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In a case affecting aftermarket automotive suppliers, on February 20, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued a decision declining to invalidate or render unenforceable two of Ford’s design patents covering auto-body parts for the F-150 truck. Automotive Body Parts Association (“ABPA”) v. Ford Global Technologies, LLC, Case No. 2:15-cv-10137 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 20, 2018). In reaching its decision as to whether Ford’s patents covered designs that were “ornamental”…
The Supreme Court issued a rare unanimous decision, on December 6, 2016, on the issue of damages for design patent infringement that continues the Apple v. Samsung smartphone legal odyssey. It also marks only the second time in over 100 years that the court has issued a substantive decision in a design patent case. But the result could mean significant challenges in the calculation of damages for design patents and the need for additional factual…
On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a rare unanimous decision on the issue of damages for design patent infringement that continues the Apple v. Samsung smartphone legal odyssey. It also marks only the second time in over 100 years that the court has issued a substantive decision in a design patent case. But the result could mean significant challenges in the calculation of damages for design patents and the need for additional factual…
On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, No. 13-298, which was previously discussed here. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Thomas, the Court held, consistent with its precedent, that an abstract idea implemented on a generic computer is patent ineligible subject matter. The Court’s decision affirms a divided en banc Federal Circuit ruling that found patent ineligible the method, medium, and system claims of Alice Corp.’s patent.…
On June 18, 2014, a divided panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ordered cancellation of six of the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations holding that “Redskins” was a disparaging term when those registrations issued between 1967 and 1990. The registrations will remain in force pending the football team’s planned appeal. As the TTAB majority made clear, the decision affects only the right to register, but not the right…
On April 29, 2014, the Supreme Court handed down decisions in two companion cases that relaxed the “exceptional” case standard under the fee-shifting provision of the Patent Act (35 U.S.C.  § 285). In Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., No. 12-1184 (2014) and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., No. 12-1163 (2014), the Court adopted a lower, more discretionary standard for determining whether a case is “exceptional.” In…
On March 11, 2014, in Danisco US Inc. v. Novozymes A/S, No. 2013-1214 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 11, 2014), the Federal Circuit held that pre-issuance conduct can be considered when determining whether a declaratory judgment defendant has instigated a case of actual controversy. The Court reversed the district court’s order dismissing the Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction finding that the “totality of circumstances” including prior litigation and actions taken before…