Posts Tagged: "lawsuit"

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Government Alleging PTAB Violates Takings Clause and Due Process

On Wednesday, May 9th, Oklahoma-based patent owner Christy Inc. filed a class action complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the United States seeking just compensation for the taking of the rights of inventors’ and patent owners’ patent property rights effectuated by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Members of the proposed class would include all owners of patents which were deemed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to include patentable subject matter which were later invalidated by the PTAB.

Facebook drops efficient infringement clause from its React software license

In late September, an official blog post published by Menlo Park, CA-based social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and penned by Adam Wolff, the company’s engineering director, announced that the company would be adopting a software license agreement known as the MIT License for many of the company’s open source projects. This includes Facebook’s React platform, a Javascript library for building front-end user interfaces on hardware products. The use of the MIT License moves Facebook away from a prior software license known as the BSD + Patents License that included language which put patent owners using the React platform at a serious disadvantage.

3M files patent and trademark suit against Chinese manufacturer of spray gun paint preparation system

On September 21st, Saint Paul, MN-based technology and materials company 3M (NYSE:MMM) filed a lawsuit alleging patent and trademark infringement committed by Shanghai, China-based Thunder Finish. The lawsuit targets Thunder Finish’s marketing of paint preparation products developed by 3M which are meant to simplify the use and cleanup of liquid paint spray guns. The suit is filed in the Western District of Wisconsin.

Trademark Food Fight: Did In-N-Out Burger Abandon the Triple Triple?

Smashburger asserts that In-N-Out stopped using the Triple Triple mark and thus, abandoned its rights, when the triple meat, triple cheese hamburger was rebranded as the 3X3 hamburger over three years ago, the generally understood benchmark for abandonment of rights. And, in my research of In-N-Out’s archived web pages, as far back as 2012, In-N-Out appears to have done exactly what Smashburger asserts – it replaced the Triple Triple hamburger from its Not-So-Secret Menu with the 3X3 hamburger. Magically, references to the Triple Triple mark reappear on its Not-So-Secret Menu in early September of 2017, right after Smashburger sought to cancel In-N-Out’s Triple Triple registration. This leapfrogging of rights may be the saving grace to Smashburger’s rights in its Triple Double mark.

Dr. Phil wins copyright case against former segment director who had alleged false imprisonment

It’s not everyday that a copyright case involves claims of false imprisonment but an order granting summary judgment entered on August 30th in the Eastern District of Texas granted a legal win to American TV personality and psychologist Dr. Phil and his production studio in just such a case. Judge Rodney Gilstrap decided to grant summary judgment sua sponte to Dr. Phil and Peteski Productions in a case against a former segment director for The Dr. Phil Show after the director recorded an iPhone video from archived footage of The Dr. Phil Show to build evidence for a emotional distress suit against Dr. Phil.

In-N-Out files trademark suit against Smashburger over cheeseburger ad campaign

On Monday, August 30th, national fast food chain In-N-Out Burger filed a lawsuit alleging federal trademark infringement and other claims against fellow fast food chain Smashburger. The suit, filed in the Central District of California, alleges that Smashburger has recently adopted certain promotional advertising marks which infringe upon both state and federal trademarks held by In-N-Out. In-N-Out holds a series of 10 federally registered trademarks as well as seven trademarks registered within the state of California.

New Balance wins largest verdict ever for foreign plaintiff in Chinese trademark suit

This latest victory for a foreign plaintiff asserting intellectual property claims is proof of yet another step down the road leading to a reformed, intellectual property friendly China, with China cracking down on infringers — as promised by Chinese President Xi Jinping… The Chinese IP court in Beijing reportedly ordered three domestic shoemakers to pay a total of 10 million yuan ($1.5 million USD) to New Balance for infringing upon the slanted ‘N’ logo utilized by New Balance on its branded shoes. That’s not a huge damages award in the grand scheme of trademark damages ordered around the world but reports indicate that the damages in this cases were the most ever handed out by a Chinese court to a foreign plaintiff for trademark infringement allegations.

Finjan files patent infringement suit against Bitdefender as part of campaign to protect online security IP

Finjan asserts four patents in the case and alleges that Bitdefender’s marketing of antivirus, cloud and sandboxing technologies infringes upon the patents-in-suit. The case has been filed in the Northern District of California… Finjan’s suit against Bitdefender alleges that Bitdefender was presented with written notice of the alleged infringement of Finjan’s patents as early as February 2015. In October 2015, Finjan alleged that it discussed the ‘844, ‘154 and ‘494 patents with Bitdefender and how those patents read on technology practiced by Bitdefender. Despite numerous in-person and telephone meetings, Finjan alleges that that Bitdefender has continued to engage in willful and deliberate infringement of Finjan’s IP.

