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IP Wise

Making Business Wise About Intellectual Property Litigation

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Patent Trolls Still Can’t Find A Way Through Alice’s Looking Glass

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We (and others) have written frequently and at length about the impact of Alice v. CLS Bank on patent litigation—how the test set out in that case has enabled litigants and courts to obtain an early determination of whether a patent claims a viable invention or just an abstract idea. Parties who assert patents in...

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The Platform of Patent Infringement?

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A little over a year ago, Judge Martinez of the Western District of Washington adopted an advisory jury verdict finding that Amazon.com Inc. did not “offer to sell” several third party pillowcases available for purchase through Amazon.com which allegedly infringed certain design patents. As is often the case with legal questions, the issue was just...

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En Banc Federal Circuit To Decide What To Decide In Inter Partes Review Appeals

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Welcome, dear readers, to 2017. While we left 2016 with the potentially explosive news that the Supreme Court may be poised to eliminate the forum shopping that feeds patent troll litigation, we begin the new year with a Federal Circuit decision to review a small problem with the review of decisions by the Patent Office...

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Supreme Court May Take Its Chance To End Forum Shopping

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Before closing up shop for the holidays, the Supreme Court issued a short order which, among other things, granted the cert. petition filed in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC. By taking this case, the Court has given hope to those of us concerned about forum shopping, and the over–concentration of patent...

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What’s Your Damage, Apple?

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The opinion of the Supreme Court is in, in Samsung v. Apple, and the news is not appetizing for Apple. Justice Sotomayor, writing for a unanimous Court, did just enough to (temporarily?) undo the $399–million verdict Apple had secured in this skirmish of the smartphone wars for infringement of its design patents. But the Court...

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Federal Circuit Clips The Wings of Covered Business Method Review

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In an opinion yesterday in Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., a three–judge panel of the Federal Circuit significantly limited the scope of Patent Office review of business method patents under the America Invents Act. The appellate court shrunk the universe of patents eligible for covered business method (CBM) review, a result which may please...

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IP in 2017: Nothing To See (Yet) Amid The Fog Of Political War

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‘Tis coming up on the season of crystal ball–gazing, when pundits and bloggers look into the future to see what the new year will bring in the fields they cover. The itch to peer into the future is even harder to resist in presidential election years, especially those in which a new president will take...

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Vote Counts: Supreme Court Ties Make Everyone The Loser

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Intellectual property law is not especially ideological—or at least not obviously so. While there are many vehement disputes in the field of IP law, few if any can be cast in R–vs.–D, right–vs.–left terms. That is one reason that patent law has been an area in which the Roberts Supreme Court has been able to...

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Give Me A C….

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The Supreme Court recently heard arguments in the case of Star Athletica v. Varsity Brands, a copyright case seeking resolution of the appropriate test to determine when a feature of a “useful article” is protectable under section 101 of the Copyright Act. Section 101 provides that “the design of a useful article” will be considered...

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Government Supports Supreme Court Review Of Patent Exhaustion Dispute

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For some, patent exhaustion is the feeling you get when you try to read the text of a patent and just can’t keep your eyes open. In the law, patent exhaustion is a legal doctrine that limits the scope of a patent–holder’s rights. The first valid sale of a patented product exhausts those rights, so...

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