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IP Wise

Making Business Wise About Intellectual Property Litigation

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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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FTC Issues Long–Awaited Patent Troll Study

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The Federal Trade Commission today announced the publication of its formal study of the problem of patent trolls—which the Commission more politely refers to as “patent assertion entities” or “PAEs.” Using its investigative authority, the Commission examined non–public information for 2009–2014 from 22 PAEs, 327 PAE affiliates, and 2,100 holding entities. The FTC divided the...

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Pleadings 2.0

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Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” A decade ago, pleading a patent case was approximately as easy as: “You have a product/website/method/service and I have a patent. You owe me money.” With the Supreme...

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Freedom of Software Speech

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Intellectual Ventures is no stranger to filing appeals with the Federal Circuit when confronted with an unfavorable ruling at the district court level, though it may be kicking itself for having done so in its case against Symantec, where the Federal Circuit not only affirmed the district court’s decisions of ineligibility regarding two of the...

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Supreme Court To Review Statute Against Disparaging Trademarks

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Federal trademark law, specifically, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a),  provides that the Patent and Trademark Office can refuse to register a trademark that disparages persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols. Last December, the entire Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held this disparagement provision to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, as we discussed at the...

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32 Internet Companies, Retailers, and Associations File Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Patent Venue

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Perhaps only in the sphere of patent litigation can the issue of venue—in what court a case can be filed—take on mammoth significance, and draw the attention of interested observers. Why does venue matter? Well, under the current relaxed regime, over 40% of all patent cases in 2015 were filed in the Eastern District of...

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Unpatent To Take on Patent Trolls

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Newegg and its Chief Legal Officer, Lee Cheng, have been outspoken and uncompromising in opposition to patent trolls. Cheng has now joined forces with two well–known hackers, Luis Cuende and Jorge Izquierdo, on their new venture, Unpatent, with the goal of “fixing the innovation framework,” beginning with patent trolls, which they describe as a “glitch...

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Happy Birthday, Patent Reform

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Today marks the fifth anniversary of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a comprehensive patent reform package that, depending on your vantage point, either went too far or not far enough. From a removal of half a decade, it appears that some of the AIA’s requirements have had little practical effect – for example, the fact...

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Patent Office Employees Found To Have Wasted Their Time, Taxpayer Money

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According to a report issued today by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Commerce, hundreds of thousands of the claimed work hours of patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cannot be reasonably accounted for. After a minute–by–minute review of data for 94% of all patent examiners’ claimed...

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