no agreement addressing the issue.

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TC Heartland and improper venue waiver in patent infringement lawsuits

The dust has settled on the Supreme Court’s May 2017 TC Heartland decision that a domestic corporation “resides” only in the state of incorporation under the patent venue statute—28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Yet despite this clarity, a new issue has emerged: If a defendant failed to raise the defense of improper venue in district court because it was not available before TC Heartland, did they inadvertently waive it?

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Ideas on Intellectual Property Law October/November 2017

Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the October/November 2017 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.

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Business method patent surprisingly survives judicial scrutiny

Business method patents on software have had a tough time in the courts in recent years. But a recent ruling may now provide some hope for patent holders. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Trading Technologies Int’l, Inc. v. CQG, Inc. marks a rare example of the court finding software to be patent-eligible. The ruling provides valuable guidance on just what it takes for these patents to withstand judicial scrutiny.

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Why novelty doesn’t make abstract ideas any less abstract

When the inventors of a new design process admitted that they had mentally performed the patented steps themselves, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals took them at their word. The patent holders in Synopsys, Inc. v. Mentor Graphics Corp. ultimately failed the two-step abstract ideas test.

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