Federal Circuit Decision: Assignor Estoppel Has No Place in IPR Proceedings

On November 9, 2018, in Arista Networks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., the Federal Circuit held that assignor estoppel does not apply in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. In this case, a former employee of Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”), who had assigned his invention as patented (U.S. Patent No. 7,340,597 – “the ‘597 patent”) to Cisco, …

Are Photographs of Utilitarian Objects Copyrightable?

Pohl v. MH Sub I, LLC d/b/a Officite (N.D.Fla., June 20, 2018) U.S. District Judge Mark Walker of the Northern District of Florida determined that no reasonable jury could find that a plaintiff-dentist’s before-and-after photos of his patient’s teeth are sufficiently creative or original to warrant copyright protection. On summary judgment, the court acknowledged that …

GDPR Aftermath: The Effect of the EU’s Data Protection Regulation on UDRP and Related Proceedings

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took full effect across the countries of the European Union, with unknown (and highly anticipated) effects on UDRP and related proceedings. In the days leading up to May 25, 2018, many trademark owners prepared and filed UDRP complaints for most, if not all, troublesome domain …

Blockchain: What is it and can I protect it via patents?

What is Blockchain? Blockchain technology, some might argue, is the most important technological innovation since the Internet. Those impacted by this technology are not only companies, but also everyday people. Thus, everyone should try to have a basic understanding of what blockchain is, and how one might benefit from it. The inventor of the blockchain …

PTAB Proposal on Claim Construction Would Align with Federal Courts, ITC

In the aftermath of the Oil States and SAS Supreme Court decisions, the PTO’s proposal to adopt the Phillips standard for claim construction brings a small measure of relief for universities and research institutions.  The “broadest reasonable interpretation” claim construction standard currently used by the PTAB in deciding IPRs may open the instituted claims to challenge by a larger body of …

SAS Decision Could Have Chilling Effect on University Licensing

The Supreme Court’s decision in SAS Institute v. Iancu represents yet another blow to patent owners, but is an especially troublesome complication for universities and research institutions trying to generate licensing revenue. As obtaining a decision of invalidity may be easier in an inter partes review (IPR) in front of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) than …

The Value of Goodwill in Trademarks

Consumers use brands to make choices, demonstrate loyalty and determine value. A brand’s ultimate goal, from a company perspective, is to accelerate growth and generate value (i.e., goodwill). But what is “goodwill” as it relates to trademarks – how is it tied to trademark selection and does it affect licensing, acquisitions and litigation? Intellectual Property …

Are You Ready for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

The impact will be significant and yes, U.S. businesses will be impacted. GDPR will impact any U.S. company that has a web presence and markets their goods or services to European markets. A recent study by the International Association of Privacy Professionals indicated that Fortune’s Global 500 will spend roughly €7.8 billion to implement GDPR. IAPP also estimates that …