we are aware
by Audrey Millemann
The IP Law Blog
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury verdict of $140 million in a patent infringement case. The damages were based on a reasonable royalty. The case is Sprint Communications Co., L.P. v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33594 (Fed. Cir. 2018).
Sprint sued Time Warner in the District of Kansas for infringement for several of Sprints patents for a telephone communications network.
The Labor and Employment Law Blog
While it has always been good practice for employers of all sizes to train both their supervisory employees and non-supervisory employees on the prevention of harassment, California law now mandates such training by 1/1/20 (and every 2 years thereafter) for any employer with 5 or more employees. The attorneys in Weintraub Tobin’s Labor & Employment Department have years of experience conducting energetic, compliant, and effective harassment prevention training for employers of all sizes and in all industries.
by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog
On December 28, 2018, the Court in The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-03714-GW-(AGRx), issued a Final Ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment of Validity under 35 U.S.C. § 103 based on IPR Estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2). In the case, Plaintiff The California Institute of Technology alleges patent infringement against Defendants Broadcom Limited,
by Katie Collins
The Labor and Employment Law Blog
Effective January 1, 2019, California’s minimum wage rate increased to $12.00 per hour (from $11.00) for employers with 26 or more employees and $11.00 per hour (from $10.50) for employers with 25 or fewer employees. The minimum wage will continue to increase yearly until it reaches $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees and January 1,
By Josh Escovedo
The IP Law Blog
The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board recently issued an interesting decision regarding standing to oppose the registration of trademark applications. United Trademark Holdings, Inc. filed for registration of the mark RAPUNZEL for use in conjunction with dolls and toy figures. However, after the USPTO’s examining attorney published the mark for opposition, a law professor filed a notice of opposition, alleging that Applicant’s mark failed to function as a trademark on the grounds that it is synonymous with the name of a well-known childhood fairytale character,
by Scott Hervey
The IP Law Blog
Actors gain notoriety for different reasons. For some, it’s due to a physical characteristic or an iconic character portrayal. For Alfonso Ribeiro, it’s a dance. The dance, which has become known worldwide as the “Carlton Dance,” is a corny dance number performed by Ribeiro’s character Carlton Banks on the 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” That dance is now the center of a copyright infringement lawsuit Ribeiro filed against Epic Games and Take-Two Interactive.
by Jo Dale Carothers
The IP Law Blog
Non-statutory, or obviousness-type, double patenting (“ODP”) is a judicially created doctrine that prohibits an inventor from effectively extending the monopoly on a patented invention by applying for a later patent with claims that are not “patentably distinct” from the claims in the earlier patent. The core principle behind the doctrine is that “an inventor must fully disclose [the] invention and promise to permit free use of it at the end of [the] patent term.” See Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
by Lizbeth “Beth” West
The Labor and Employment Blog
On December 10, 2018, the Fourth Appellate Court decision in Kennedy Donohue v. AMN Services, LLC (“AMN”) was certified for publication and it brings good news for California employers who use a neutral rounding timekeeping system. The case involved a class action and PAGA action brought by Ms. Donohue on behalf of nurse recruiters who worked for AMN. Ms.
by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog
The Ninth Circuit recently was called upon to decide awarding attorney’s fees in a case where artists were suing for unpaid royalties under the California Resale Royalties Act (“CRRA”). In the case, Close v. Sotheby’s, Inc. (decided December 3, 2018), the Ninth Circuit ordered that the Plaintiff-artists be required to pay attorney’s fees to the defendants (eBay and art auction houses) for successfully defending against claims for unpaid royalties resulting from art sales.
by Audrey Millemann
The IP Law Blog
Every year about this time, I search the PTO database for any new patents on inventions related to Christmas. This year turned up several. Interestingly, most of the ones I looked at issued at October and November of this year. (Maybe the PTO wanted to give the owners an early Christmas present!)
There are lots of patents for Christmas tree stands.
In University of Massachusetts Medical School et al v. L’Oreal SA et al, 1-17-cv-00868 (DED 2018-11-13, Order) (Sherry R. Fallon), the magistrate judge recommended granting a foreign parent company defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ patent infringement action for lack of personal jurisdiction where its American subsidiary introduced the alleged accused products into the stream of commerce and the foreign defendant’s corporate structure is not sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction because “mere ownership of a subsidiary does not justify the imposition of liability on the parent.”