Nintendo Switch gaming console is at center of patent infringement suit filed by Gamevice

Gamevice is asserting a single patent in this case: U.S. Patent No. 9126119, titled Combination Computing Device and Game Controller with Flexible Bridge Section. Issued in September 2015, it claims a combination device having a computing device with sides disposed between an electronic display screen and the device’s back, a communication port interacting with the computing device and having a pair of structures confining the computing device, an input device in communication with the communication port and having a pair of control modules providing input module apertures securing an instructional input device.

The story of the bullied patent owner, more widespread than bad acting patent trolls

We have all heard it. We all know it happens. Large company takes a look at what small company is working on, refuses to do a deal and then miraculously thereafter starts to infringe. In this, as in many cases, there was a confidentiality agreement, but what good is such an agreement without the means to enforce it? Even worse, it appears as if in this case the larger company had the audacity to file a patent application of their own after being granted access to what was supposed to be confidential information. Unfortunately, Congress and the Courts seem singularly focused on protecting helpless large multinational corporations who, as the story goes, are getting bullied by patent owners. That just isn’t the reality I see.

Trademark Protection: Is Litigation Worth the Cost?

Anybody who has any involvement with Intellectual Property (“IP”) knows full well that protecting IP means a multi-step process. Obviously, step one is the conception of the invention, idea, trademark, trade name, or other innovation where protection might be necessary. Step two is the decision about what to do with the “new” idea, etc. in terms of the need to try for exclusivity on it –or not. Many “new” things do not need IP protection – and other “new” things may not qualify for it. If the “new” idea fits into the area where protection is desirable and it qualifies, then the next step is to seek legal protection. Of course, such protection will have a cost – whether or not the protection is sought by the inventor/conceptualizer himself/herself or itself (in the case of an organization) or assistance of counsel is required.

Dr. Phil Sues Gawker Media for Copyright Infringement

As briefly discussed above, Peteski brought this action against Deadspin because Deadspin copied the Dr. Phil show that had an exclusive interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo is the brains (and voice) behind the hoax that was played on Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o. What was the hoax? A fake online girlfriend for the football player. On the first part of Dr. Phil’s two-part show, Tuiasosopo talked about how the hoax worked, and toward the end of the show, Dr. Phil asked Tuiasosopo to demonstrate the telephone voice that he used. Tuiasosopo acted like he didn’t want to do it; so the end of that first episode was “the cliffhanger”–can Dr. Phil get Tuiasosopo to “do the voice” on the next episode?

Machine Gun Maker Sues Alphonse Capone Over Trademarks

Capone, an Illinois corporation, did not have authorization to use the Tommy Gun trademarks on alcoholic beverages that carry a reproduction of the Tommy Gun marks. Additionally, Saeilo claims that Capone’s infringement not only violates federal trademark law, but also Illinois state law and common law.

Chubby Checker Brings Lawsuit Against Hewlett-Packard, Palm for Trademark Infringement

In the complaint, Willie Gary and his team claim that HP and Palm’s infringing use of the name Chubby Checker in relation to its software application is likely to cause confusion or mistake in the minds of the artist’s long-time fans and supporters, such that it would do damage to the brand and Mr. Evans’ businesses. Additionally, if the infringement is allowed to continue, it will permit HP and Palm to benefit from profits to which they are not entitled.

SCOTUS Adopts International Copyright Exhaustion in Kirtsaeng

Tuesday, in Kirtsaeng v. John W. Wiley and Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court held 6-3 that the first sale doctrine of Section 109(a) of the Copyright Act trumps a copyright owner’s right under Section 602(a)(1) to bar importation of copies when they were made and sold outside the United States. The Court appropriately rejected a cramped geographic reading of “lawfully made under this title,” but largely gutted the right of copyright owners under Section 602(a)(1) to bar importation of copies. Along the way, the Court unequivocally adopted international copyright exhaustion without a lick of statutory support or evidence of Congressional intent. Given the Court’s willingness to find international exhaustion even in the face of statutory language limiting parallel imports under the Copyright Act, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Court fully embrace international patent exhaustion in the future, since there’s even less statutory basis to bar its adoption.