Intellectual Property

  • February 28, 2020

    Battery Co. Facing Possible Sanctions In $100M IP Fight

    An Illinois federal judge recommended Friday that stored energy solutions company LiiON LLC face sanctions for discovery violations and other missteps in a $100 million trade secrets case against its former business partner Vertiv Group Corp.

  • February 28, 2020

    Energy Trader Awarded $408K In Software Secrets Trial

    A Houston federal jury has awarded $408,000 to energy trader Saracen LLC, finding a former employee broke a confidentiality agreement but rejecting claims he stole trade secrets related to proprietary power grid data analysis software, an attorney confirmed on Friday.

  • February 28, 2020

    DOJ Sides With Tech Licensors In Nokia Price-Fix Suit

    The U.S. Justice Department has jumped into a Texas federal court fight to argue that a car parts maker can't make antitrust claims by accusing Nokia and other tech firms of jacking up the cost of using their mobile technology patents.

  • February 28, 2020

    Musicians Denied Class Cert. In '70s Singer's Royalties Fight

    A California federal judge has denied class certification to potentially thousands of musical artists, rejecting a bid from 1970s soul singer Lenny Williams, who's accusing Warner Music of failing to accurately account for and pay more than $100 million in royalties generated from streaming music.

  • February 28, 2020

    AI Co. Accused Of Inciting Death Threats Against IP Atty

    An attorney involved in a patent lawsuit against AI startup Mycroft AI Inc. says that he has received death threats from anonymous sources after Mycroft's CEO recently published a blog post that the attorney says threatened him with "physical violence and a gruesome death."

  • February 28, 2020

    UK Backs Out Of EU Unified Patent Court System

    The U.K. will not participate in the European Union's Unified Patent Court system, the government confirmed Friday, in an about-face for the country, which previously announced plans to remain part of the system despite leaving the EU.

  • February 28, 2020

    Songwriters Fire Back At Lizzo Over 'Truth Hurts' Copyright

    Three songwriters who say they deserve credit for Lizzo's chart-topping "Truth Hurts" are firing back at a preemptive copyright lawsuit she filed last year, offering up screenshots of text messages and other evidence to support their accusations.

  • February 28, 2020

    Toshiba Gets PTAB To Nix USB Patent It Previously Upheld

    A Toshiba subsidiary persuaded the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to invalidate 24 claims in a double-sided USB connector patent that it had previously deemed valid and also convinced the board to reject amended claims Walletex Microelectronics Ltd. proposed.

  • February 28, 2020

    'This Land Is Your Land' Copyright Fight Dismissed

    A Manhattan federal judge on Friday tossed out a long-running class action that sought to free "This Land Is Your Land" from copyright control, ending one of several such cases aimed at pushing iconic songs into the public domain.

  • February 28, 2020

    PTAB Hands Facebook Win Over Social Media IP, Citing Bezos

    Facebook and Instagram scored a victory when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board struck down a social networking patent for being obvious in light of earlier patents, including two that appear to be co-invented by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

  • February 28, 2020

    $13M Huawei Patent Case Halted After Settlement News

    Huawei's lawsuit with Optis Wireless Technology LLC over five technology patents was halted by a federal court Thursday following news of an impending post-trial settlement that would replace the $13.2 million judgment plus attorney fees that Huawei currently faces.

  • February 28, 2020

    Coffeemaker Roasts Keurig's 'Delay Strategy' In Antitrust MDL

    A California-based coffee company alerted a New York federal judge to an alleged “delay strategy” by Keurig Inc. in yearslong multidistrict litigation, arguing that the family-run operation has been unfairly forced to wait over five years to establish its case against the coffee machine giant.

  • February 28, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Says Hard Rock Hotel Can't Register 'The Joint' TM

    The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas can't register "The Joint" as a trademark for a music venue in the casino, the Federal Circuit ruled Friday, finding it is only a generic term for a business that offers live music performance.

  • February 28, 2020

    Illumina Sues Chinese Rival, Again, For 'Brazen Infringement'

    Illumina has asked a California federal court to stop Complete Genomics’ “latest attempt at brazen infringement” of its DNA sequencing patents as part of a decadelong patent war.

