What’s a copyright holder to do when counterfeit products show up on the massive online marketplace Amazon.com? Well, one thing it will have trouble doing is successfully suing Amazon for infringement, as seen in Milo & Gabby LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc.
China and India recently revised their patent office guidelines for the examination of software-related inventions. In both cases the guidelines broaden the scope of patent eligible subject matter and generally create a positive climate for patenting software-related inventions.
It probably comes as no surprise that inventions that are obvious aren’t eligible for patents. Yet arguments over obviousness land in the court all the time. A recent ruling by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears all patent-related appeals) in Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. illustrates several arguments that can arise when the obviousness of an invention — and therefore the validity of its patent — is at issue.
Exhausted yet? Anyone who has ever tried to avoid the high prices of toner cartridges by purchasing refills from so-called remanufacturers will be interested in a recent ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court — and many patentees should be interested, too. In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., the Court provided some important clarifications to the patent exhaustion doctrine that limits a patentee’s rights.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.