Litigation News

Litigation news from around the web

LJN - Intellectual Property Strategist The newsletter publishing arm of ALM, publishers of The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and legal newspapers of record throughout the U.S.

  • Attorney's Fees After Octane: More Chances for Defendants to Even the Playing Field
    on April 1, 2020 at 7:12 am

    With fewer restraints after Octane, district courts now have broader discretion to grant motions for attorney's fees. But understanding the circumstances under which exceptionality has been found is critical. Recent decisions by the Federal Circuit post-Octane provide some important guidance on when attorney's fees may be available under Section 285.       

  • Swedish Music Industry Views: Part Two
    on April 1, 2020 at 7:04 am

    Part Two of a Two Part Article This article discusses, among other things, the Swedish music industry perspective on the European Union's Copyright Directive, the growth of multi-country music licensing hubs and the impact of Brexit.       

  • Kozinski Angle In 9th Circuit's Led Zeppelin Ruling
    on April 1, 2020 at 6:55 am

    Defendants Led Zeppelin and its music labels were the winners in the copyright decision by the Ninth Circuit over the song "Stairway to Heaven." But the estate of songwriter Randy Wolfe (p/k/a California) wasn't the only one who got the short end. Among the collateral damage from the ruling was a 2002 precedent written by former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski that endorsed the so-called "inverse-ratio" rule.       

  • IP News
    on April 1, 2020 at 6:48 am

    VARA Lives On: A $6.75M Lesson on Respecting Moral Rights       

  • You Know What It Is: Taco Tuesday and the Failure-to-Function Doctrine In Trademark Law
    on March 1, 2020 at 5:07 am

    The foundational requirement that a trademark function as a trademark has received little attention in the case law. More recently, however, there has been an apparent uptick in scrutiny of trademark use by the USPTO and TTAB, as well as fresh academic attention paid to the issue.       

Planet Depos We Make It Happen

  • Remote Depositions: Phone Call or Face-to-Face?
    by Suzanne Quinson on March 31, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    With remote depositions all the rage, which method is best for your upcoming deposition? Here are the differences between a teleconference and videoconference. The post Remote Depositions: Phone Call or Face-to-Face? appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Top Tips for a Zoom Remote Deposition
    by Daniel Malgran on March 24, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Remote depositions through Zoom may be a new thing for many. Our team put together these tips for court reporters & attorneys. The post Top Tips for a Zoom Remote Deposition appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Helpful Tips for a Great Mobile Videoconference Deposition
    by David Andre on March 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    When you're attending a mobile videoconference deposition, there are a number of tips you should remember to ensure everything goes smoothly. The post Helpful Tips for a Great Mobile Videoconference Deposition appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Six Crucial Considerations for Your Videoconference Deposition
    by Suzanne Quinson on March 16, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Videoconference is a fantastic option to cut costs when you need to depose a witness in cities, states, or oceans away. Boom, travel expenses removed. Once you’ve determined a remote deposition will work for the situation, you’ve still got some details to settle to ensure a seamless videoconference and successful deposition. As we all know, The post Six Crucial Considerations for Your Videoconference Deposition appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Proactive Measures for the Coronavirus
    by Planet Depos on March 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    As concern over the impact of the Covid19 coronavirus spreads, we want to assure you that we are taking proactive steps to ensure there are no disruptions of depositions both domestic and abroad. The post Proactive Measures for the Coronavirus appeared first on Planet Depos.

Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership Updates from America’s innovation agency

  • Spotlight on Commerce: Allison Bourke, Supervisory Patent Examiner
    by USPTO on March 31, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Guest blog post by Allison Bourke, Supervisory Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Allison Bourke, Supervisory Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce women during Women’s History Month. I am a supervisory patent examiner at the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in electrochemistry technology, specifically solar cells, thermoelectrics, fuel cells, and batteries. I support 15 patent examiners and provide assistance so they can get their patent applications reviewed in a timely manner. I started at the USPTO as a patent examiner in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2009, after attending the University of Arizona and University of Michigan for degrees in chemical engineering, and I absolutely loved my experience in the D.C. metro area. I grew up in the mountains of northern Arizona, so when the opportunity to work in the USPTO office in Denver arose (the Rocky Mountain Regional Office opened in 2014), I packed up my stuff and cats and headed west! I have really enjoyed the small office experience in Denver (100 employees vs. thousands of employees in Alexandria), and the outdoor opportunities in the area are endless. In Denver, I have become a mentor to a young elementary school girl who is attempting to conquer her multiplication tables. One of my proudest accomplishments at the USPTO has been helping found, with other like-minded colleagues, two women’s organizations: Women in Science and Engineering at the Alexandria campus and Women in Technology and Science at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office. Both organizations have a mission to promote STEM/intellectual property (IP) for K-12 and college students and support members through social and enrichment activities. We have organized, given talks to local college Society of Women Engineers sections about careers in IP, and, with the Rocky Mountain Office’s Outreach team, assisted with Girl Scout IP Patch days and women’s IP networking events with outside organizations. Both organizations celebrate women all year long but focus on Women’s History Month with numerous activities, such as hosting inspirational talks, tea parties, and strong women movie-viewing parties. I look forward to March each year so we can remind everyone of all the awesome accomplishments of women throughout history and inspire those for the future!

