Category Archive for "Litigation"

3D image of black book

Third Circuit rejects copyright presumption in favor of permanent injunctions

After securing a copyright infringement verdict, it should be easier to obtain a permanent injunction against the infringing party, right? Not so in several jurisdictions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has now made it harder for copyright holders to get injunctive relief, even after prevailing in court. The plot thickens Vernon Hill, the longtime CEO of Commerce Bank, co-authored a manuscript in 2007, while still a bank employee. He left Commerce a few months before TD Bank purchased it. After Hill published a book in 2012, TD Bank sued him, alleging that he had infringed the never-published manuscript he’d co-authored while still at Commerce. The trial court found that the bank owned the copyright under a letter of agreement and that Hill’s book irreparably violated the bank’s “right to not use the copyright.” A year later, based on evidence that Hill continued to promote his book, the court issued a permanent
Read More
3D gavel image

Beyond words: Federal Circuit faults PTAB’s written description analysis

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) doesn’t always get it right. This was demonstrated once again in a case where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the board had improperly failed to consider some vital factors when evaluating whether a patent application contained the requisite written description of the invention. A question of plasticity Global IP Holdings LLC owns a patent on carpeted automotive vehicle load floors that have sandwich-type composite panels with cellular cores. The patent describes the load floors as including thermoplastic materials. Global filed a reissue application seeking to broaden the patent’s coverage. In particular, it replaced the term “thermoplastic” with “plastic.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s rules for reissue applications require an inventor to provide an oath or declaration specifically identifying the error relied on as the basis for reissue. The load floor’s inventor filed a declaration explaining that, at the time of the
Read More
3 car tire with rim

Auto parts’ aesthetic appeal doesn’t invalidate design patents

Holders of design patents received some welcome news recently from a case in which some auto parts distributors sought declaratory judgment for invalidity of design patents to sell parts that were covered by a major vehicle manufacturer’s designs. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision sheds some valuable light on the type of functionality that can render a design patent invalid — and the type that won’t — as well as the importance of design patents.

Read More
cover image for Feb March 2020 issue of IP law newsletter

Ideas on Intellectual Property Law – March 2020

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

Read More
3D fishing boat

Sink or swim: Precise patent language scuttles infringement lawsuit

Generally, using precise and careful language in a patent application is wise. But providing a precise numerical value can work against a patentee when it comes time to bring an infringement claim. A boat manufacturer learned this lesson the hard way when it sued a rival for infringement. Boat maker makes waves Cobalt Boats, LLC, owns a patent on a swim step — a small platform attached to the stern of a boat, with a retractable step that makes it easier to get in and out of the water. Brunswick Corporation sells boats with an optional swim step. Cobalt sued Brunswick, alleging patent infringement. A jury found that Brunswick had indeed infringed the patent and awarded a per-unit royalty of $2,500, equaling $2.69 million. The district court enhanced the jury’s award and awarded damages for postverdict sales, resulting in total damages of almost $5.4 million. It also granted a permanent injunction against Brunswick. Not surprisingly, Brunswick appealed
Read More
3D red apple

PTAB rejects inherently obvious finding

What’s obvious to one person isn’t always obvious to another, and the same is true when it comes to patents. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit demonstrated this principle in rejecting the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) determination that a patent was inherently obvious. In doing so, it shed light on what factors establish when a claimed feature of a patented invention was “inherent” in an earlier invention.

Read More
3D white pen

Supreme Court ruling leaves a mark

Trademark right survives licensor’s bankruptcy It’s never good news for a business when a company that the business has contracted with files for bankruptcy. But, according to a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling, there’s some good news for trademark licensees. In an 8-1 decision that resolves a split among federal courts of appeal, the Court held that in some circumstances a licensee can continue to use the licensed marks despite the licensor’s rejection of their agreement during the bankruptcy process.

Read More
Illustration of white car on while

Vehicle charging station patents short-circuit under Alice analysis

The U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that hears all patent-related appeals, continues to wield the so-called Alice test to knock down patents for abstract ideas. As part of one such decision, the court explained that abstract ideas aren’t patent-eligible in the absence of an inventive concept that makes a claim “significantly more” than just the abstract idea — and the underlying abstract idea can’t provide that inventive concept.

Read More
3D copyright symbol

Active or Passive?

What makes website operators directly liable for copyright infringement? As many copyright holders have learned the hard way, the Internet opened a whole new frontier in the world of infringement, particularly when it comes to pinning liability on the appropriate parties. In a recent case involving the unauthorized use of thousands of copyrighted photographs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit laid out the types of behaviors that will — and won’t — make a website operator directly liable for copyright infringement on their sites.

Read More

Ideas on Intellectual Property Law – Oct/Nov 2019

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

Read More

Want to know the secrets to creating and protecting unforgettable brand names?

Choosing the wrong name can be expensive. Gain essential knowledge on trademarks and the naming process. Introducing The Guide for Pursuing Legally Defensible & High-Value Trademarks – a collaborate effort with the branding experts Olive & Company. 

GET YOUR GUIDE TODAY