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By: Emily R. Parker and Jacob C. Jones On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Google in a long-running, multibillion-dollar copyright lawsuit filed by Oracle over certain portions of software code used in Google’s Android operating system (Android OS). After more than a decade of litigation, the Court ruled that Google made fair use of Oracle’s software code in developing Android OS, freeing Google of copyright liability. In 2007, Google created Android OS for…
By: David G. Barker and Emily R. Parker Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Minerva Surgical v. Hologic, thereby agreeing to resolve a long-running debate on patent law’s doctrine of assignor estoppel. Minerva Surgical has asked the Court to abolish the doctrine, which bars inventors who sell their patent rights from challenging the patent’s validity in district court. The inventor in this case, Csaba Truckai, co-founded a company called NovaCept and…
By Anne Bolamperti and David G. Barker In RPX Corp. v. Applications in Internet Time LLC, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) held in a precedential opinion that three inter partes reviews (“IPRs”) were time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) because the petitioner, RPX Corp. (“RPX”), failed to name its client Salesforce.com (“Salesforce”) as a real party in interest (“RPI”) in the proceedings. One of RPX’s business solutions is “to file IPRs where…
By Alysha Green and David G. Barker Are PTAB judges constitutional? This week the Supreme Court granted certiorari to answer this question. In Arthrex v. Smith & Nephew, the Federal Circuit considered whether the appointment of administrative patent judges violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. The Appointments Clause requires the president to appoint principal officers, who then must be confirmed by the Senate before taking office. In contrast, inferior officers can be appointed…
By Daniel M. Staren and David G. Barker The Federal Circuit’s recent decisions in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC have not clarified the standard for patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (see a previous analysis of § 101’s unpredictability here). In this case, significant differences among Federal Circuit judges turned on whether a patent claim that invokes a natural law, and nothing else, to accomplish a desired result is…
By Jessica D. Kemper and David G. Barker Today, the Supreme Court held in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V. that a generic term paired with an internet designation such as “.com” (called a “generic.com” term by the Court) may be eligible for federal trademark registration.  When will a generic.com term be eligible for registration?  According to the Court, one key consideration is whether consumers associate the generic.com term with the source of…
By Jessica D. Kemper and David G. Barker Today, a unanimous Supreme Court held in Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc. v. Marcel Fashions Group., Inc. that claim preclusion did not prevent Lucky Brand from asserting a defense it failed to fully litigate in a prior lawsuit with Marcel.  The Court did not strictly endorse “defense preclusion”—a doctrine that would prevent litigants from asserting defenses in new litigation that were asserted or could have asserted in prior…
By Mary Hallerman Last week, the Supreme Court held in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., that legislators cannot copyright any works that they created in the course of their official duties. Though the holding may appear straightforward and narrow, the Court unearthed the centuries-old government edicts doctrine to reach its decision and emphasized the importance of the circumstances of creation in determining copyright ownership. What led to the Supreme Court’s excavation of the government edicts…
By Mary Hallerman The Supreme Court unanimously held that willfulness is not prerequisite to an award of a defendant’s profits under the Lanham Act. The decision in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group resolved a longstanding circuit split on this issue, but given the swift manner the Supreme Court dealt with the issue, one wonders why courts were even split in the first place. The Lanham Act provides that a prevailing plaintiff is entitled to…
By Deborah Gubernick and Gabrielle Morlock In this era of social media and image sharing, it is not uncommon for account holders to make their profiles public in attempt to garner as many followers and as much attention as possible. Social media platforms can be a form of relatively low-cost personal and corporate advertising. However, as a photographer recently learned, using social media platforms can have unintended consequences that compromise intellectual property rights. Stephanie Sinclair,…