Week’s news headlines – August 4th, 2017


Federal Circuit declares Regeneron patent unenforceable due to inequitable conduct
On Thursday, July 27th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Merus N.V. in which the Court (Chief Justice Prost with Judge Wallach joining) upheld the determination that the patent owned by Tarrytown, NY-based biotech firm Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN) was unenforceable

Why are these people giving testimony to Congress on patent reform?
On Thursday, July 13th, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held yet another one-sided hearing on the topic of patent reform

America’s Patent System: An amazingly resilient philosophy and entity
I’ve been asked to discuss where we are today concerning the intertwined topics of innovation and patent policy

Global IP Trends Indicator underscores increasing globalization in patent filing strategies
In late June, international patent filing service RWS inovia released the 2017 Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator, a survey of global patent owners, which is designed to uncover trends in the filing strategies for intellectual property across the world

Why is the government suspicious of patent owners who don’t want to vertically integrate?
According to the United States Department of Justice Merger Guidelines, vertical mergers can be problematic because they may affect competition in the marketplace

Judge orders Apple to pay $506M to WARF over infringement of patented processor technology
On Tuesday, July 25th, Judge William Conley of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (W.D. Wis.) entered an order and amended judgment into a patent infringement case brought by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the research and development arm of the University of Wisconsin, against Cupertino, CA-based consumer electronics giant Apple Inc

Judge Michel tells Congress it isn’t helpful to talk about quality, patents are either valid or invalid
The July 13th hearing on the effects of “bad patents” on American businesses held by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet has been very enlightening despite the one-sided nature of that day’s hearing

Dentons adds three patent partners to IP and Technology Practice
Dentons, the global law firm, has added three patent partners to its award-winning Intellectual Property and Technology practice. Peter Yim and Brian Ho have joined the Firm’s San Francisco office and Christopher Eide joined the Silicon Valley office.

The Problem of Reducing Patentability to Novelty
The patent system consists of a fundamental bargain. In order to encourage invention of original technical research, the government confers a limited exclusive right to the inventor

Motorola swipes at Hytera in Australia patent feud
Yesterday, July 31, Motorola announced it had filed patent infringement proceedings at the Federal Court of Australia

Selfie patent suit has ‘no merit’, claims Kim Kardashian
Yesterday, WIPR reported that the reality TV star and retailer Urban Outfitters had been hit with a complaint centring on selfie cases for smartphones

Federal Circuit backs Nestlé, says PTAB erred in claim construction
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) erred in its construction of a claim term, according to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a win for food and drink company Nestlé USA

China streamlines patent examination for Internet, big data patent applications
On July 28th, 2017, China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) announced a new set of regulations which are intended to streamline the examination of patent applications in certain burgeoning fields of technology

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016: Design Patent Highlights
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published its annual World Intellectual Property Indicators

New $50 million patent fund underlines latest era in IP investment
It’s not often that an investor commits to spending tens of millions of dollars on patents so the news from earlier this week that Hawkeye Ventures was pairing up with Dominion Harbor to launch a $50 million fund to buy grants worldwide was enough to raise a few eyebrows

The Costs of Patenting in Africa: A Tale of Three Intellectual Property Systems
The African economy, which is home to more than a billion people, has tripled since the year 2000 (Michael Lalor; 2014) and currently houses 9 of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world (Spoor & Fisher; 2016), presenting immense business opportunities

Patent Quality Metrics: Finding Reliable Metrics Linked to Patent Value
Patent valuation is a topic that features often on this blog. After all, IP represents an important part of a company’s assets. Unfortunately, intangible assets in general, and patents in particular, are simply not easy to value



The Beatles win stadium copyright tussle
In September last year, The Beatles’ company Apple Corps was sued by Sid Bernstein Presents at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York

Canadian university takes royalties case to Federal Court of Appeal
In July, WIPR reported that the Federal Court of Canada had backed Canadian licensing agency Access Copyright in the clash with York

A sight for sore eyes: Penguin Random House secures picture books copyright win
Penguin Random House secured a win against two authors late last week, after a US judge ruled that picture books based on famous novels infringe copyright

EFF says .onion domain can protect against IP ‘bullies’
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a white paper discussing which internet registries offer the best protection for domain owners against trademark and copyright “bullies”




Defences to infringement in the EU trademark reforms: a mixed bag
The EU trademark reforms, most of which were introduced at the start of 2016, issued new rules on the defences available to infringement

Crocs tangled up in trade dress suit
USA Dawgs sued Crocs on Thursday, July 27 at the US District Court for the District of Nevada, alleging that the brand had copied one of Dawgs’s sandals

Food fight enters court as lawyers file pre-emptive strike
Several lawyers in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania have joined together to file a pre-emptive lawsuit against the organisers of a food festival in Indiana that allegedly threatened to sue another culinary event in the Pennsylvania town

Kim Kardashian and Urban Outfitters sued for $100m over ‘selfie’ phone cases
At the heart of the suit, which was filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California yesterday, are selfie cases—smartphone cases that provide bright lighting

Coldplay merchandise sellers targeted in trademark lawsuit
Filed on Thursday, July 27, at the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the complaint relates to merchandise for an upcoming Coldplay performance at the Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts this Friday, August 4

Knead for a re-think? BBC cooking show under fire over ‘Bake Off’ similarities
Broadcast on the BBC since 2010, “Bake Off” will be shown on Channel 4 this year after the company won the rights to the amateur baking competition

Madison, WI-based chocolatier files for declaratory relief in trademark case against Mars
On Wednesday, July 26th, Madison, WI-based chocolatier CocoVaa, LLC filed a complaint for declaratory relief against candy-making giant Mars Inc. of McLean, VA.

Federal Agencies Tackling Trademark Scams
Some trademark applicants and registrants have paid fees to private companies while mistakenly thinking they were paying fees required by the USPTO

Nestlé’s 3D trade mark hopes melting away?
In a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeal has upheld the High Court’s ruling involving Nestlé’s attempt to register a four-finger bar shape as a trade mark in the United Kingdom, meaning – at least for now – it remains unregistered

Insurers may have to cough up over TM settlement
On Tuesday, August 1, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a decision by a lower court which had found that the insurers weren’t obliged to defend the policyholder, Willowood USA, in a trademark infringement lawsuit

Steak houses settle trademark beef
Peter Luger Steak House, a renowned New York City restaurant, has dismissed its trademark infringement dispute with Pennsylvania rival Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood Restaurant


Image Rights

Van Morrison sued by former wrestler over mohawk album image
Canadian Billy Two Rivers, who competed in wrestling events across the globe before retiring in 1977, filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, July 27


Domain Name

.boston domain takes next step towards launch
Registry service provider MMX made an announcement  yesterday, August 1, that the domain has entered the ‘sunrise period’, marking 70 days until general availability

‘Confusingly similar’ domain names no match for Tinder
Dating app Tinder has won the transfer of two domain names linking to rival dating sites, despite the registrant offering to write positive reviews of the app

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