LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's IP/Tech - 8th Circuit Reverses Determination That 'Onepul' Mark Is Valid

    ST. LOUIS - Citing evidence that the "Onepul" trademark, when used in connection with plastic bags for picking up and disposing of dog droppings, could be considered generic or descriptive, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 26 reversed a summary judgment of trademark validity (ZW USA Inc. v. PWD, LLC, No. 16-3999, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10530).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Confirms 1 Claim Valid, But Deems Others Obvious, Anticipated

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a final written decision released April 24, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board sided primarily with an inter partes review petitioner, finding that 12 claims of a patented human interface method for operating, among other things, garage doors would have been rendered obvious or anticipated by prior art (One World Technologies Inc. v. The Chamberlain Group Inc., No. IPR2017-00073, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Niantic Denies Liability For Nuisance, Trespass Claims In Pokemon GO Class Action

    SAN FRANCISCO - In an April 24 answer filed in California federal court, Niantic Inc. argues that it cannot be found liable for incidents of nuisance and trespass carried out by players of its Pokemon GO game, raising defenses of consent, lack of standing and absence of proximate cause (In re Pokemon GO Nuisance Litigation, No. 3:16-cv-04300, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms Fees Award, Laches Finding In 'Dropbox' Trademark Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO - Finding that an appellant unreasonably delayed pursuing litigation against Dropbox Inc. (DBI) over the disputed "Dropbox" trademark, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 affirmed a trial court's summary judgment based on laches and an accompanying award of costs and attorney fees (Dropbox Inc. v. Thru Inc., No. 17-15078, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10453).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Drug Companies To Federal Circuit: Suboxone Film Patents Are Invalid

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an appellant brief filed April 23, three generic drug makers tell the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the asserted claims of a patent covering a Suboxone sublingual film used to treat opioid addiction are invalid as indefinite (Indivor Inc., et al., v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Inc., et al., Nos. 2016-2277, -2278, -2397, -2398, 2017-2587, 2018-1010, -1058, -1061, -1062, -1114, -1115, -1119, -1176, -1177, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge: Treble Damages Not Warranted For Franchisee's Trademark Infringement

    NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 23 awarded default judgment to Travelodge Hotels Inc. (THI) for damages and recurring fees owed to it by a former franchisee but found that treble damages under the Lanham Act for infringing the company's trademarks after the defendant terminated the agreement were not warranted (Travelodge Hotels Inc. v. Wilcox Hotel LLC, et al., No. 17-0391, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68297).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Trademark Dispute Over 'Sqrat'

    SAN FRANCISCO - In an April 25 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Fox Entertainment Group Inc., upholding a dismissal by a California federal judge of allegations that the film studio infringed trademark rights in a half-squirrel, half-rat character known as "Sqrat" (Ivy Silberstein and Silberstein & Silberstein LLC v. Fox Entertainment Group Inc., et al., No. 16-55318, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10447).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms: Vote Verifying Patent Covers Abstract Idea

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge's dismissal of patent infringement allegations levied against a maker of automated voting systems was upheld April 20 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Voter Verified Inc. v. Election Systems & Software LLC, No. 17-1930, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10026).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit: Monkey, Other Animals Cannot Sue For Copyright Infringement

    SAN FRANCISCO - Although finding that a monkey possesses jurisdictional standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 23 upheld a California federal judge's dismissal of the monkey's copyright claims, citing a lack of statutory standing (Naruto, a Crested Macaque, by and through his Next Friends, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. David John Slater, et al., No. 16-15469, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10129).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Wal-Mart Prevails; Award Vacated In Dispute Over 'Backyard' Trademark

    RICHMOND, Va. - A North Carolina federal judge's summary judgment that Walmart Stores Inc. infringed Variety Stores Inc.'s "The Backyard" trademark was premised on an erroneous finding of likely confusion, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 24, vacating a subsequent $32.5 million award of disgorged profits (Variety Stores Inc. v. Walmart Stores Inc., No. 17-1503 and 17-1644, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10317).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Citing Litigation, Business Misconduct, Federal Circuit Agrees: Patent Claims Barred

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's conclusion, following a bench trial, that business and litigation misconduct bars Merck & Co. from enforcing two patents against Gilead Sciences Inc. was not clearly erroneous, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25 (Gilead Sciences Inc. v. Merck & Co. Inc., et al., No. 16-2302, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Computer Fraud Defendant Defends Bail Motion To Pursue Appeal Of Sentence