The primary plaintiff in the case is the University of Massachusetts Medical School,
The San Diego Padres recently took control of the Amarillo minor league baseball organization. The organization will serve at the Padres’ Double A affiliate. In the spirit of new beginnings, the organization recently held a public naming contest to determine its new mascot. After the contest had concluded, the Sod Poodles were selected as the new mascot.
Unfortunately, it appears that Panhandle Baseball Club, Inc., the entity that owns and operates the Amarillo Sod Poodles,
Weintraub Tobin’s 2019 Labor and Employment Seminar and Training schedule is now available. Click here for a copy of the schedule.
If you have any questions on any of our seminars or would like to inquire about private, custom-tailored training, please contact:
By Scott Hervey
The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board’s recent ruling in In re Productos Verde Valle, S.A. de C.V. upholding a trademark examiner’s refusal to register the mark SONIA for “sauces; chili sauce; hot sauce” holds a lesson for those of us that regularly advise clients on the registrability (and usability) of trademarks. Assuming Verde Valle conducted a trademark search, it’s very likely (if not certain) that the word mark SONIA SONI LIFE IS A RECIPE for “spices,
Intellectual property disputes will again take their place on stage at the U.S. Supreme Court this term when the court addresses at least two IP questions. 1. Can the government challenge patents under the America Invents Act (“AIA”)? 2. Do trademark licenses survive Chapter 11 bankruptcy? These questions are presented in two cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court just granted certiorari: Return Mail, Inc. v.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was recently tasked with reviewing determinations made by the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) relating to trade infringement claims brought by Converse, Inc. with regard to a number of imported shoes that it alleged infringed on one of its trademarks. Although Converse sneakers have had largely the same appearance since the 1930s, Converse registered a trademark in 2013 relating to the design of its midsole and the toe cap/bumpers on its shoes.
Some things are not patentable: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. The Supreme Court has long held that inventions falling within these categories are not patentable; they are patent-ineligible subject matter. In 2014, the Supreme Court relied on this principle in deciding Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347. In that case, the Court invalidated patent for a computerized system for mitigating risks in financial transactions.
In Lexington Luminance LLC v. Service Lighting and Electrical Supplies, Inc. d/b/a 1000bulbs.com, 3-18-cv-01074, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, but granted its motion for a more definite statement because of the complexity of the patents-in-suit.
In the case, the Defendant argued that the Plaintiff’s complaint for direct patent infringement should be dismissed because the complaint fails to meet the pleading standards set forth by the Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp.
Any work that is entitled to copyright protection automatically receives protection when it is fixed in a tangible medium of expression. However, in order to benefit from the Copyright Act, the owner must “register” his or her work with the United States Copyright Office. Put another way, in order to protect against copyright infringement, the owner must register the work. So, for purposes of the Copyright Act, what does that mean?
By Beth V. West
Well September 30, 2018 has come and gone. As my September 19, 2018 article indicated, that was the deadline for Governor Brown to either sign or veto a large number of employment-related bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2017-2018 Term. Out of the 21 employment-related bills I summarized in my September 19th article, 12 were signed into law, and 9 were vetoed. Below is a list of the new laws California employers must comply with,
In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has considered a number of intellectual property and related cases, but many issues remain unresolved. Therefore, it is important to look both at the cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court as well as those the Court chooses to let stand without further review. First, consider a few cases the Court has already agreed to hear or is still considering.
By Scott Hervey
The IP Law Blog
Recently, a client asked why we included a short form option agreement and a short form assignment agreement as an exhibit to a long form literary option agreement. I am sure that many a corporate transactional attorney has similarly wondered why a short form copyright assignment agreement is included within the package of numerous M&A transaction documents. It is true that the short form agreement is used to record the transfer of the copyright interest by filing it with the Copyright office without filing the long form agreement with all of the transaction details.
By Beth V. West
The September 30th deadline for Governor Brown to act on numerous employment-related bills passed by the California Legislature during the 2017-2018 Legislative Term is fast approaching. This Blog summarizes only 21 of the more than 40 employment-related bills currently on the Governor’s desk. Employers are encouraged to stay tuned to see which bills become law and which ones don’t make the cut. NOTE: employment laws are constantly changing and employers must ensure that they make the necessary changes to policies and practices so that they are in compliance with current legal requirements.
