Courts in infringement cases construe terms in patent claims by their plain and ordinary meaning — usually. As the patentee in Poly-America, L.P. v. API Industries, Inc., learned the hard way, the Federal Circuit doesn’t take that approach when the disavowal of claim scope applies.
Two firearms manufacturers came out shooting when a dispute arose over which one had the right to use the mark “SCAR” for guns and related items. The case, FN Herstal SA v. Clyde Armory Inc., raised the common trademark issue of priority of use, as well as the less-common unlawful use doctrine.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — or so the saying goes. However, when it comes to copyrighted material, imitation can also be unlawful infringement if use of the work isn’t deemed a “fair use.” What constitutes fair use was central to a recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals case involving the incorporation of an iconic comedy routine into a Broadway play.
Cases regarding the patent eligibility of abstract ideas continue to pile up at the Federal Circuit, which hears all patent-related appeals. In its recent ruling in Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC, v. DIRECTV LLC, the court found that two patented inventions failed both parts of the patent eligibility test.
The opportunity to label social media posts with hashtags are endless. But there is a tension between brandowners’ desire to get as many people as possible to see their posts and use their hashtag, and the traditional trademark laws. Trademark law surrounding social media is still full of gray areas, but this article can provide brandowners some guidance.
Top 10 Copyright Rulings of 2016 Every year, Law 360 publishes their Top 10 copyright cases from the past year. Music, film, art and entertainment are often involved in copyright cases, which is why they can gain media attention both locally and nationally.
Trademark rulings often miss the front headlines of the news outlets every year, but little do people know, these decisions often affect their everyday lives more than some of the cases that receive national attention.
When a trademark or potential trademark is challenged, courts and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) generally turn to the so-called DuPont factors to determine whether a likelihood of confusion exists between two marks. Courts don’t necessarily consider all 13 factors and, in fact, a single factor can settle the matter. This was the case in Oakville Hills Cellar, Inc. v. Georgallis Holdings, decided by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.