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Supreme Court Revisits Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees in Copyright Cases

Earlier this week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments addressing the relevant standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in cases involving copyright law. The Court’s ruling, expected later this spring, will likely have a significant impact on copyright litigation cases. Section 505 of the Copyright Act provides that a district court “may”award a reasonable attorney’s fee […]

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Tracking the Mayo Effect: Study Examines Personalized Medicine Patent Applications after SCOTUS Decision

The US Supreme Court decided Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs. in 2012, effectively redefining the scope of patent eligible subject matter, particularly with respect to biotechnology and personalized medicine. Subsequent decisions by the Court in Myriad and Alice have confirmed what many prognosticators had predicted: a wide-spread broadening of the judicially-created exceptions to patent […]

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PTAB’s Interpretation of 35 USC 315(b) Continues to Stand: Dismissal Without Prejudice Effectively Nullifies the One Year Bar to Bring an IPR

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s holding that the voluntary dismissal of a lawsuit, without prejudice, effectively nullifies the service of the complaint for purposes of triggering the one year bar in 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) to petition for the institution of an inter partes review (IPR) stands in Shaw Indus. Grp. v. Automated […]

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Federal Circuit Recognizes Patent “Agent”Privilege

The attorney-client privilege has not previously been extended to cover communications between U.S. patent applicants and non-attorney patent agents. That is about to change. In a recent decision, In re: Queen’s University at Kingston, the Federal Circuit recognized that communications between U.S. patent applicants and non-attorney patent agents should receive some degree of privilege. In […]

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Does Spotify Owe You Money? Streaming Service Sued for $150 Million in Unpaid Royalties

David Lowery, the frontman of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, has recently filed a class action lawsuit seeking at least $150 million dollars in damages against Spotify. Lowry alleges Spotify knowingly, willingly, and unlawfully reproduces and distributes copyrighted compositions without obtaining mechanical licenses. According to the complaint, which was filed December 28th in the Central […]

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Federal Circuit Clarifies Rules for IPR Supplemental Information Submission

The America Invents Act (AIA) created a number of new pseudo-litigation proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the USPTO.  While the proceedings, including inter-partes review (IPR), have been in place since September 16, 2012, the specific rules and procedures, as well as the underlying authority, continue to be resolved.  On December […]

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Federal Circuit Holds that USPTO Can’t Deny Trademarks as Offensive or Disparaging

On Tuesday, December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit  held that a portion of § 2(a) of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional in a 10-2 decision. The decision was made in In re Simon Shiao Tam, an appeal from the Trademark Office. Mr. Tam is a member of an Asian American rock band called THE SLANTS. […]

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Are electronic transmissions “articles”within 19 U.S.C. § 1337?

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is authorized by federal law (39 U.S.C. § 1337) to take action against the “importation … of articles that (i) infringe a valid and enforceable U.S. patent.”USITC investigations represent an alternative to federal court intellectual property litigation, and may be especially useful where the allegedly infringing act involves […]

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Federal Circuit-Statements in Application Properly Used to Enable Prior Art

One of the basic requirements for the grant of a patent by the USPTO is the invention must be shown to be “new.”In practice, this means that the invention must be sufficiently different from the existing prior art, including patents, publications, and existing products. However, in order for a piece of prior art to preclude […]

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Supreme Court to Review Willful Infringement Standard in Light of Octane Fitness

In the 2014 case of Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness, the Supreme Court overruled Federal Circuit jurisprudence and provided a flexible framework for district courts to grant attorney’s fees in “exceptional cases”under 35 U.S.C. § 285. The Court reasoned that requiring a prevailing party to show “material inappropriate conduct”or that a case was […]

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