Conflict of Laws Intellectual Property

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REDUCING RISKS: Court Finds Copyright Act Does Not Preempt State Trade Secret Claim

Over the years, it has proven difficult to fit software in any one category of IP protection. And while software’s ability to seemingly transcend patents, copyright, and trade secrets provides software developers and...more

Judge Oetken Holds That Forum-Selection Clause in License Agreement Does Not Trump First-to-File Rule Altogether

On September 16, 2016, District Judge J. Paul Oetken (S.D.N.Y.) denied plaintiff Comcast Corp.’s (“Comcast”) motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin defendant Rovi Corp. (“Rovi”) from continuing to litigate its...more

What the Federal Circuit's Decision in McRO v. Bandai Could Mean for Computer-Based Inventions and Other Innovations

In McRO v. Bandai, the Federal Circuit provides particular guidance and clarity on the issue of preemption, which it describes as “The concern underlying the exceptions to § 101.” In addition to providing another guidepost...more

McRo: Preemption Matters After All

The Federal Circuit has released its long-awaited opinion in McRo v. Bandai, reversing the lower court’s decision that the claims were ineligible subject matter. McRo’s invention in U.S. 6,307,576 was a method used in 3D...more

Federal Circuit Emphasizes Preemption and Realization as the Path to Eligibility

On September 13th the Federal Circuit issued a very encouraging decision in the MCRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America appeal. The panel reversed a judgment on the pleadings entered by a Central District of California...more

Federal Cannabis Laws Don’t Impede Patentability

While the Lanham Act bars the federal registration of trademarks related to illegal goods and services, there is no such prohibition against patenting illegal products or processes. However, the value of such patents is...more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 - New Federal Protection for Trade Secrets | Orange County Business Journal Intellectual...

On May 11, 2016, the President signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). The DTSA significantly expands protection of intellectual property rights by creating a body of trade secrets law that applies nationwide and...more

In the Weeds Between Federal and State Law: Brand Name for Legal Marijuana Sales Denied Federal Registration

In a precedential opinion, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) affirmed a USPTO refusal to register the trademark HERBAL ACCESS on the basis the use of the mark in commerce was unlawful under the Controlled Substances...more

The Polyjuice Potion Is the Worst Prescription When Branding Marijuana Businesses: Lessons Learned From In re Morgan Brown

The recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, In re Morgan Brown, (Herbal Access) denied registration for the Herbal Access mark for a retail store legally selling marijuana products in Washington state. The...more

The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act vs. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Although some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) has widely been adopted by most states, including California, variations among the versions and related judicial interpretation has led to...more

CAFC Dissects Alice Patent Eligibility Analysis in Bascom Global Internet Services

This case arose on an appeal from the grant of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, with the district court finding the asserted claims of Bascom’s U.S. Patent No. 5,987,606 were invalid as a matter of law under...more

Cannabis Trademark Strategy in Jeopardy

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Trademark Office (TTAB) just rejected a popular strategy for protecting cannabis-related marks at the federal level. Many forward-thinking cannabis businesses have applied to...more

Trademark Goods/Services Limitations, Why Not Exclude Any Federal Unlawful Activities?

Those involved in the cannabis industry — where certain activities are legal in some States, but unlawful under federal law — continue to search for creative strategies and solutions in protecting their trademarks and service...more

USPTO Keeps the Door Locked for Marijuana-related Services

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 states, including four states that have also legalized recreational use (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington). On Nov. 8, California voters will have a chance to make their...more

Clark v. Dashner - USDC, D. New Mexico, June 30, 2016

District court dismisses author’s claims that film “The Maze Runner” and novel of same name infringed on copyright in his book The Maze, holding that similarities between works, including giant maze and robotic creatures, are...more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

California District Court Puts Baby In A Corner

In the United States, federal laws take precedence over state law and common law causes of action where there is an overlap. This lesson was recently learned again in Lions Gate Entertainment Inc v TD Ameritrade Services...more

CBS Radio Remasters the Art of Not Paying Artists Royalties

Two years ago, a federal judge rocked the music industry in holding that pre-1972 recordings may be protected under state copyright laws and are protected by California copyright law. This holding, in a case brought against...more

‘The Autumn Wind’ and the Right of Publicity

As a child of the 60’s and 70’s and an insatiable NFL football fan, I can still hear the swaggering voice of narrator John Facenda in the now-iconic 1974 NFL Films production “The Autumn Wind,” which has been dubbed The...more

Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Takes Effect

Employers Should Immediately Revise Confidentiality Agreements to Comply - The Defend Trade Secrets Act, signed into law by President Obama last week and effective immediately, provides a new federal remedy for trade...more

The Current State of Trade Secret Law and how the New Federal Statute Will Shape the Landscape

Trade Secret Protection Schemes: •State: Uniform Trade Secrets Act –Adopted in various forms between 1979 and 2013 •Common Law –New York and Massachusetts •Federal: Defend Trade Secrets Act –Amends the...more

First Round of DTSA Complaints Alleging Misappropriation Activity Both Before and After DTSA’s Enactment: Will They Stick?

Following President Obama’s signing of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or the “Act”) into law last week, parties are beginning to file lawsuits asserting claims under the DTSA. As widely reported, before the...more

Did You Tell Them? Employers' Notice Obligations Regarding Whistleblowers Under the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act

The federal Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA"), an amendment to the Theft of Trade Secrets Act, became effective May 12, 2016. The DTSA provides trade secret owners an avenue to pursue claims for trade secret misappropriation...more

Certain Provisions of California Resale Royalty Act Are Preempted by the Copyright Act

On April 11, 2016, in Estate of Robert Graham, et al. v. Sotheby’s, Inc., D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08604-MWF-FFM (C.D. Cal. 2016), U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald concluded that certain provisions of the California...more

“Defend Trade Secrets Act” Signed Into Law Effective May 11, 2016

The Defendant Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), was signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016. The new statute creates broad private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation and has been hailed as...more

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