  • February 28, 2020

    1st Circ. Rejects 'Meritless' Kodak Bid To Nix $7.5M Verdict

    The First Circuit has backed a $7.5 million verdict against Kodak Alaris Inc., rejecting "meritless" arguments that a German company that supplied document-recognition software used in Kodak's products did not have standing to sue over a contract breach and that the jury's findings were inconsistent.

  • February 28, 2020

    IP Hires: Quinn Emanuel, Dykema, McManis Faulkner

    Quinn Emanuel, Dykema and California's McManis Faulkner have each boosted their intellectual property abilities recently, bringing in attorneys from Haug Partners, Husch Blackwell and Skadden, respectively. Here are the details on these notable IP hires.

  • February 27, 2020

    Chinese Co. Accused Of Espionage Tells 9th Circ. It's Immune

    A state-owned Chinese steel company told the Ninth Circuit it can't face criminal charges alleging the business stole manufacturing trade secrets from DuPont Co., arguing it's immune from the charges under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.

  • February 27, 2020

    Energy Trader's Software Not A Trade Secret, Texas Jury Told

    A $2.8 million suit against a software developer accused of ripping off a Saracen data analysis program isn't really about trade secrets but is instead a bid by a vindictive former employer to put the defendant out of business, his attorney told Houston federal jurors before they began deliberations Thursday.

  • February 27, 2020

    UK Judge Condemns Hasty Patent Law Approach In NJ Talk

    Courts tasked with distinguishing patent trolls from inventors earnestly shielding their intellectual property rights should employ a case-by-case approach to injunctions rather then rushing to grant them, a British appeals court judge warned Thursday during a lecture at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey.

  • February 27, 2020

    Ex-Phillips 66 Scientist Gets 2 Years For $1B IP Theft

    A former associate scientist for multinational energy conglomerate Phillips 66 on Thursday was sentenced to two years in prison, following his admission to trade secret theft of proprietary information worth more than $1 billion, prosecutors say.

  • February 27, 2020

    Justices Urged To Ax Fed. Circ. Doctrine Of Equivalents Rule

    Three companies have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Federal Circuit rule on when patent infringement can be found under the doctrine of equivalents, saying it creates “significant uncertainty” about what patents cover and poses a “grave threat to innovation.”

  • February 27, 2020

    Michael Jackson's Co. Wants $9.4M Quincy Jones Verdict Cut

    Michael Jackson’s production company urged a California appellate court Thursday to slash a $9.4 million jury verdict awarded to mega-producer Quincy Jones over royalties on the late pop icon’s projects, arguing the jury interpreted contract provisions that should have been conducted by the court.

  • February 27, 2020

    USPTO Largely Loses Bid To Toss Inventors' Privacy Suit

    A D.C. federal judge has ruled that a class of inventors has sufficiently shown that a now-defunct U.S. Patent and Trademark Office program that flagged “sensitive” patent applications for extra review could have violated the Privacy Act, so most of the suit can survive for now.

  • February 27, 2020

    Full Fed. Circ. Told PTAB Is Still Unconstitutional Post-Arthrex

    Polaris Innovations Ltd. is urging the full Federal Circuit to reconsider its decision to apply the recent Arthrex ruling to send a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision invalidating its patent back to the board, saying that the structure of the board remains unconstitutional.

  • February 27, 2020

    Quinn Emanuel Adds Ex-Haug Partners' Life Science Chair

    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP added the former chair of Haug Partners LLP's life sciences practice, who represented a Takeda Pharmaceutical unit in high-profile litigation over Bayer's hemophilia treatment patent, to the firm's life sciences and intellectual property groups as a partner in New York.

Expert Analysis

  • 3 Employment Law Changes That Affect Franchisors

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    In light of an evolving employment law landscape, franchisors no longer need to consider joint employment liability a serious threat, and should contemplate removing no-poach and noncompete provisions from their franchise agreements, says Thomas Pitegoff at Offit Kurman.

  • Does Willful Blindness Beget Enhanced Patent Damages?

