Welcome to the Weintraub Resources section. Here, you can find our Blogs, Videos, and Podcasts, in which Weintraub attorneys regularly provide insights and updates on legal developments. You can also find upcoming Weintraub Events, as well as firm and client News.

The Battle Over the COVID-19 Vaccine Continues

I recently wrote about the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Moderna against Pfizer/BioNTech over the COVID-19 vaccine. In its complaint filed in federal district court in Boston last August, Moderna alleged that Pfizer/BioNTech infringed three of Moderna’s patents in developing the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna seeks damages only for the time period after March 8, 2022, when Moderna announced that it would begin to enforce its patents after holding off doing so for 15 months while the pandemic was raging. The amount of money at stake is high. Pfizer/BioNTech sold over $26.4 billion of the vaccine in the first nine months of 2022; Moderna sold over $13.5 billion of its vaccine during the same time.

District Court Finds Use of a Method to Manufacture a Product Does Not Indirectly Infringe a Patented Method to Design A Product

In Bell Semiconductor, LLC v. Omnivision Technologies, Inc., 8-22-cv-01979 (CDCA Mar. 1, 2023)( John A. Kronstadt), the Court granted the Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s indirect patent infringement claims for failure to sufficiently allege Defendant “made” the accused product. Plaintiff had argued that using the patented methods in the design process, which guides the subsequent manufacturing process, is sufficient to state a claim. However, the Court held the Plaintiff provides no authority supporting the contention that the use of a method to design a product is the same as the use of a method to manufacture the product, as contemplated by the statute. 

The Court found Plaintiff’s allegations sufficient to allege direct infringement of a method claim because they are based on the theory that Defendant infringes the method when using the Accused Processes to design the exemplary devices and not that the devices themselves later infringe the method claim. However, in contrast, the Court also found the allegations do not meet the standard for pleading indirect infringement.

Getty Images Sues Stability AI for Copyright Infringement

Getty Images, a global visual content creator and leading source for visual content, has filed a lawsuit against startup technology company Stability AI for allegedly scraping more than 12 million photographs from Getty Images’ portfolio without consent or compensation. According to Getty Images, Stability copied Getty’s photographs with associated text and metadata to train its Stable Diffusion model, which uses AI to generate computer-synthesized images in response to text prompts. Getty Images alleges that Stability’s actions constitute copyright infringement, false copyright management information, removal or alteration of copyright management information, trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and deceptive trade practices under Delaware law.

Is Trump’s Copyright Claim Against Woodward “Trumped Up”?

Veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward conducted an audio interview of former President Donald Trump for Woodward’s book, Rage. Woodward later released these recordings as a separate audiobook. Trump claims that Woodward did not have his permission to release these audiotapes as a separate audiobook, and sued Woodard and his publisher for, among other claims, copyright infringement. Does Trump have a claim, or is his copyright claim “trumped up”?

GoDaddy Obtains Section 230 Immunity Despite Plaintiffs’ “Sympathetic” Claims

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) provides immunity to “interactive computer services” providers against certain types of legal claims, such as when harmful material is posted on their site by third parties. Until recently, the Ninth Circuit had not decided whether to extend the protections of section 230 immunity to a website domain registrar such as GoDaddy.com. On February 3, 2023, in the case Rigsby v. GoDaddy, Inc., the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of rather sympathetic claims against GoDaddy and found that section 230 immunity would apply to plaintiffs’ claims.

District Court Finds Asserted Claims of Aerial Roof Measurement Patent Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

In Pictometry International Corp. v. Roofr, Inc., 1-21-cv-01852 (DDE Jan. 19, 2023) (Richard G. Andrews), the court found that plaintiff’s three aerial roof measurement patents encompassed unpatentable subject matter and that claim 1 in each of those patents was directed to an abstract idea and therefore granted defendant’s motion to dismiss on those grounds.

Trademark and Copyright Cases to Watch in 2023

It’s always good to start off the year with an overview of trademark and copyright cases to watch. This year, we have a couple of cases that we’ve previously discussed on our podcast The Briefing, when they were on appeal with the circuit courts, but now the Supreme Court will bring finality to the issues.