Lee v. Tam: New Opportunities for Offensive Trademarks?

On January 18, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument for Lee v. Tam.[1]  In this case, the Supreme Court will review whether the 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of disparaging trademarks, is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First A...
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Supreme Court Rejects a Good Faith Belief of Invalidity as a Defense to Inducement

A party is liable for inducing infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) if it knowingly causes another party to perform the acts of infringement.  Because knowledge of infringement is a requirement for inducing infringement, the inducer’s good faith belief that the activities he is inducing are non...
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Federal Circuit Reaffirms the Single-Entity Rule for Joint Infringement

Software patents often include method claims, where inventiveness generally depends on the functionality of the software rather than unique hardware structures.  However, if not properly claimed, the value of method claims can be significantly diminished, particularly in light of recent Supreme Cou...
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The Impact of Williamson v. Citrix on Software Patents

On June 16, 2015, the Federal Circuit decided Williamson v. Citrix, changing its position on means-plus-function claims. Because this case has potentially significant impacts on the validity and scope of software patent applications, we are providing this memo to give a brief summary of this case an...
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Lexmark Part 2: Federal Circuit Reconsidering Contractual Restrictions on the Doctrine of Patent Exhaustion

Part 2 of our discussion of the Lexmark case focuses on the ability to contract around the doctrine of patent exhaustion. Current law prevents a patent holder from suing a customer for using a product that the patent holder sold to the customer.  However, a patent holder may generally limit the cu...
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Lexmark Part I: Federal Circuit to Reconsider Patent Exhaustion for International Sales

The Federal Circuit will soon decide whether the patent exhaustion doctrine, which limits the extent U.S. patent owners can control patented articles after they are sold, is applicable when the sale occurs outside the U.S.  Under current Federal Circuit precedent, the patent exhaustion doctrine is ...
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Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises: Can Royalties be Required After a Patent has Expired?

In Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, No. 13-720 (2015), the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to overrule Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964) in which the Court held that patentees may not collect royalties for use of a patent occurring after the patent’s expiration. In Brulotte, the Supreme...
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