Articles News & Research

Monday, August 8, 2016

Relying on the Supreme Court’s B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc., 135, S.Ct. 1293, 1299 (2015) decision, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissing a trademark infringement complaint as barred by collateral estoppel on the ground that the defendant had previously prevailed on the issue of priority before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board, and thus the plaintiff could not proceed with its complaint.  Ashe v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-2566, 652 Fed.Appx. 155 (4th Cir.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Citing the Supreme Court’s decision in Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., 134 S.Ct. 1749, 1755-56 (2014), Judge Titus awarded attorneys’ fees because the case was “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285 based on plaintiff’s “continued pursuit of baseless claims that had no chance of success.”  The plaintiff pressed its patent infringement claim against defendant despite actual knowledge that its exclusive remedy for patent infringement was a suit against the United States in the Court of Claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1498.  Astornet Techs, Inc. v.

Monday, July 11, 2016

After holding a Markman claim construction hearing, Judge Marvin Garbis construed the claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,887,910 directed to a “protective cover for an electronic device” to give disputed claim terms their “plain and ordinary meaning.”  Focusing on the explicit language of the claims, the Court declined the defendant’s requests to read several extraneous limitations into the claims.  As claim construction tools, the Court relied on embodiments disclosed in the patent’s specification and the doctrine of claim differentiation.  M-Edge Int’l Corp. v. Lifeworks Tech.

Monday, July 11, 2016

A recent decision by Judge Catherine Blake serves as a reminder of the importance of documenting fees and costs for later recovery under 35 U.S.C.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Applying the Supreme Court’s relatively recent decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014), Judge Paul W. Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland granted summary judgment of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. § 101 against two patents because the patent claims explained what the invention does without explaining how it does so.  Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Capital One Financial Corp., 127 F. Supp. 3d 506 (D. Md Sept. 2, 2015).

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Fourth Circuit affirmed the Maryland District Court’s dismissal of a breach of contract claim relating to the defendant filing trademark applications in several foreign countries, allegedly in violation of a Worldwide Coexistence Agreement relating to the parties’ respective PERDUE and PERDIX marks:  “ongoing duties not to do business in Maryland do not demonstrate that [the defendant] purposefully availed itself of the privilege of doing business in Maryland.”  Perdue Foods LLC v. BRF S.A., 814 F.3d 185, 191 (4th Cir. Feb. 19, 2016).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A motion for over $2 million in attorneys’ fees for plaintiff was denied by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis because (1) the attorneys for the plaintiff/prevailing party “unnecessarily proceeded beyond the pleading stage” with respect to a defective counterclaim, thus suggesting that plaintiff’s attorneys should have mitigated attorneys’ fees by filing a motion under Rule 12 of the Fed. R. Civ. P., and (2) attorneys’ fees related to state law counterclaims were not sufficiently intertwined with patent issues so as to make them recoverable under 35 U.S.C. § 285.  Genspera, Inc. v.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

If you are one of the many who believe that once a commercialized product holds a patent, it is completely protected from any infringement, you need to keep reading.  That’s because a product must be marked with the correct and active patent number to collect on past damages.  Unfortunately and all too often, that is not the case. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Patent law was conceived to spur innovation and incentivize original ideas. But in the age of technology, several factors have led to congestion of the court system, sometimes suppression of innovation and, in some instances, dubious assertions of patent infringement.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trademark owners beware.  Your trademark may have been hijacked on the internet.  The internet creates many opportunities for trademark abuse.  For instance, third parties can claim registered trademarks as their own username on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.  However, it is not the duty of the social network to police for unauthorized trademark use.  The trademark owner needs to monitor for any activities that may injure the strength, reputation and goodwill of their mark.  Sounds like an ominous task, so what should you do?

 

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