Posts Tagged: "Injunctions"

The Tough Act of Balancing Preliminary Injunction Factors: Indivior Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, S. A. (Fed. Cir. 2018)

How the likelihood of success on the merits should (or should not) be determined and the four factors balanced in a patent infringement case, are areas in which there has been significant disagreement among the judges of the Federal Circuit… Whether or not to grant the extraordinary relief of preliminary injunction to a patentee is a matter largely within the discretion of the trial court. This discretion is to be exercised in consistence with traditional principles of equity, grounded on well-articulated principles, and based on long-held precedents.  Grant or denial of a preliminary injunction by a trial court may be overturned only upon a showing of abuse of discretion by the trial court.  Failing to consider the totality of the preliminary injunction factors during review can lead to an outcome inconsistent with the requirements of equity.

Apple Removes ‘Minor Functionality’ from iPhone in Response to Chinese Injunction

On December 10, 2018, a Chinese court granted Qualcomm an injunction against Apple that stops sales and imports of most iPhones in China.  On December 12, Apple announced that as a result of the Chinese injunction, “early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the…

Fitness Anywhere win Enhanced Damages and Permanent Injunction as Infringement Continued Post Verdict

The order granted post-trial motions filed by Fitness Anywhere both for enhanced damages on the patent infringement findings as well as a permanent injunction against WOSS. Although it wasn’t likely that Fitness Anywhere would recoup the total enhanced patent damages of more than $11 million dollars from WOSS, having recently declared bankruptcy, Villeneuve noted that this decision set an important precedent for the company. Such a ruling was very important to TRX, which has lost sales and has had to layoff employees in California because of the actions of infringing parties. Villeneuve said that the single most important factor leading to the grant of permanent injunction was WOSS’ sale of infringing products after the jury verdict.

CAFC Overturns Preliminary Injunction on Generic Suboxone Film Over Newman Dissent

The Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential decision in Indivior Inc. v. Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, S.A., which vacated a preliminary injunction handed out by the District of New Jersey in a Hatch-Waxman patent infringement case brought by British pharmaceutical firm Indivior. The Federal Circuit panel majority concluded that the district court had abused its discretion in granting the injunction. The majority found that the ‘305 patent’s specification disparaged, and therefore disclaimed, the method of drying the films with the use of conventional methods which only dry the top of the film. Judge Pauline Newman authored a dissenting opinion in which she explained she would have found the district court’s preliminary injunction grant sustained on appeal. According to Judge Newman, the majority’s decision imported the drying limitation from the ‘514 patent claims into the ‘305 patent claims despite the fact that the ‘305 patent was amended specifically to remove this limitation.

China’s Actions on Copyrights Suggest Increasing Support of IP Rights

These headlines are further proof that China, long known as and still considered to be a major international contributor to IP theft and piracy issues, has taken steps to rectify these issues in the months since President Xi Jinping publicly stated that “IP infringers will pay a heavy price” last July. A look at China’s economy profile in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 IP Index shows that some of these recent copyright actions directly address certain weaknesses in China’s IP regime. The country received no score whatsoever for the provision of expeditious injunctive-style relief and disabling of copyright infringing content online. While it’s not clear how expeditious the NCA’s video takedown action was, it at least provided injunctive-style relief on behalf of copyright issues. The same holds true for the CAVCA’s karaoke takedown efforts. It’s also possible that at least the NCA’s actions could improve China’s score in another criteria where it ranked poorly, namely the availability of legal measures providing necessary exclusive rights to prevent copyrights on web hosting and streaming platforms.

CAFC Vacates PTAB Obviousness Decision, Nonobviousness Nexus Established by Patent Owner

The Federal Circuit recently issued a non-precedential decision in LiquidPower Specialty Products v. Baker Hughes, vacating and remanding a final written decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had invalidated claims of a LiquidPower patent in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. In a nutshell, the Federal Circuit found there to be substantial evidence supporting PTAB determinations relating to specifically what the prior art taught, and what the prior art motivated those of skill in the art to do vis-a-vis motivation to combine. However, the panel, made up of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Todd Hughes and Kimberly Moore, determined that substantial evidence did not support the PTAB’s finding that the patent owner failed to establish a nexus between the claimed invention and objective evidence of nonobviousness, or secondary considerations as they are sometimes called.  The case is now remanded to the PTAB for proper consideration of the objective evidence of nonobviousness presented by the patent owner. 

Museum of Modern Art Wins Injunction Against MOMACHA On Merits of Trademark Infringement, Dilution Claims

U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton recently issued an opinion granting an injunction requested by New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). The injunction prevents the operator of an art gallery and café located in close proximity to a MoMA Design Store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood from using a pair of marks that infringe upon MoMA’s own marks. The marks in question in this case are ‘MOMA’ and ‘MOMACHA,’ both of which were filed by MOMACHA, the SoHo café that began operating in April of this year.

