Intellectual Property Updates

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“Knock-Offs” Beware: SCOTUS Makes a Fashion-Forward Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has settled the closely watched Varsity Brands Inc. et al. v. Star Athletica LLC copyright dispute, holding that cheerleading outfits contain distinct design elements that allow for copyright ownership....more

U.S. Patent Office Provides Additional Examples of Eligible Subject Matter

After the Supreme Court case of Alice v. CLS Bank in 2014, the Patent Office has issued a series of examination guidelines and examples to guide examiners and patent practitioners in determining patent eligible subject...more

SCOTUS Determines That Decorations on Cheerleading Uniforms Are Conceptually Separable From Uniforms and Eligible For Copyright...

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a 6-2 ruling in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., et al., holding the decorative elements on Varsity Brands’ cheerleading uniforms were...more

Supreme Court Outlines New Test for Copyrightability of Useful Articles

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. significantly expands copyright protection for useful articles. On March 22, 2017, the US Supreme Court set out a new standard for copyrightability...more

US Supreme Court Knocks out the Equitable Defense of Laches in Patent Law

The Supreme Court of the United States in SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag, et al. v. First Quality Baby Prods., LLC, et al., has held that the equitable defense of laches is no longer a valid defense to patent damages claims...more

Supreme Court Rejects Laches as Bar to Damages for Timely Asserted Patent Infringement Claims

The Supreme Court has narrowed the scope of the laches defense in patent infringement actions, aligning its interpretation of laches under the Patent Act with that under the Copyright Act....more

Supreme Court Holds Equitable Laches is No Longer Available to Limit Patent Damages

The Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision written by Justice Alito, has held that laches cannot be invoked as a defense against any claim for damages in a patent case brought within the 6-year limitation on damages prescribed by...more

Supreme Court Curbs Laches as a Defense in Patent Cases

In SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, decided on March 21, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly reduced the role of the laches defense in patent actions: "Laches cannot be interposed as a defense...more

Supreme Court Eliminates the Laches Defense in Patent Cases

The Supreme Court held that laches is no longer a defense against patent infringement. The Patent Act’s six-year statute of limitations already limits the window for damages for infringement, which precludes any further...more

U.S. Supreme Court Eliminates Laches Defense for Damages in Patent Suits

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, held in a 7-1 decision that the defense of laches is not available under the Patent Act to bar claims for damages. SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Copyright Protection for Artistic Features in Clothing

On March 22, 2017, the Supreme Court held that a two- or three-dimensional work of art on a useful article, such as clothing, is protectable under copyright law if: (1) the work of art can be perceived as separate from the...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Much Anticipated Patent Exhaustion Case

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the highly anticipated case regarding the patent exhaustion doctrine, Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Impression Prods., Inc., No. 15-1189...more

Use It or Lose It: USPTO to Conduct Post-Registration Trademark Use Audits

Trademark owners take note: Affidavits to renew your U.S. trademark registrations may be getting a closer look. On March 21, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") implemented a new rule aimed at...more

The Impending Launch of the Unified Patent Court

In a fundamental change to how European patents are going to be litigated in Europe, the United Patent Court (UPC) will soon have exclusive jurisdiction over European patent disputes and will be able to issue remedies that...more

Sections 101 and 112: Eligibility, Patentability, or Somewhere in Between?

We wrote earlier about the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in patent eligibility and seemingly unintended confusion between the patent eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and the remaining patentability requirements...more

FDA Approval for Medtronic’s Reveal LINQ ICM with TruRhythm Detection

On March 13, 2017, Medtronic announced FDA 510(k) clearance for its Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM) with TruRhythm Detection. Previously, Medtronic received Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare approval for the...more

Keyword ads — Only infringing if they’re confusing

Neighbors can be helpful. Our Canadian neighbors may have just helped U.S. trademark owners who wonder about the legality of use of their trademarks in Google AdWords ads, and other search-engine keyword ads....more

Warner Bros., Trademark Lawyers Target “Golden Ticket” Beer Brand

This month, “Willy Wonka” filmmaker Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (“Warner Bros.”) formally opposed Georgia-based South Sky Brewing Company’s (“Southern Sky”) federal trademark application for its “Golden Ticket” branded...more

Supreme Court Preview -- TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC

Next week, on Monday March 27, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC case. This case involves the interpretation of the current patent venue statute. And while...more

Client Alert: Supreme Court Finds Cheerleading Uniforms Copyrightable in Landmark Apparel Copyright Case

In the first apparel copyright case ever considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc., the high court found on March 22, 2017 that decorative elements of a cheerleading uniform could be...more

The News is Fake, but the Trademarks are Real

The trademark filings for new political slogans and catchphrases continue. Over the last couple of months, Donald Trump has repeatedly accused various news sources of disseminating “fake news.” As a result, 14 trademark...more

The Battle of the Kylies Over the “Kylie” Trademark

In one corner, you have the 19-year-old breakout star of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner, who is making a name for herself with her cosmetics and fashion empire. In the other corner, you have the 48-year-old singer,...more

Improving the Examiner Interview with a Little Psychotherapy

Wandering through the aisles of iTunes for interesting podcasts, I came across several on psychotherapy. Wow, I thought to myself; I can sure use these! Many of them are hosted by women who have nice voices and who interview...more

Give me…“Separability!” Supreme Court Holds Cheerleading Uniform Designs Copyrightable

The Supreme Court, in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., 580 U.S. ___ (2017), resolved “widespread disagreement” among the circuits, and adopted a single test to determine the copyrightability of designs...more

Three Stripes and You’re Out

On March 17, Adidas American, Inc. sued Juicy Couture, Inc., in the District of Oregon (3:17-cv-00437), alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, deceptive trade practices, and breach of...more

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