New England IP Blog

Covering intellectual property developments in New England, and other developments that impact New England companies.

Life Sciences at the PTAB

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Later this month, the Boston Bar Association and the Boston Patent Law Association will jointly host a panel discussion on the recent rise of life science litigation at the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The panel, to be moderated by Proskauer’s Andrej Barbic, promises to, “explore the rise in life science litigation at the PTAB in the past few years, unique aspects of these new proceedings for life science patents, and strategies for dealing with multi-front litigation.”

The panel is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, at 16 Beacon Street, Boston, MA.  More information about the panel and the panelists can be found here.

Cheerleader Uniform Designs Protectable Under Copyright Act

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The Supreme Court recently held in Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc., that the designs on certain cheerleader uniforms may be protected copyrights. The 6-2 decision clarified the test to be applied when determining whether a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article would be eligible for copyright protection. Continue Reading

Copyright Plaintiff Allowed to Subpoena ISP to Discover Defendant’s Name

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A recent decision from the District of Connecticut is part of a series of copyright cases where a plaintiff, unable to identify the accused infringer except by the Internet Protocol (or “IP) address used at the time of the alleged infringement, has sought and received pre-service leave to serve a subpoena upon the Internet Service Provider (or “ISP”) associated with that IP address to enable service of process. But, as described below, the nature of the accused infringement here – illegal distribution of pornography – caused the court to impose significant limitations on the requested subpoena. Continue Reading

Mobile Payment Patent Remains Legal Tender after Alice Challenge

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In the post-Alice world, patents that relate in any material way to financial processes or systems have come under increased attacks in the early stages of infringement litigation—as defendants aim to secure a cheap and fast exit from the controversy. While such challenges are often successful, such an outcome is not guaranteed. In one recent case, a Rhode Island court upheld patent claims relating to mobile payment processing as reciting eligible subject matter under Alice. Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Laches Defense in Patent Cases

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that laches is not a defense in the majority of patent cases. Justice Alito, writing for the 7-1 majority, found the application of laches to patent disputes incompatible with the six-year statute of limitations found in 35 U.S.C. § 286.

The decision arose out of a dispute between two competitors in the market for adult incontinence products. In October 2003, SCA Hygiene sent an infringement notice letter to its competitor, First Quality; it filed suit against First Quality nearly seven years later, in August 2010. First Quality then moved for summary judgment, arguing that laches barred SCA Hygiene’s claim. The District Court and the Federal Circuit both agreed: because SCA had waited over six years before filing suit, its case was barred by laches and should be dismissed. Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Shot Down in Rifle Patent Lawsuit

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In a recent patent case concerning hunting rifles, Judge McCafferty in the District of New Hampshire granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment with respect to literal infringement of a patent on a rifle handguard, but denied the motion with respect to infringement under the doctrine of equivalents. The case arose when the plaintiff, Davies Innovations, Inc., the owner of a U.S. patent that discloses a particular type of rifle handguard, brought separate patent infringement lawsuits against defendants SIG Sauer, Inc. and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (“Ruger”). Ruger moved for summary judgment of non-infringement. Continue Reading

With $450.00 in Connecticut Sales, AMP Medical Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in Trademark Lawsuit

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A recent case from the District of Connecticut provides important insight into personal jurisdiction analysis, and serves as a reminder that sometimes even modest connections to a state can render a company subject to suit in that state. Here, Judge Vanessa Bryant found that Connecticut could exercise personal jurisdiction over AMP Medical Products, a Nevada company that sold $450 worth of infringing products into Connecticut. Continue Reading

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