    SAN FRANCISCO - A man who was convicted of computer fraud and trade secret theft against his former employer filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in support of his emergency motion for release from custody to pursue an appeal of a trial court's denial of his motion for a writ of error coram nobis (United States v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court Seeks Government Views On Apportioned Patent Damages

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its April 23 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the views of the solicitor general in a case that presents the question of whether proof of "but-for" causation, without more, satisfies the principle that patent damages be apportioned between patented and unpatented features (EVE-USA Inc., et al. v. Mentor Graphics Corp., No. 17-804, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Inter Partes Review Must Address All Challenged Claims, High Court Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Upon institution of inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board must decide the validity of all patent claims challenged in the underlying petition, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 24 (SAS Institute Inc. v. Andrei Iancu, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court Rejects Article III Challenge Of Inter Partes Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided U.S. Supreme Court on April 24 upheld the constitutionality of the inter partes review (IPR) procedure introduced in 2012 by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. 100 (Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene's Energy Group LLC, No. 16-712, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge OKs Copyright Claim Against Copycat Website

    CHICAGO - Allegations by the operator of a trading website that a customer opened an account solely with the intention of copying the plaintiff's business model and associated intellectual property can proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 18 (TopstepTrader LLC v. OneUp Trader LLC, et al., No. 17-4412, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64815).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board, Says Privity Not Established

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - When asserting that an inter partes review (IPR) petition is time-barred under Section 315(b) of the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. 315(b), a patent owner must demonstrate that the petitioner had "sufficient control" over prior district court litigation to establish privity, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 (Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Nos. 15-1944, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10024).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Restaurant 'Adequately Alleges' Infringement Threat In Franchise Case, Judge Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 denied a motion to dismiss a franchise dispute involving two restaurants because the plaintiffs' amended complaint "adequately alleges" a threat of imminent use of a trademark that would constitute infringement (Jgx Inc. v. Jon Handlery, et al., No. 17-cv-00287-BLF, N.D. Calif.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27079).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Denies Attorney Fee Award In Copyright Case

    NEW YORK - A voluntary dismissal by a copyright infringement plaintiff two months after filing suit did not render a defendant in the action a prevailing party, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 22 (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28664).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Rebuffs Google's Appeal Of Adverse Inter Partes Reviews

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by Google Inc. to cancel myriad claims of two data-monitoring patents continue to be unsuccessful, with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22 rejecting the software giant's appeal of a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the claims are patentable (Google LLC v. At Home Bondholders' Liquidating Trust, Nos. 16-2727, -2729, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - California Federal Judge Deems 'Major University' Claim False, Material

    SAN DIEGO - A supplement maker's claim that clinical study results on Lipozene were derived from a "major university study" were false, according to a Feb. 21 ruling by a California federal judge, because the study was not affiliated with a university (Obesity Research Institute LLC v. Fiber Research International LLC, No. 15-595, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28025).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Unfair Competition Claim Over Google AdWords Program Again Dismissed

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A small business owner who sued Google LLC over alleged misrepresentations about click fraud in its AdWords program, saw his claims of false advertising and unfair competition dismissed a second time Feb. 20, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff failed to plead the necessary economic injury to support his claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google LLC, No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27111).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - In Upholding Patent Board, Federal Circuit Sides With Google, Motorola

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that canceled all 79 patent claims as obvious was affirmed Feb. 20 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, marking a win for Google LLC and Motorola Mobility LLC (Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 16-1249, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4016).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Support Wear Maker's UCL, Infringement Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 15 denied a maternity wear company's motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding that it would be premature to dismiss another company's claims for trademark infringement and that its claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not preempted (Blanqi LLC v. Bao Bei Maternity, et al., No. 3:17-cv-05759, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26069).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Apple Again Seeks Inter Partes Review By Board Of Uniloc VoIP Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In two petitions for inter partes review (IPR) filed Feb. 15, Apple Inc. asserts that various claims of a voiceover internet protocol (VoIP) patent are obvious under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a), one year after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied without prejudice the software giant's bid to cancel claims of the same patent (Apple Inc. v. Uniloc USA Inc., Nos. IPR2018-00580 and IPR2018-00579, PTAB).