Legislation Introduced in House to Repeal the PTAB and the AIA

There are 13 sections to Massie’s bill, many of which are geared towards the abolition of various statutes of the AIA. Perhaps the most salient portion of the proposed bill are sections regarding the abolishment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) as well as the elimination of both inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings currently conducted by the PTAB. As the bill states, both IPR and PGR proceedings “have harmed the progress of science and the useful arts by subjecting inventors to serial challenges to patents.” The bill also recognizes that those proceedings have been invalidating patents at an unreasonably high rate and that patent rights should adjudicated in a judicial proceeding and not in the unfair adjudication proceedings which occur within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ex parte reexamination proceedings would be preserved by this bill as well.

STRONGER Patents Act Introduced in House, Seeks to Strengthen a Crippled Patent System

In a telephone interview, Rep. Stivers noted that, while the AIA was intended as legislation that would make the patent system more efficient, the resulting differences in standards between the PTAB and the district courts have led to a large number of appeals from the PTAB. “Instead of living up to its billing as being more efficient and quicker, the PTAB has become just another stop which is more complicated, more expensive and exactly the opposite of what it was intended to do,” Stivers said. Although he noted that he was not an advocate of getting rid of the IPR process entirely, Stivers felt that the PTAB had to use the same standards of evidence used by district courts. “If that happens, then the PTAB can live up to the potential that it was sold on and you can get the same ruling no matter where you go,” Stivers said.

Will the Supreme Court continue to be influenced by patent reform?

Invariably, the Supreme Court takes a provision or two from pending legislation and makes it law. Will they do the same now that pro-patent reform is actually pending in Congress? After so many years of staying out in front of patent reform legislation that has weakened the U.S. patent system, dropped early stage investment by 62% and brought us a 40 year low in startups thus sending venture capital, startups and complete swaths of new technologies to China, how odd it will be if the Supreme Court doesn’t do the same now that pro-patent reform is actually pending in Congress.

Restoring the Right to Permanent Injunctions: A Patent Reform Agenda

Overrule eBay v. MercExchange and grant permanent injunctions to victorious patent owners as a matter of right. This singular change to U.S. patent laws – which is also found within the STRONGER Patent Act at Section 106 – would rectify much of the mischief caused by Congress and the Courts over the last 12 years. No single decision has so singularly tilted the balance between patent owners and technology implementers. Indeed, if you ask knowledgeable innovators and patent owners about the one decision or event they would undue if they could in order to bring the system back to some acceptable level of equilibrium and the answer will either be to overrule eBay v. MercExchange or to do away with post grant challenges at the PTAB.

Trends in Copyright Litigation for Tattoos

An increasing trend in copyright infringement suits filed in the United States has tattoo artists bringing suit against entertainment entities, and in some cases against the tattoo bearer themselves, for the reproduction or recreation of tattoos they created. Most commentators would likely conclude that tattoos are eligible for copyright protection under the Copyright Act. However, it is important to note that a distinction can be made between the copyright in the design of the tattoo and the copyright in the tattoo as it is reproduced on the body of a person

Linking Patent Strategy to Commercial Success

Patenting the distinctive technological features that drive demand for your products and services will make your patent portfolio more valuable by creating a link, or nexus, between your patent portfolio and your products. You can use this nexus to exploit your patents by preventing your competitors from including the most valuable features of your products in their own products without your permission; commanding a higher royalty if you license your patents; increasing your chances of getting an injunction if you need to enforce your patents;
increasing your damages base if you enforce your patents; and defending against an obviousness attack on your patents’ validity by showing that the patented features increased your market share.

Causal-nexus for a permanent injunction only requires ‘some connection’ to infringement

The district court denied a request for a permanent injunction against Metaswitch after a jury found infringement because Genband failed to establish irreparable harm. More specifically, the court found that Genband failed to establish a causal-nexus between infringement and irreparable harm, i.e. that “the patent features drive demand for the product.” The Federal Circuit remanded because this causal-nexus requirement was too stringent. The Federal Circuit explained that the court could not have confidence as to the answer to the causation question under the standard properly governing the inquiry or whether there is any independent ground for the district court finding no irreparable harm or otherwise denying an injunction.

Confused and frustrated, patent policy experts bemoan America’s absurd compulsory licensing patent system

The experts in attendance reminded us of the insanity of the compulsory licensing system that now pervades the U.S. patent marketplace, which when explained in terms of real estate is obviously absurd. A man came home from work one day to find a strange family living in his dining room. He wanted to have them evicted but was told he would have to spend five years and millions of dollars proving in court that he owned the room where the invaders had pitched their tent. A judge finally found that indeed he owned his dining room. But instead of ordering the family’s eviction she ordered the invaders to pay rent to the homeowner in an amount hypothetically determined by calculating what he and the squatters would have agreed to before his unwelcome visitors moved-in.