A California appellate court recently dealt a blow to fans of Michael Jackson who brought a class action alleging unfair competition and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”) in connection with the sale of an album titled simply “Michael” following the singer’s death. The appellate court found that statements on the album cover and in a promotional video did not amount to pure “commercial speech” and that the Plaintiff’s claims should have been dismissed in connection with an anti-SLAPP motion brought by the Defendants.
In Galderma Laboratories, LP et al v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC et al, 1-16-cv-00207 (DED August 31, 2018, Order) (Stark, USDJ), Judge Stark of the District of Delaware recently found that a plaintiff was collaterally estopped from pursuing claims for patent infringement of two drug patents under a doctrine of equivalents theory based on a finding of no literal infringement in a prior case even though a doctrine of equivalents theory was not asserted in that case.
An inter partes review (IPR) is one of the ways a party can challenge a patent in the Patent and Trademark Office. This procedure was added by the America Invents Act, which established a panel of judges called the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to decide IPRs and conduct other procedures used to challenge patents. An IPR is quicker and less costly than patent litigation. It also allows an accused infringer to attack the plaintiff’s patent without having to defend against a patent infringement claim at the same time.
Procter & Gamble, the international consumer packaged goods conglomerate, recently filed a slew of trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to register WTF, LOL, FML, and NBD for use in conjunction with certain consumer goods. Now, I suspect most of you are familiar with these acronyms, but if you aren’t, LOL stands for “laughing out loud” and NBD stands for “no big deal.” As for WTF and FML,
By Scott Hervey
The IP Law Blog
Have you ever had the experience of attempting to register a social media account in the name of your business only to find that your preferred name is taken? Often, it’s just the case of another business with the same name having registered that account first. Other times, it’s evidence of what’s come to be known as “Username Jacking”. Big brands and public figures are highly susceptible to incidents of username jacking.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food, and subsequently the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in In re Cray Inc., addressed where patent litigation can be filed under the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. §1400(b). Specifically, the patent venue statute provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in either 1) “the judicial district where the defendant resides” or 2) “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”
In TC Heartland,
Christopher Gordon is a comedian who created a viral video about the honey badger with the notable catch phrase, “Honey Badger Don’t Care,” among others. He later trademarked that phrase and sued greeting card companies for trademark infringement for using that phrase, or a variation thereof, without his permission. As a result, the Ninth Circuit was recently asked to revisit the test set forth in Rogers v. Gramaldi,
The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has taken aim at sky-high patent infringement damages. In Power Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18177 (July 3, 2018), the court limited the use of the rule that allowed patent owners to recover damages based on the total sales of the infringing product, even if the patent covered only a part of the product.
Power Integrations owned two patents covering switching regulators in power supply controller chips.
By Beth V. West
On July 18, 2018, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 2282 which provides answers and clarifications to a number of questions employers had about the new law that went into effect in January 2018 (Assembly Bill 168 – codified in Labor Code section 432.3). Section 432.3 prohibits employers from relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer an applicant employment or what salary to offer an applicant,
In Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe et al. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that Native American tribal sovereign immunity does not apply in Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) arm of the USPTO. In do so, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s ruling that it has the authority to decide the validity of patents transferred to the St.
Conor McGregor doesn’t back down to anyone. He knocked out the once unbeatable Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. He was the first UFC fighter to simultaneously hold titles in two different weight divisions. He crossed over to boxing to fight the greatest boxer of all time, Floyd “Money” Mayweather. You get the point: Conor McGregor takes on all competitors—anywhere, anytime.
Although McGregor’s fights usually occur inside the octagon,
By Beth V. West
Under California law, an aggrieved person can bring a claim for defamation if the person is the subject of a false and unprivileged statement that is injurious to his/her reputation. Defamation can take the form of libel or slander. (Ca. Civ. Code Sec. 44.) Specifically “libel” is defined as a false and unprivileged publication by writing, printing, picture, effigy, or other fixed representation to the eye, which exposes any person to hatred,
While a U.S. patent provides the patent owner with a monopoly to prevent others from “making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States,” there are significant limits to the extraterritorial application of U.S. Patent law. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, just found that damages for one form of patent infringement extend not only to lost U.S. profits, but also to lost foreign profits.
