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When priority not decided at PTO patentee bears burden of showing entitlement to earlier application

In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of invalidity with respect to all asserted claims of two patents. More particularly, the court held that the claims of the patents were not entitled to the priority date of an earlier-filed application, and were therefore anticipated by intervening prior […]

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Patent Reform once again dead in the water?

Negotiations on a compromise version of the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (S.1145) broke down late last week, and now it appears that the bill may not be considered before the full Senate before its next recess in May, if at all. The breakdown occurred over the controversial damages apportionment provision in the bill. One […]

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Eleventh Circuit: eBay may eliminate presumption of irreparable harm in trademark cases

In a recent decision, the Eleventh Circuit vacated a district court's injunction against the use of a competitor's trademarks in the meta tags of a defendant's website. The court held that while the plaintiffs had shown likelihood of success on both their trademark infringement and false advertising claims, because the district court relied on a […]

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If ordinary meaning of claim term does not resolve disputed construction, court must construe term

In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a jury's finding of willful infringement case back to a district court, based on errors in claim construction and application of the doctrine of equivalents. The district court's original Markman hearing determined that no construction was necessary for a particular claim term, "only if," […]

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Wal-Mart learns a lesson in copyright licensing the hard way

A story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (via Bill Patry) illustrates how important it is for parties to a transaction to know what they're getting up-front. Starting way back in the 1970s, Wal-Mart hired an outside company, Flagler Productions, to document various aspects of Wal-Mart's operations. Flagler produced videos of Wal-Mart corporate officers and directors, […]

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Denial of injunction against sending letters asserting infringement affirmed

In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent a patentee from representing to the defendant's customers that the defendant's product potentially infringed the plaintiff's patent. The patent at issue had a lengthy and complicated prosecution history that included an interference proceeding. In that proceeding, the BPAI […]

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Same claim term can be interpreted differently in the same claim if specification warrants

In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit decided a case addressing the limitations of what constitutes "insolubly ambiguous" claim terms in order to amount to indefiniteness. The district court held the asserted claims invalid because they impermissibly mixed two statutory classes of subject matter, as well as because they required construing the same term […]

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Federal Circuit: And can mean or, if it makes the claim make sense

In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's permanent injunction against a defendant to prevent infringement of a patent. The district court held the patent not invalid and infringed, based in part on a claim construction that construed the word "and" to mean "or." Specifically, based on the specification and other […]

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No April Fools joke: Continuation and claim limit rules held invalid; permanently enjoined

In a ruling today regarding the parties' motions for summary judgment in the consolidated cases challenging the USPTO's new claim and continutation rules, Judge Cacheris ruled the rules were invalid, and permanently enjoined their enforcement. We'll have more once we've had a chance to review the opinion. Click below for the relevant documents. Order granting […]

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Sixth Circuit: Partial fees to copyright defendant affirmed given plaintiff’s litigation tactics

In a decision last week, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an award of partial attorney fees to a defendant in a copyright case. The plaintiff sued multiple defendants, alleging copyright infringement under numerous theories. One such theory was that receipt of royalties from the sale of infringing music rendered a party liable for the underlying infringement. […]

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