A pending action in the Eastern District of Wisconsin serves as a reminder of the need for clarity and specificity in any IP-related deal, and in this case, in a matter involving copyright.
Earlier today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Christian Louboutin S.A. v. Yves Saint Laurent America Holding, Inc. The Appellate Court decision reversed the lower court's finding that a single color can never serve as a trademark for fashion.
We previously reported on developments in various United States Courts of Appeal decisions concerning reverse payments in Hatch-Waxman litigation settlements - that is, payments made by branded pharmaceutical patent holders to generic challengers to postpone market entry of the generic product.
In a recent "not for publication" Memorandum Opinion and Order relating to Reckitt Benckiser's ("RB") over-the-counter cough syrup, Delsym® (dextromethorphan polistirex), United States Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert of the District of New Jersey found that RB failed to establish trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and tortious interference with business expectations claimed against Tris Pharma, following a four-day bench trial.
In Norman IP Holdings, LLC v. Lexmark Int'l, Inc., a recent Eastern District of Texas decision, Chief District Judge Leonard Davis provided guidance on the application of Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 ("Rule 20") joinder and Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 ("Rule 42") consolidation in patent infringement cases post-enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"). Norman IP brought suit against Lexmark and others on September 15, 2011, one day before the AIA was signed into law. Norman IP later added an additional 23 defendants. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss for improper joinder or to sever, and Norman IP alternatively requested that any severed cases be consolidated under Rule 42. The Court granted defendants' motion to sever and issued an order consolidating the cases for pretrial issues excluding venue.
In a prior blog, we reported that the Supreme Court had granted certiorari in Already, LLC dba Yums v. Nike, Inc., No. 11-982, to an appeal from the Second Circuit's decision affirming the Southern District of New York's holding that a covenant not to sue entered in a trademark dispute ended the case and controversy between the parties.
FTC Proposes Rules to Codify Reporting of Exclusive Patent Right Transfers in the Pharmaceutical IndustryBy Anthony A. Dean, Gibbons
Is the sale or assignment of a patent reportable? The Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 ("HSR") and related rules require that all acquisitions of voting securities or assets exceeding a threshold amount be reported to the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"), as well as the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The current threshold is $68.2 million.
Starting on September 16th, seven important provisions of the America Invents Act ("AIA") will take effect: inter partes review, post grant review, supplemental examination, third-party "preissuance submission," substitute statement in lieu of the inventor's oath/declaration, transitional program for covered business method patents, and citation of patent owner statements in a patent file. Not all of the provisions are applicable to every patent and/or patent application. So, it is important that one consults with patent counsel before taking action. Below are helpful takeaways and summaries of these key changes. More information can be found on the USPTO's website.
We previously reported on the new 35 U.S.C. § 299 of the America Invents Act. This statute aims, inter alia, to reduce the ability of a patent owner to join multiple, unrelated defendants in a single action, which is a tactic often employed by non-practicing entities ("NPEs"), sometimes referred to as "patent trolls," who press defendants for nuisance value settlements.
In WM. Wrigley Jr. v. Cadbury Adams USA, a recent Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision related to chewing gum patents, Wrigley brought suit against Cadbury for infringement of its U.S. Patent Number 6,627,233 ("the '233 patent") claiming a chewing gum including a combination of menthol and a physiological cooling agent, WS-23. Cadbury counterclaimed against Wrigley for infringement of Cadbury's U.S. Patent Number 5,009,893 ("the '893 patent") claiming a chewing gum including menthol and a similar cooling agent entitled WS-3.
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