Back in December, Beth West informed our readers that the NLRB had issued new (and more realistic) guidelines for evaluating whether employment policies and rules violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). As a reminder, the NLRB issued a new two-prong test for determining if facially neutral employment policies could interfere with the exercise of NLRA rights, evaluating: (1) the nature and extent of the potential impact on NLRA rights,
By Scott Hervey
Often writers base characters on complete fiction, drawing from their imagination to build a character’s various facets. However, on certain occasions a writer may base a character on a living person. Sometimes such a portrayal is factual and other times it may be a combination of fact and fiction. Such was the case, claimed legendary actress Olivia de Havilland, in her lawsuit against FX Networks over her portrayal in the FX docudrama Feud: Bette and Joan.
In January, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (OSHSB) adopted new regulations intended to prevent and reduce workplace injuries suffered by housekeepers in the hotel and hospitality industry. The new regulations, which go into effect on July 1st, require California hotel (and other lodging) employers to adopt a Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) to complement the Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP), which should already be in place. The MIPP must include:
*Procedures to identify and evaluate housekeeping hazards through worksite evaluations.
As any reader of our blog knows, California employers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of national origin (among other classifications). The Fair Employment and Housing Commission (“FEHC”) recently issued new regulations, which go into effect on July 1, 2018, expanding the definition of “national origin” to include an individual’s or ancestors’ actual or perceived (1) physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics associated with a national origin group;
Today’s real estate industry relies heavily on the use of websites displaying photographs of properties for sale to entice buyers. Many of the photographs on these sites are taken by professional photographers who license the use of their photos and retain the copyrights to them. In Stevens v. CoreLogic, Inc. (decided June 20, 2018), the Ninth Circuit was faced with the question of whether these photographers can maintain an action for copyright infringement against a company whose software apparently “scrubbed” metadata identifying the copyright holders of photographs on various real estate websites.
Does anyone think that a monkey has standing to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit? In Naruto v. Slater, 888 F.3d 418 (9th Cir. 2018), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said no, but not without carefully considering the issue.
Animals have many legal rights based on federal and state laws. Most of those rights are enforceable by humans or legal entities suing under the statutes on behalf of the animals.
On April 24, 2018, the Supreme Court issued its ruling in SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, which held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) arm of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) must issue a final written decision addressing each and every patent claim challenged in an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) petition if review is granted. In other words, if the PTAB is going to institute a review,
On May 7, 2018, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) published 14 new rules for interpreting the San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (“PSLO”). The PSLO was amended on January 1, 2017. The new rules take effect on June 7, 2018.
We’ve summarized the 5 rules that our clients most frequently ask about:
Rule 1 – Employee Notification of Need for Leave
The rule clarifies that employers may establish policies or procedures dictating how employees need to give notice of a need for leave.
A few years ago, before the 76ers returned to playoff glory, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers’ ownership and front office began utilizing the phrase “Trust the Process” to represent their journey back to the top. Finally, after years of absolutely horrendous basketball, which enabled the 76ers to draft stars such as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, the 76ers finished third in their conference and returned to the playoffs for the first time in years.
adidas and Skechers are athletic shoe and apparel manufacturers who have a long history of litigation between them arising out of claims that Skechers has repeatedly infringed upon adidas’ trademarks. In Adidas America, Inc. v. Skechers USA, Inc. (decided May 10, 2018), the Ninth Circuit once again had to weigh in on Skechers’ alleged infringement of adidas’ trademarks.
adidas is well known for its “three-stripe” mark,
The United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) is a Federal agency that deals with matters involving trade. Among its many responsibilities, the ITC investigates a variety of issues related to trade including investigating and adjudicating cases involving imported products that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights. These infringement investigations, called Section 337 investigations, may include allegations that imported goods infringe patents or trademarks. For example, the ITC may investigate allegations by a complainant (plaintiff) that certain imported goods infringe utility or design patents or infringe registered or common law trademarks.
By Beth V. West
On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. In a 5-4 decision written by the newest jurist, Justice Gorsuch, the Court declares that employers can require employees to arbitrate their employment disputes individually and waive their rights to resolve those disputes through class or collective actions.
The case was a consolidation of three cases (Epic Systems Corp.
