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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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