Texas inventors know that securing their intellectual property rights is essential. They carefully fill out their patent applications and send them to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to await a decision. At this point, they know that under patent law, they must wait for a response from an examiner.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that two patents held by Twilio Inc. were invalid under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank because the patents fell under the category of abstract ideas implemented by a computer. This blog has highlighted several patents over the past few months that included an Alice analysis, and this case follows the same line of thinking.
On Monday, April 10, Law360 reported that a small company who successfully defended itself against trademark infringement and dilution claims in January is now seeking nearly $1 million in attorney fees. My Other Bag, Inc. is a small company who sells parody versions of designer handbags and purses, which feature cartoon drawings of designer logos. These bags generally sell for between $35 and $55, significantly less than a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag. After the original suit was filed in 2014, the case was dismissed on appeal in January, with Judge Jesse M. Furman telling Louis Vuitton that it can be "better to accept the implied compliment in a parody and to smile or laugh" rather than sue.
When filing a lawsuit against a company, it needs to be filed in the place where the company was formed or where it has substantial business ties. This location represents the "venue" where the case is heard, which for some companies could include a variety of locations. When it comes to patent law cases, lawsuits are often filed in locations where goods that supposedly infringe on another's patent are sold. It might surprise many people to know that in 2015, a favorite venue for these cases was right here in Texas, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch.
On Monday, April 3, Law360 reported that Dow Agrosciences, LLC ("Dow"), a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, has requested an en banc hearing by the Federal Circuit to review a prior ruling by the Federal Circuit. In March, a three-judge panel awarded Bayer Cropscience NV ("Bayer"), a Bayer Corp. subsidiary, a $450 million judgment in a dispute between the companies over patents controlling weeds. The ruling, issued March 1, held that the review of arbitration awards is "very limited." Dow is now arguing this interpretation is incorrect because the decision violates public policy.