Currently, the standard for claim construction is different in AIA reviews before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB) than in proceedings in federal district courts and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”). The USPTO construes claims to have their broadest reasonable interpretation (“BRI”) while district courts and the ITC apply the Phillips standard.
Under the BRI standard, a claim term is given its broadest reasonable construction “in light of the specification as it would be interpreted by one of ordinary skill in the art.” Under the Phillips standard,
The Ninth Circuit was recently faced with a novel issue: Does a crested macaque, or generally speaking, a monkey, have the right to sue humans, corporations, and companies for damages and injunctive relief arising from claims of copyright infringement? Unless you’re familiar with this case, you’re probably wondering what occurred to give rise to Naruto, the monkey, bringing suit for copyright infringement. In fact, you probably have several other questions,
By Scott Hervey
Unless you have been living under a rock (and not a rock on Tatooine), then you have heard of a little film called Star Wars, things called lightsabers, the Millennium Falcon, and even droids. But do you know how to play Sabbac?
For those of you who are not Star Wars aficionados, Sabacc is a card game rooted in unexplored mythology of Star Wars. Sabacc was first referenced in a draft screenplay for the 1980 motion picture Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back,
On April 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court applied an expansive definition of independent contractor in a ruling that is sure to have a dramatic impact on many California businesses, and the burgeoning gig economy in particular.
In the case of Dynamex Operations W. v. Superior L.A. County, a class action was brought on behalf of a group of delivery drivers who were classified as independent contractors by delivery company,
By Chuck Post
It is an old joke that the world can be divided into people who are good at math and those who go to law school. Whether you believe the joke or not, math – or in this case, simple arithmetic – can be at the heart of many wage and hour questions. On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court issued an opinion in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp.
In a 7-2 opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in OIL STATES ENERGY SERVICES, LLC v. GREENE’S ENERGY GROUP, LLC that inter partes review does not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. Thus, the Supreme Court rejected an argument that only federal courts, and not executive branch tribunals or administrative courts like the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), can invalidate patent claims once issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
The Ninth Circuit recently revisited the issue of the applicability of the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) in the case Ventura Content, Ltd., v. Motherless, Inc., et al. (decided March 14, 2018). The issue before the Court was whether the defendants had presented undisputed evidence that they fell within the protections of the DMCA’s safe harbor provision to allow for summary judgment in their favor.
Patent law is a complicated area of law governed by a confusing set of statutes and regulations that are interpreted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the federal courts. Patents themselves are sometimes almost unintelligible and, if intelligible, may require many hours of reading to understand. It is no wonder that there are a lot of misconceptions about patents.
This is the first of two columns in which I will discuss a few of the most common aspects of patent law that are misunderstood.
Assembly Bill (“AB”) 2069 was introduced by the California Assembly on February 7, 2018. Currently, California employers can deny employment or impose discipline on cannabis users, regardless of whether such use is for medical purposes. AB 2069 would amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to make it an unlawful practice for an employer to take adverse action against an applicant or employee because of a positive drug test for cannabis (by a medical cannabis card holder) or because of one’s status as a medical cannabis card holder.
A business’s intellectual property may be its most valuable asset. Whether it is biotechnology, trade names, business methods, or computer software, intellectual property should be protected to the greatest extent possible in order to maximize the value of the business. This article summarizes the types of intellectual property protection that are available
What Is Intellectual Property Protection?
There are four types of intellectual property protection: patent,
According to a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California by California law firm LegalForce RAPC Worldwide, LegalZoom engages in the unauthorized practice of law when its non-attorneys instruct customers on how to register trademarks. The lawsuit names various other defendants, including the Patent and Trademark Office and several bar associations, as alleged conspirators in LegalZoom’s attempt to restrain trade.
According to the Complaint,
By Chuck Post
Beware. Routine criticisms of job performance when directed to employees engaged in a caring profession, may subject you to retaliation and whistleblower claims.
So you hire an employee, call her a brick layer. She is a horrible brick layer. You get in constant arguments with her concerning the quality of her brick laying. You say that the bricks must be square and aligned and she says,
By Scott Hervey
“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake it off / Shake it off
Heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake,
We all understand the common meaning of the word “employer.” In California, “employers” need to keep track of the various rules and regulations, all of which have their own definitions of the word. Most frequently, the number of employees dictates whether a given statute or ordinance applies to the employer. In addition, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA” or the “Act”), exempts certain “employers” from the application of the anti-discrimination laws found within the Act.
