No Judicial Estoppel in the Case of the On-Again, Off-Again Patent Inventor

by Jo Dale Carothers, Ph.D.
The IP Law Blog

The case of Egenera, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc. raised the question of whether inventors named on a patent can be repeatedly changed as litigation strategy changes. Because of judicial estoppel, the district court said no way.  But, on appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said no problem—at least no problem in this case.

Mr. Shulter was listed as an inventor on Egenera,

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New Fast Track for Patent Appeals

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

A new temporary pilot program in the US PTO will speed up appeals in patent applications before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The program, which went into effect on July 2, 2020, is called the “Fast Track Appeals Pilot Program.” The program is limited to 125 appeals per quarter.

The PTO instituted the pilot program because of the popularity of its Track I Prioritized Examination Program for patent applications. Under that program,

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District Court Applies Different Requirement for Similarity of Accused and Asserted Works Under DMCA Versus the Copyright Act

by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog

In Kirk Kara Corp. v. Western Stone & Metal Corp. et al, 2-20-cv-01931 (CDCA 2020-08-14, Order) (Dolly M. Gee), the Central District of California denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims for copyright infringement, finding sufficient substantial similarity between the copyrighted works and the accused works had been alleged. However, the Court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s DMCA § 1202 claim because plaintiff failed to allege Defendant’s works were exact copies of Plaintiff’s,

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The Second Circuit Vacates Tiffany & Co.’s $21 Million Judgment for Trademark Infringement and Counterfeiting Against Costco

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Almost five years ago, I wrote an article published in the Daily Recorder about a ruling in the Tiffany & Co. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation case filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Specifically, I wrote about the Court granting Tiffany’s motion for summary judgment on liability, permitting Tiffany to proceed to trial on the issue of damages. Tiffany eventually did exactly that and obtained a $21 million judgment against Costco for selling unbranded engagement rings as “Tiffany” diamond engagement rings.

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Second Circuit Frames Novel Issue of Photographer’s Claim of Copyright Infringement and DMCA Violation

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

Watch: Scott Hervey discusses the copyright infringement case with Josh Escovedo in The Briefing by the IP Law Blog.

The facts in Mango v. BuzzFeed are fairly straight forward. Mango is a freelance photographer who licensed a photograph to the New York Post.  The Post included the photo in a story and below the photo included Mango’s name – an attribution known in the publishing industry as a “gutter credit”. 

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The Rule of Reasonableness: Non-Compete Provisions in California Business Contracts

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

The California Supreme Court in the 2008 case, Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, ruled that a provision in an employment agreement that prevented an employee from competing with his former employer following the termination of his employment was an invalid restraint on trade in violation of section 16600 of the California Business and Professions Code.  The Court held that subject to certain statutory exceptions, i.e., to protect the value of goodwill in connection with the sale of one’s business interest,

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You Must Prove Actual Damages if You Want Punitive Damages in an Infringement Action

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

Imagine litigating an infringement case for two years, and after a nine day jury trial, obtaining a jury’s verdict that says you’ve established infringement and awards your client $5,000,000.  Then you realize that the jury has awarded your client $0 in actual damages, and the entire $5,000,000 sum is for punitive damages.  The Ninth Circuit in an unpublished opinion in Monster Energy Company v. Integrated Supply Network, LLC (July 22, 2020), reiterated that a party is not entitled to punitive damages without a finding of actual damages.

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Make Sure You Follow the Patent Local Rules!

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

An unpublished decision from the Northern District of California emphasizes how important it is for attorneys to follow patent local rules.

Patent local rules are rules that many federal district courts have for patent infringement cases. These rules supplement the regular local rules for that court and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and allow the courts that have a lot of patent infringement cases to more efficiently manage those cases. Patent local rules are also helpful to the parties and their counsel,

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Irreparable Harm for Permanent Injunction Supported by Lost Profits Award

by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog

In f’real Foods, LLC et al v. Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. et al, 1-16-cv-00041 (DDE 2020-07-16, Order) (Colm F. Connolly), plaintiffs freal Foods, LLC and Rich Products Corporation sued defendants Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. and Hershey Creamery Company for infringement of four patents on four accused products that are high performance blenders manufactured by Hamilton Beach. After a four-day jury trial, the jury found that all four accused products infringed various claims of the asserted patents,

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After Nearly 30 Years of Controversy, the Washington Redskins Will Retire the Redskins Team Name and Trademark

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

Watch: Author Josh Escovedo and trademark law professor Alexandra Roberts delve into the issues around the Redskins name change on The Briefing from the IP Law Blog.

On Monday, July 13, 2020, the ownership group of the Washington Redskins (the “Team”) announced that it will abandon the Redskins team name after nearly 30 years of controversy. The decision, despite what the Team says, is likely the product of societal pressure,

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