Category Archive for "Patterson Thuente News"

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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
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Actual consumer confusion irrelevant in trademark profits determination

It’s easy to understand why willful infringement deserves a harsher punishment than nonwillful infringement. But it’s not always so easy to understand the type of conduct that gives rise to the level of “willful.” The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has provided some helpful guidance on this issue, as well as the evidence required to justify an award of the infringer’s profits.

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COVID-19 Patent Office Status and Updates

Patterson Thuente is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. The health and safety of our community are our top priority. The Patterson Thuente team has policies and systems in place that will enable us to continue to serve our clients. We are updating this page regularly to keep you informed with respect to ways in which patent offices around the world are responding to the situation and any assistance they are offering to their customers.

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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
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COVID-19 – Precautionary Plan

As the situation in the US and across the world is changing rapidly, Patterson Thuente IP is taking precautionary steps to ensure the health and safety of our employees by allowing all attorneys and staff to work from home effective Monday, March 16. We have put measures into place to ensure that we are able to deliver uninterrupted, high-quality service to our clients. You will still be able to contact our attorneys and staff as usual and our main office phone line will be monitored regularly. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on our staffing as needed. We send our best to everyone who is currently impacted by COVID-19.
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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.

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IP due diligence in corporate transactions

The strength of a company’s intellectual property portfolio often drives the value of corporate transactions. Regardless of whether you are the acquisition target or the buyer in a transaction involving IP, the due diligence process should be designed to reveal the value of the intangible assets—patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. IP due diligence should ideally be conducted at the onset of negotiations. This not only allows a more reasoned value of the IP to be determined, but also enables proactive corrective action if any legal concerns are identified that may otherwise affect its valuation.

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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.

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Limited protection: Inaccurate statement forfeits copyright infringement claim

Creative works are generally subject to copyright protection even without registration with the U.S. Copyright Office. But there are a number of important advantages to securing Copyright Registration — including the ability to file suit for copyright infringement. Normally, a registration certificate provides sufficient evidence of a valid registered copyright. However, inaccurate information in the certificate can invalidate the registration. In a recent case, the holder of one such certificate not only lost out on its ability to pursue an infringement claim, but also ended up on the hook for the would-be defendants’ attorneys’ fees and costs. The fact pattern Gold Value (doing business as Fiesta Fabric) creates textile designs and sells fabric to customers that use it to make clothing. Sanctuary Clothing, LLC, is a clothing manufacturer. Fiesta sued Sanctuary and several retailers, alleging they’d infringed a copyright it held for one textile design. Fiesta had registered the design as part of its Spring/Summer
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It’s official: Supreme Court says government isn’t a person – for patent purposes

Patentees welcomed a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that significantly reduces the pool of potential challengers to the validity of existing patents. Thanks to the ruling, federal government agencies can’t take advantage of three patent review processes created less than a decade ago — because the federal government isn’t a “person” under patent law. Post office delivers a blow Return Mail, Inc., owns a patent for a method of processing undeliverable mail. After the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) introduced an enhanced address-change service to process undeliverable mail, Return Mail claimed the service infringed the patent and offered to license its invention to the USPS. In response, and prior to the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), the USPS sought a re-examination of the patent, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirmed the patent’s validity. Return Mail then sued the USPS, seeking compensation for the unauthorized use of its invention. While that lawsuit was
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