Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Widespread Use of GOOGLE Trademark as a Verb Does Not Render the Mark Generic

Google patent infringement

On May 16, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that widespread use of the word “google” as a verb for “searching the internet” – as opposed to use as an adjective for a brand of internet search engine – was insufficient to establish that GOOGLE ceased to function as …

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In re Google: Co-Pending Litigation Is Not Sufficient Basis to Deny Transfer Motion

Addressing jurisdictional transfer issues in a divided opinion, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted the extraordinary relief of issuing a mandamus order to transfer a patent infringement case, finding that the district court effectively failed to consider the merits of the defendant’s transfer motion even though the district court weighed all relevant transfer …

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Patent Act Does Not Provide Laches Remedy for Limiting Damages

The U.S. Supreme Court took on the analysis of laches in a March 2017 decision in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag, et al., v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, et. al. The Supreme Court held that the equitable doctrine of laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for damages brought within the six-year …

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“Knock-Offs” Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion-Forward Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the closely watched Varsity Brands Inc. et al. v. Star Athletica LLC copyright dispute, holding that cheerleading outfits contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership. The ruling has wide implications for both the fashion apparel and home furnishings industry, both of which rely on distinctive, eye-catching designs …

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USPTO Freedom Of Information Act Inquiry

The Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) can be a very powerful tool. It provides unqualified right to access certain public records. Patent attorney Gary Shuster used it to file a FOIA request (Request No. F-17-00099) with the USPTO on January 26, 2017, seeking the following: 1. Any document written by or on behalf of Michelle Lee …

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Trade Secret Preemption: Possible Defense To Trade Secrets Claim?

Two recent decisions by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals clarify the intersection between federal copyright law and state trade secret law. In GlobeRanger Corp. v. Software AG United States of America, Inc., 836 F.3d 477 (5th Cir. Sep. 7, 2016), the Fifth Circuit rejected an appeal in which the defendant argued that a plaintiff’s trade …

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Intellectual Property Cases to Watch in 2017

The New Year brings excitement and anticipation of changes for the best.  Some of the pending patent cases provide us with ample opportunity to expect something new and, if not always very desirable to everybody, at least different.  In this post, we highlight several cases that present interesting issues and that we anticipate may provide …

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U.S Supreme Court Revisits Design Patent Damages

On December 6, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., v. Apple Inc., 580 U.S. ____ (2016), unanimously ruled that in multicomponent products, the “article of manufacture” subject to an award of damages under 35 U.S.C. §289 is not required to be the end product sold to consumers but may only be …

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Hillary Clinton’s Intellectual Property Litigation Experience

Many people are surprised to learn that Hillary Clinton was an intellectual property attorney when she practiced law from 1977-1992 for the Rose Law Firm.  While the New York Times has reported that former colleagues cannot remember any cases she tried and that court reporters in Little Rock say she appeared in court infrequently, there …

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U.S. Supreme Court Denies Redskins’ Petition to Join SLANTS Case

U.S. Supreme Court today, without comment, refused the Redskins’ Petition to join the SLANTS case challenging the U.S. Trademark Office’s ban on “offensive” trademarks. Since both cases involved a provision in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the football team hoped to have both cases considered concurrently by the high Court. However, this now means …

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