By: Eric Caligiuri
The U.S. Supreme Court’s May 22, 2017 ruling in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods held that personal jurisdiction alone does not convey venue for patent cases under the patent venue statute. Previously, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States district courts had interpreted the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. §1400(b), to allow plaintiffs to bring a patent infringement case against a domestic corporation in any district court where there is personal jurisdiction over that corporate defendant.
By Charles Post
Employers sometimes see a position elimination or reduction in force as a way of terminating employees that is kinder and gentler than termination for cause. Position eliminations and reductions in force allow an employer to say goodbye to an employee without having to lay out the reasons for the separation on the employee’s door step. It is, after all, easier to say the “business won’t support your continued employment,” than it is to say,
The following discussion concerns the California Fair Pay Act, and how to apply it. If you are unfamiliar with the Act, you may wish to begin by reading this blog.
I get calls from employers asking: “When I group my employees by substantial similarity of work, how do I know that I am doing it correctly?” These employers fear that someone – a Court, a plaintiff,
There is some confusion about what constitutes an “on-sale bar” in patent law. The on-sale bar, set forth in 35 U.S.C §102, prohibits a patent if the invention sought to be patented was offered for sale or sold more than one year before the patent application was filed. In other words, there is a one-year grace period after an offer for sale or sale in which a patent application may be filed.
By Audrey Millemann
In Exmark Manufacturing Company v. Briggs & Stratton Power Products, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 783 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the Federal Court of Appeals addressed patent infringement damages based on a reasonable royalty. Exmark Manufacturing Company owned a patent for a lawn mower with an improved flow control baffle (the part that controls the flow of air and cut grass underneath the mower). Exmark sued Briggs & Stratton Power Products for patent infringement.
As we struggle to come to grips with the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, many have bemoaned the lack of response by law enforcement prior to the attack. News outlets state that the shooter was reported to the FBI twice in the months prior to the attack, and that his mother, teachers, and fellow students had discussed or reported unnerving incidents in the months leading up to the shooting.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit just highlighted another approach plaintiffs can use to overcome early challenges to the validity of patent claims under 35 U.S.C. §101. What is that approach? It is a classic one: show there is a genuine issue of fact. That approach saved a subset of claims from summary judgment in Berkheimer v. HP.
Berkheimer sued HP for infringement of its patent “relat[ing] to digitally processing and archiving files in a digital asset management system.” The system parses files into objects and “tags objects to create relationships between them.” “The objects are analyzed and compared … to archived objects” to find variations.
The fight between craft brewers and Big Beer (i.e. MillerCoors & Budweiser) has been ongoing for years. Ever since craft beer came to prominence in the late ‘90s, it has been stealing Big Beer’s share of the marketplace. In fact, craft beer has celebrated double-digit growth each year since then. In response, Big Beer has embarked on a course of action to recapture its share of the market.
The Neutral Solutions Team at Weintraub Tobin can help you avoid expensive and protracted litigation. We specialize in:
For more information please contact:
A recent case out of the Ninth Circuit, Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc. (July 13, 2017), illustrates some of the risks third party software vendors run concerning copyright issues. Oracle develops and licenses proprietary “enterprise software” for business around the world. A business using Oracle’s enterprise software would pay a one-time licensing fee to download the software and then can elect to buy a license maintenance contract that provides for periodic software updates.
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently issued its opinion in TCL Communications v. Ericsson (SACV 14-341 JVS(DFMx) and CV 15-2370 JVS (DFMx)) on standard-essential patents and whether a commit to license them was on terms that are fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory, or FRAND. The Court determined Ericsson did not offer to license its standard essential patents on reasonable terms, and instead become only the fourth U.S.
By: Zack Thompson
On December 29, 2017, in Kim v. Reins International California, Inc., the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles ruled that a plaintiff no longer has standing to assert PAGA claims once the plaintiff has settled and dismissed his individual claims against his employer. This decision could have far-reaching implications in PAGA litigation, changing the way both plaintiff’s attorneys and defense attorneys approach PAGA lawsuits.