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Arizona Enacts New Patent Troll Legislation

Last week, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law HB 2386, known as the “Arizona Patent Troll Prevention Act.” Modeled after similar legislation passed by other states, the Act prohibits bad faith demands of patent infringement and gives the Attorney General authority to enforce the Act.  Arizona now joins 27 states that, since 2013, have […]

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Federal Circuit Holds (Some) Patent Agent-Client Communications Are Privileged

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held this week in In re Queen’s University that some communications between patent applicants and non-attorney patent agents are legally privileged, recognizing, for the first time by that court, a “patent-agent privilege.”  The court overturned the Eastern District of Texas’s order compelling production of communications between […]

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Defend Trade Secrets Act Clears United States Senate Judiciary Committee

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee with broad bipartisan support. Currently, state law governs civil claims for trade secret misappropriation, generally under a particular state’s version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), the application of which has been called “anything but uniform.” As amended, the DTSA would not […]

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Federal Circuit Holds Inter Partes Reviews Are Constitutional

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held today in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co. that inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are constitutional, rejecting MCM Portfolio’s bid to escape the PTAB’s earlier ruling that invalidated the company’s patent claims.  The Federal Circuit rejected MCM Portfolio’s […]

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Ninth Circuit: Copyright Holders Must Consider Fair Use Before Sending DMCA Takedown Notices

The Ninth Circuit held last week in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. (the “dancing baby” case) that a copyright holder must consider fair use before sending a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Without first considering fair use, the copyright holder cannot have formed the required subjective good faith belief that the […]

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Laches Remains a Defense to Legal Relief in Patent Infringement Cases After Petrella

Laches remains applicable in the patent context to bar pre-suit damages after an en banc Federal Circuit ruling late last week in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products. Last year in the “Raging Bull” decision (Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), the Supreme Court held that laches could not bar copyright infringement damages within the […]

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Ninth Circuit Upholds First District Court Determination of FRAND Licensing Rate and Affirms $14.5 Million Damage Award

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed Microsoft’s $14.5 million jury verdict against Motorola, upholding the first federal bench trial decision setting a fair, abortion reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rate. Armed with the court’s FRAND guidance, the jury found Motorola violated its commitment to license its H.264 (video encoding) and 802.11 (WiFi) standard-essential patents (SEPs) under […]

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Federal Circuit Holds Biosig’s Patent Not Indefinite Under New Standard

Applying the Supreme Court’s new “reasonable certainty” standard for patent definiteness in Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc. (2015) (Nautilus III), the Federal Circuit again held that Biosig’s patent for a heart rate monitor is not indefinite.  In Nautilus II (2014), the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” standard for indefiniteness, but did not determine whether Biosig’s […]

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Domain Name Private Registration Services Rejoice: Ninth Circuit Rejects Secondary ACPA Liability

Privacy services like GoDaddy’s DomainsByProxy service earn money by enabling domain name registrants to obscure their identities.  Any trademark owner whose mark has been used in an infringing domain name may confront substantial difficulty in ascertaining the infringer’s identity if the infringer has utilized such a privacy service.  Indeed, creating such difficulty might reasonably be […]

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