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Man upset over patent, kills three at Chicago law firm

On Friday, a gunman forced his way into the Chicago offices of intellectual property law firm Wood, Phillips, Katz, Clark & Mortimer. The gunman, Joe Jackson, killed three employees of the firm before being fatally wounded by Chicago police. Among those killed were two patent attorneys, Michael McKenna and Allen Hoover, and a mail clerk, […]

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Prepaid cellular phone seller sues over DMCA exception

TracFone Wireless, the largest seller of prepaid cellular phone service in the United States, has sued the Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights, alleging that one of the DMCA exemptions granted last month is unlawful. Specifically, TracFone is upset about the exemption permitting cellular phone users to "unlock" their phones in order to use […]

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The problem of marketing an idea: how much do you tell a prospective licensee?

Forbes has an interesting piece regarding marketing ideas, specifically way to protect an idea when pitching it to companies or ways to avoid “giving something away” in the process. It’s written to be easily understood by non-lawyers, and has some good general suggestions. Notably absent from the list: using the line “I’d tell you, but […]

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Roundup of media coverage of “KSR v. Teleflex”

After last week’s arguments before the Supreme Court in KSR v. Teleflex, the media has begun to offer its perspective on the case. Below is a sampling of the media coverage, which generally appears to think that the teaching-suggestion-motivation (TSM) test will either be scrapped entirely, or at least allow other ways to prove an […]

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Buffett settles with alleged trademark infringer

Jimmy Buffett reached a settlement with a man he accused of selling merchandise that infringed his trademarks. The alleged infringer, Robert Akard, was selling Buffett-themed merchandise via his website. The judge in the case ordered Mr. Akard’s website shut down until the conclusion of the case and to disclose how much money he had made […]

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Supreme Court questions Federal Circuit’s obviousness test: is it “gobbledygook”?

In oral argument before the Supreme Court in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc., several Justices appeared uncomfortable with the Federal Circuit's "teaching-suggestion-motivation" (TSM) test for obviousness. Justice Scalia, in his typical direct style, characterized the TSM test at various times as "gobbledygook," "irrational," and "meaningless." Other Justices, including Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Breyer […]

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Johnson selected for TAI Board of Directors

The Technology Association of Iowa (TAI) today announced the names of eight newly-elected industry leaders to its Board of Directors. The executives share a strong commitment to develop Iowa’s information technology (IT) sector as an engine for broad-based economic prosperity. The newly appointed board members are: John-Paul Besong, Senior Vice President of e-Business and Lean […]

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Supreme Court to hear key obviousness case today

This morning the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc., a potentially landmark case on the issue of obviousness in patent law. The case deals with adjustable automotive pedals in vehicles with electronic throttle controls. Teleflex sued KSR for infringement of patent no. 6,237,565. KSR asserted that the ‘565 […]

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Mattel sues makers of Bratz dolls for trade secret misappropriation

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie dolls, sued a former employee, Carter Bryant, for trade secret misappropriation in 2004. Now, Mattel is attempting to add MGA Entertainment, makers of the relatively new Bratz dolls, to the case. Mattel alleges that Mr. Bryant conceived of the Bratz doll design while working for Mattel, and therefore Mattel owns […]

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US Copyright office issues new exemptions from DMCA

Every three years, the United States Copyright Office seeks proposals for exemptions from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). The DMCA was enacted in 1998. As part of the DMCA, it became unlawful to circumvent access control measures copyright holders used to secure their copyrighted works. For example, it is a violation of the DMCA […]

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