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    Assessing the role of enhanced patent damages post-Halo in district court cases reveals that the protection from treble damages provided by a corporate nonreview policy will likely depend on the probability of patent infringement and the justification for any such policy, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

  • Rebuttal

    Legal Industry Should Pursue AI Prediction Progress

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    As part of the debate prompted by my recent Law360 guest article on legal prediction using artificial intelligence, I would like to unpack four issues and suggest that attorneys and technologists continue to tackle the problems presently within reach, says Joseph Avery at Claudius Legal Intelligence.

  • What ACA's Uncertain Future Means For Biologics Patents

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    If the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it could eliminate the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, creating patent litigation uncertainties and reducing cost-effective treatment options, say attorneys at Axinn.

  • Opinion

    More Legislatures Should Pass Broad Noncompete Bans

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    To offer protections for a larger population of workers, more states should enact comprehensive legislation like California’s prohibition on noncompete agreements for all employees or the recently introduced federal Freedom to Compete Act, says Joseph Abboud at Katz Marshall.

  • New Foreign-Influence Considerations For US Research Orgs

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    Given the substantial enforcement activity related to foreign influence on U.S. government-sponsored research, institutions will likely need to develop enhancements to their existing compliance infrastructure, say Michael Vernick and Marta Thompson at Hogan Lovells.

  • Fed. Circ. Amgen Biosimilar Ruling Raises IP Damages Risk

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    The Federal Circuit's recent holding that Hospira infringed Amgen's Epogen patent increases infringers' liability for large damages awards, but there are ways biosimilars manufacturers can mitigate this liability, including narrowly construing the safe harbor defense, say Paul Ainsworth and Michael Bruns at Sterne Kessler.

  • Solutions To 4 Common Law Firm Diversity Challenges

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    A workshop recently held by the California Minority Counsel Program provides steps law firms can take toward solving minority attorneys' limited access to social capital and lack of meaningful investment, as well as other obstacles to diversity and inclusion, says Alexandra DeFelice, director of marketing and business development at Payne & Fears.

  • Patentees Should Consider Alternatives To IPR Amendments

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    Although data indicates that inter partes review amendment proceedings are the go-to option to save challenged patents, their relatively low success rates should prompt patent owners to consider other avenues, such as ex parte reexamination requests and reissue applications, say James Glass and Sean Gloth at Quinn Emmanuel.

  • Drug Approval Law Will Likely Deter Pharma Delay Tactics

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    The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act that Congress recently enacted should effectively discourage pharmaceutical companies from delaying lower-cost generic and biosimilar products, and shows the government's commitment to lowering drug prices and improving access, says Kevin Nelson at Schiff Hardin.

  • Rebuttal

    Discrimination Cases Are Too Complex For AI Fee Prediction

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    A recent Law360 guest article criticizing the New Jersey Supreme Court’s ruling in Balducci v. Cige overlooks the intricate nature of discrimination cases, which renders artificial intelligence an insufficient tool for predicting time and cost, says Paul Aloe at Kudman Trachten.

  • Courts May Clash With Litigants Over Document Review Tech

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    As courts increasingly accept technology-assisted document review, some are bordering on forcing parties to employ TAR, in which case attorneys may need to step in if their clients prefer other processes, say Donna Fisher and Matthew Hamilton at Pepper Hamilton.

  • Latest IPR Trends Mostly Favor Patent Owners

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    Recent encouraging trends for patent owners in the district courts and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office include a broad application of inter partes review estoppel and the allowance of noninstitution decisions as trial evidence, although some issues remain unresolved, say Kevin Schubert and Brett Cooper at McKool Smith.

  • Del. Uber Ruling Reinforces High Bar To Prove Director Bias

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    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent dismissal of a stockholder action alleging conflicts among Uber's board demonstrates how unlikely it is that independent directors would be held personally liable for fiduciary breaches, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

  • What DHS Report Means For Counterfeits In E-Commerce

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    The protectionist policy initiative the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published following the U.S.-China trade deal should be welcomed by brands, because it shifts the responsibility to e-commerce platforms for policing, monitoring and penalizing intellectual property-counterfeiting activities, says Chloe Lee of Incopro.

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