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.

Delaware Judge Seeks to Expose Patent-Litigation Funders

Do defendants and the court have the right to ask who is funding a particular patent litigation? Chief Judge Connolly in Delaware says they do, and in In re Nimitz, the Federal Circuit denied a request to stop the judge’s inquiry.

The issue arose as a result of two standing orders issued by Judge Connolly. The first standing order requires non-governmental companies and corporations to disclose the name of every person all the way up the chain of ownership who has “a direct or indirect interest in the party.” 

Google Escapes Antitrust Challenge from Stock Photo Site After Changes to Its Search Engine Algorithm

Google, which operates the world’s most popular search engine, recently defeated an antitrust claim brought by an online supplier of stock images in the case Dreamstime.com, LLC v. Google, LLC, decided on December 6, 2022, by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Dreamstime Opinion helps illustrate some difficulties in defining the relevant market to allege anticompetitive injury to support an antitrust claim.

Fashion Folly: Fendi and Marc Jacobs Face Roma in IP Battle

Fashion houses Fendi and Marc Jacobs have been sued for trademark infringement in the United States District Court for the Central District of California by another clothing company known as Roma Costumes, Inc. According to Roma Costumes, Fendi and Marc Jacobs infringed their trademark rights to Roma Costumes’ trademark when they collaborated to release Fendi’s “Roma” collection. According to Roma Costumes, the “reimagined logo” by Marc Jacobs is confusingly similar to Roma Costumes’ trademark.

Supreme Court to Hear Jack Daniel’s Dog Toy Dogfight

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted Jack Daniel’s petition for review in its case against the makers of “Bad Spaniels,” a dog chew toy that mimics a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. The dog toy made by VIP Products LLC parodies Jack Daniel’s famous bottle, replacing “Old No. 7” and “Tennessee Whiskey” labeling with “Old No. 2 On Your Tennessee Carpet.”

Do Employees Working from Home Impact Venue in Patent Litigation?

In patent infringement cases, venue is proper under 28 U.S.C § 1406(a) where either (1) the company accused of infringement is incorporated or (2) where the company has committed acts of infringement and has a “regular and established place of business.” Given the increase in employees working from home in recent years, the question has arisen as to whether an employee’s home office is considered a “regular and established place of business” for the purposes of patent venue. In most instances, the courts have indicated that an employee’s home office is insufficient to establish venue absent the company ratifying that home office as a “regular and established place of business.” However, the Federal Circuit’s ruling in In re Monolith Power Systems, Inc. may have reopened that question.