SAN FRANCISCO - In a Jan. 19 holding, a California federal judge rejected, pursuant to Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, five patents covering the process of search engine optimization (SEO) (BrightEdge Technologies Inc. v. Searchmetrics GmbH, et al., No. 14-1009, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9007).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Jan. 18 denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the owner of Applebee's and IHOP restaurants of using artificial sweetener in its franchise network that's packaged in a yellow packet made to look like trademarked Splenda sweetener (Heartland Consumer Products LLC, et al. v. DineEquity, Inc., et al., No. 17-1035, S.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7983).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of its Jan. 8 en banc holding in Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp. that the bar on judicial review of decisions to institute inter partes review (IPR) does not extend to determinations that a petition for IPR is time-barred, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 19 agreed to revisit a 2015 ruling that rejected allegations by a patent owner that a petition for IPR was untimely (Click-to-Call Technologies LP v. Oracle Corp., et al., No. 15-1242, Fed Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - West-Ward Pharmaceutical Co. on Jan. 17 took aim at a cancer treatment patent while also requesting joinder to an inter partes review (IPR) by Breckenridge Pharmaceutical Inc., in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Jan. 3 instituted trial (West-Ward Pharmaceutical Co. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. IPR2018-00507, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Twenty-two states on Jan. 16 petitioned the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to review the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality (State of New York, et al. v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 18-1013, D.C. Cir.).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 17 granted in part a motion by a patent holder to exclude testimony from a ticket distributor's computer-programming expert in a dispute over a license agreement, ruling that the expert cannot offer opinions about a key term in the agreement because the meaning of the term is a question of law for a jury to determine (CEATS, Inc. v. TicketNetwork, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01470, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7214).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - In a Jan. 17 ruling, a Kansas federal judge denied a motion to refer to the Register of Copyrights allegations by an infringement defendant that a copyright registration for the Oil Daily publications is invalid (Energy Intelligence Group Inc., et al., v. CHS McPherson Refinery Inc., No. 16-1015, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7048).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The author of the screenplay for the motion picture "Fathers & Daughters" is not the "legal owner" of the film, with standing to sue for infringement, because the exclusive rights to the work were transferred in a license granted within a distribution agreement, an Oregon federal judge ruled Jan. 17 (Fathers & Daughters Nevada LLC v. Lingfu Zhang, No. 16-1443, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7435).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An inventor's efforts to patent a portable memory device identification system were unsuccessful Jan. 17, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals instead affirmed findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the invention would be obvious to a person of skill in the art (In re: Dominick Theresa, No. 17-1920, Fed. Cir.).
MILWAUKEE - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 transferred an aftermarket motorcycle part company's action in which it seeks a declaration of noninfringement and asserts a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against a motorcycle maker to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, noting that an underlying cease-and-desist letter originated in Wisconsin (Cobra Engineering Inc. v. H-D USA Llc, et al., No. 2:18cv71, E.D. Wis.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a Jan. 16 final written decision sided with a petitioner for covered business method (CBM) review, agreeing that five claims of a method for communicating information from remote sites to a central location are directed to the abstract idea of "establishing a communications route between two points to relay information" (Emerson Electric Company v. Sipco LLC, No. CBM2016-00095, PTAB).
OMAHA, Neb. - A request by a trademark owner to retransfer infringement allegations to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas was denied Jan. 16 by a Nebraska federal judge, who found that the plaintiff failed to show that a previously severed defendant is indispensable to the Texas action (Buc-ee's Ltd. v. Buck's Inc., et al., No. 17-287, D. Neb., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6619).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 16 ruling, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Delaware federal judge erred in basing her decision to deny a patent assignee and licensee injunctive relief on an erroneous claim construction that excluded various accused L'Oreal USA Inc. products (Liqwd Inc., et al., v. L'Oreal USA Inc., et al., No. 17-2295, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 11 reply brief, two appellants tell the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that their invention "advanced the science" by "creating a previously unknown composition of matter" and discovering a new usefulness for the composition, thereby rendering the invention eligible for patent protection (In re: Trevor Pearson and Craig Robertson, No. 17-2530, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A jury verdict of willful patent infringement and corresponding $24,280,330 compensatory damages award, along with a Nebraska federal judge's subsequent doubling of that sum, were vacated and remanded Oct. 12 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Exmark Manufacturing Company v. Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group LLC, No. 16-2197, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 783).
BOSTON - In what it deemed a case of first impression, a divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 found that a trademark licensee retains only the right to seek prepetition damages following a Chapter 11 debtor-in-possession's rejection of the underlying license agreement (Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, No. 16-9016, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 870).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 12 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to South Dakota in its challenge of the continued applicability of a 25-year-old case that bars the state's ability to enforce a new law requiring certain out-of-state internet retailers to collect and remit sales tax on sales to South Dakota residents (South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., et al., No. 17-494, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 12 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari for a second time in a dispute over the availability of lost profits awards in cases of infringement under Section 271(f) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 271(f), where the profits arose from prohibited combinations occurring outside the United States (WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 16-1011, U.S. Sup.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent relating to Novartis AG's Afinitor anti-cancer drug was confirmed as patentable Jan. 11 in a final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which rebuffed allegations of obviousness by Par Pharmaceutical Inc. and other drug makers (Par Pharmaceutical Inc., et al., v. Novartis AG, No. IPR2016-00084, PTAB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in determining that allegations of infringement of a patent later deemed invalid for violating Section 102 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 102, were not exceptional, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Jan. 11 (Honeywell International Inc. v. FujiFilm Corporation, et al., Nos. 2017-1070, -1073, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 684).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Jan. 11 final written decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board deemed all 24 challenged claims of a data compression patent obvious under Section 103(a) of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103(a) (Apple Inc. v. Realtime Data LLC, No. IPR2016-01366, PTAB).
CINCINNATI - A rejection on summary judgment of allegations that a riflescope maker committed trade dress infringement through the design of its knurling was erroneous, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 10 (Leapers Inc. v. SMTS LLC, et al., No. 17-1007, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 599).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A dispute over the question of whether an "exceptional case" finding in a district court can be based on events that occur during an inter partes re-examination or review was argued before the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 (SAP America Inc. v. Wellogix Inc., No. 17-1176, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An inter partes review (IPR) petitioner that successfully established obviousness of 32 claims of three patents nonetheless argues in a Jan. 9 brief that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling did not go far enough and should have instead invalidated all challenged claims (Vivint Inc. v. Alarm.com Inc., Nos. 2017-2218, -2219, -2220, -2260, -2261, -2262, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although upholding a California federal judge's determination of patent eligibility, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 10 deemed a defendant entitled to judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) with regard to a separate patent on grounds that an accused malware detection product does not perform a claimed "policy index" limitation (Finjan Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems Inc., No. 16-2520, Fed. Cir.).