“It’s In The Game” - Proof Issues In Software Copyright Infringement Cases

by James Kachmar
The IP Law Blog

A recent Ninth Circuit decision in Antonick v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (filed Nov. 22, 2016), shows some of the proof issues that a plaintiff may encounter in prosecuting claims for copyright infringement in connection with software.  A jury found in favor of plaintiff’s claims of infringement; however, the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law because plaintiff had not offered the “source code” for the software games at issue into evidence during the trial.

Read More

Law Firm Survives Disqualification Motion in Florida Patent Infringement Lawsuit

by Eric Caligiuri
The IP Law Blog

In Lanard Toys Limited v. Toys “R” Us, Inc. et al, 3-15-cv-00849 (FLMD December 16, 2016, Order) (Barksdale, MJ), a patent infringement matter in Florida District Court, the court denied defendants’ motion to disqualify plaintiff’s new counsel for simultaneously representing defendant in an unrelated case.  Four months after lawyers with Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP (“Gordon & Rees”) began representation of Lanard Toys Limited (“Lanard”) against Toys “R” Us-Delaware, Inc. (“TRU”),

Read More

From Rogue One to Forces of Destiny: A Star Wars Intellectual Property Story

by Josh H. Escovedo
The IP Law Blog

With last weekend’s release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars is once again living and thriving. Rogue One opened with a most impressive $155 million opening in North America, and $290 million worldwide, making it the 12th largest opening in United States History. Now, this isn’t really related to intellectual property, but in light of this opening,  we thought it would be appropriate to provide an article dealing with Star Wars intellectual property.

Read More

Holiday Horror Series: Part 4 - HO, HO, HO! AND FA-LA-LA-LA-LA! MORE CHRISTMAS PATENTS

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

The last time I checked (which was a couple of years ago), I found over 900 U.S. patents in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database that had the word “Christmas” in the title.  Every year at this time, I look at a few of the most interesting ones.

Here’s one I really like:  U.S. patent no. 5,523,741 for a “Santa Claus Detector.”  This patent covers a Christmas stocking that contains a light bulb or LED,

Read More

Phasers Set to Stun - Star Trek and Fan Film Producers Trade Copyright Shots

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

Fan films and fan fiction ordinarily don’t end up being the subject of a federal court lawsuit.  Most fan fiction are creative expressions reflecting adoration of a series, film or character and the majority of copyright owners take a permissive view of fan fiction.  However, Paramount Pictures, the owner of the Star Trek franchise, which in the past has not taken action against other fan fiction projects, is opposing the production of a full length film,

Read More

Two Key Things You Need to Know About the 2016 Federal Rule Changes

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

On December 1, 2016, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP) took effect.  While at first glance, the changes may not seem dramatic, but changes such as shortening the time to respond and cutting word counts for briefs have a direct impact on our practices.  For example, this year’s changes include the following:

  1. Eliminating the 3-day rule; and
  2. Reducing word counts for certain appellate filings.

Read More

Holiday Horror Series: Part 1- Could You Patent Christmas?!

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

The holidays are upon us.  Given that everything seems to be protected by intellectual property rights, could someone protect Christmas?

The most likely candidate to try to patent Christmas would be Santa Claus.  But (assuming all other issues are addressed), could Santa Claus really patent Christmas? Assuming that Santa Claus invented Christmas, then perhaps he could! U.S. patent law provides patent protection for pretty much everything. Under the patent laws of the U.S.

Read More

Supreme Court May Cut Back Laches in Patent Infringement Cases

by Audrey A. Millemann
The IP Law Blog

The United States Supreme Court is considering whether the doctrine of laches will bar a patent infringement claim filed within the Patent Act’s six-year damage limitations period set forth in 35 U.S.C. §286.  The case before the Court is SCA Hygiene Products AB v. First Quality Baby Products LLC, 767 F.3d 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

SCA owned a patent for adult incontinence products.  In 2003, SCA sent First Quality, a competitor,

Read More

Federal Circuit Takes A Common Law Approach to “Abstract Idea” Determinations in Alice Cases

by Eric Caligiuri
The Labor & Employment Law Blog

In Amdocs (Israel) Ltd. v. Openet Telecom Inc. et al., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently upheld four software patents against a patent-eligibility challenge, finding that the patents do not claim an “abstract idea.”  The patent challenge was under the frame work set out by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2014 decision Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank.  In Alice, the Supreme Court looked at the patentability of software patent claims under Section 101 by applying the two-step test it had set forth in Mayo v.

Read More

Branding Buds - Still Illegal Under Federal Law

by Scott M. Hervey
The IP Law Blog

If voters in California  approve Proposition 64 which would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for recreational purposes, it is without question that the sunshine state will see a huge increase in the number of businesses within the cannabis industry. According to a November 7, 2016 Forbes article, the passage of Proposition 64 could add $8.38 billion in annual sales to an already robust medical market worth an estimated $2.83 billion.  Despite what happens at the voting polls on November 8,

Read More