New England IP Blog

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

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Judge Saris Opines on Copyright Infringement in 3-D Greeting Card Case

On February 22, Chief Judge Saris in the District of Massachusetts issued an opinion on a motion to dismiss implicating several complex copyright infringement issues.  The Chief Judge’s ruling analyzed whether several allegedly infringing works could be considered “substantially similar” to the copyrighted works, as required to support a claim of copyright infringement.  The “substantial similarity” analysis produced different results … Continue Reading

Need for Illumination of Maximum Recovery Rule Warrants Interlocutory Appeal

Chief Judge Patti B. Saris of the District of Massachusetts recently issued an order paving the way for the Trustees of Boston University to seek an interlocutory appeal to clarify the Maximum Recovery Rule for remittitur. Back in November 2015, a jury awarded BU lump-sum damages of $9,300,000 from Epistar and $4,000,000 from Everlight after finding Epistar … Continue Reading

Halo Shines Bright in D. Mass.

A recent order from the District of Massachusetts sheds light on how the Supreme Court’s June 2016 decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics is being interpreted by the district courts. The Memorandum and Order by Chief Judge Patti B. Saris denied a request for enhanced damages by plaintiff, Trustees of Boston University (“BU”). BU moved for enhanced damages after … Continue Reading

Forecast Unfavorable for Inventory Software Patent

Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank shifted the contours of patent-eligible subject matter, district courts have wielded the two-part test set forth in that decision to dispatch scores of business method patents as being directed to unpatentable abstract ideas.  In a recent example, the Massachusetts district court invalidated a patent … Continue Reading

Laches Defense Loses its Luster in LED Patent Dispute

In determining whether a laches defense applies to thwart a claim of patent infringement, courts must often shine a light upon murky and complicated factual scenarios. A Massachusetts court recently navigated such a scenario in granting the plaintiff’s motion for judgment, deciding that the complex web of facts did not support a defense of laches … Continue Reading

IP Roundtable With Chief Judge Saris

The Boston Bar Association and the Boston Patent Law Association will be hosting Chief Judge Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts at their upcoming IP Roundtable event. The event is scheduled for May 4, 2016, from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, and is expected to include discussions on the current trends and issues concerning intellectual … Continue Reading

Franchisee Can’t Work Its Way Out of Trademark Infringement and Breach of Contract Litigation on Jurisdictional Grounds

An out-of-state franchisee sought to escape the reach of the Massachusetts District Court in a breach of contract and trademark infringement litigation filed by its Massachusetts-based franchisor. But, the parties quickly discovered that the Court is primed to flex its muscles when deciding jurisdictional questions presented in the franchisee’s motion to dismiss.… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet.  The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti B. Saris, granted defendants Orgill, Inc. (“Orgill”) and Farm & City Supply, LLC (“FSC”) a split ruling on their summary judgment … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Court Sheds Light On Deposition Privilege Waiver Issues

Chief Judge Patti Saris of the District of Massachusetts has issued a significant opinion on privilege waivers in the Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics case. The opinion concerned a deposition in the case where the deposition witness apparently disclosed a little too much. The issue arose out of a line of questioning common in … Continue Reading

Conflicting Expert Opinions Prevent Summary Judgment

A recent summary judgment opinion by Judge Patti B. Saris highlights the importance of expert testimony in substantiating factual disputes and withstanding summary judgment. In denying both parties’ motions for summary judgment on infringement, Judge Saris relied heavily on the opposing opinions of the parties’ experts. Here, Boston University sued Everlight Electronics, a manufacturer of light-emitting … Continue Reading
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