  • USPTO launches the Expanding Innovation Hub, a new online platform to encourage greater participation in the patent system
    by USPTO on March 23, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Blog by Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Laura Peter, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO “To maintain our technological leadership, the United States must broaden our innovation ecosphere demographically, geographically, and economically.”---USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Today, as part of Women’s History Month, the USPTO has officially launched the Expanding Innovation Hub (“the Hub”), an online platform available on the USPTO website that provides resources for inventors and practitioners to encourage greater participation in the patent system. The new platform is yet another step the USPTO has taken to broaden the innovation ecosphere, to inspire novel inventions, to accelerate growth, and to drive America’s global competitive edge. It builds on our SUCCESS Act report to Congress of 2019, as well as our Progress and Potential report on women inventors. “Expanding Innovation” is part of the USPTO’s effort to inspire more women, minorities, veterans, and geographically and socioeconomically diverse applicants to join the innovation economy. Important pillars of that effort include education and mentorship. On the Hub, you will find the new Demystifying the Patent System Toolkit, designed to help innovators understand the process of obtaining a patent. Additional resources on the Hub include the Mentoring Toolkit, intended to assist organizations in establishing an infrastructure to connect experienced innovators with the next generation in their organization; and Community Group Resources, designed to help organizations establish an infrastructure to connect groups of employees with shared characteristics, interests, and goals. These new tools are in addition to many other efforts at the USPTO to help expand the innovation ecosystem. We will continue to host a wide variety of events to amplify this message, such as Invention-Con and the Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium. We have a pro se assistance program to help inventors who are not represented by counsel apply for patents. We have a pro bono network, and we also work with 60 participating law school clinics, all to help inventors and entrepreneurs secure free or discounted legal services. We provide a host of other online resources to help guide and educate inventors as well.  We also continue to expand our reach geographically. In addition to our headquarters in Alexandria, we have four regional offices in Detroit, Denver, San Jose, and Dallas, and 83 Patent and Trademark Resource Centers located in public, state, and academic libraries across the country. These centers not only offer a physical connection to valuable government resources, but they also offer regular programming, office hours, and staff trained to assist inventors and entrepreneurs with intellectual property (IP) research. The USPTO also supports dozens of STEM-related programs that provide education about IP to young men and women. These include programs in partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, such as Camp Invention, which is offered in school districts in every state, and the Collegiate Inventors Competition, which takes place each year at the USPTO; the National Summer Teacher Institute, which brings invention and IP into the nation’s classrooms; collaborations with historically black colleges and universities; the Girl Scout IP patch, which is available to Girl Scout troops across the nation; and so much more.  Now, with the new Expanding Innovation Hub on our website, inventors will have a central location to find information about all of our programs and resources. America’s economic prosperity and technological leadership depend on a strong and inclusive innovation ecosystem. That is why it is so important to make sure all Americans have the opportunity to develop and protect their inventions, build thriving businesses, and succeed. It is therefore critical that industry, academia, and government work together to broaden our innovation ecosphere demographically, geographically, and economically. Please visit the Expanding Innovation Hub and check back often to engage with us in this critical endeavor.

  • Spotlight on Commerce: Davetta Goins, Supervisory Patent Examiner
    by USPTO on February 26, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    Guest blog post by Davetta Goins, Supervisory Patent Examiner, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Davetta Goins, Supervisory Patent Examiner (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce African Americans during Black History Month. Growing up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where my family, neighbors, and close friends were scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers, I was surrounded by professionals. My parents were very active in community organizations that helped encourage teens in local high schools to enter the fields of science, math, and technology. These programs introduced me to a vast array of career paths, and paved the way for my decision to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. After graduating from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, a Historically Black College or University, I became a patent examiner at the Department of Commerce's U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). When I started working for the agency, I was one of only a few black women working in a Technology Center (TC) of around 200 examiners. This was disconcerting, especially because the first black patent clerk, Anthony Bowen, had been an employee in the 1830's. That was well over 160 years prior to me joining the USPTO. However, I have seen the agency become extremely diverse over the past 20 years. Today, nearly one-fifth of the USPTO’s employees are African American. I attribute this increase in number to various recruiting programs and affinity groups that promote science and engineering to local communities and historically black universities--like the one I attended. After examining patents in the field of electrical communications for 15 years, I became a Supervisory Patent Examiner. I now oversee a group of employees who review applications related to electrical audio signal processing systems and devices. Aside from assisting examiners with their work product, I also support various projects in the agency. I mentor as well as provide mock interviews to employees who aspire to become managers, travel to various universities to inform students of job opportunities the USPTO has to offer, and co-lead an engagement team that helps foster initiatives centered around the agency’s mission and strategic plan. I also lead a work-life team, which organizes activities for TC employees in hopes of creating a balance of work and life. I’m proud to work for an agency that strives for the inclusion of all backgrounds while providing ample opportunities to employees as they further their careers.

  • Nominations now open for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation
    by USPTO on February 25, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu NMTI laureates Joseph DeSimone, Cato Laurencin, and Mark Humayun after the White House medal ceremony. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) Nominations are now open for the 2020 National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) and will remain open until May 1, 2020. The NMTI is the nation’s highest honor to recognize those who have made great strides in advancing America’s competitiveness and quality of life and who have strengthened the nation’s workforce through technological innovations. Past winners include renowned inventors Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, whose imprint on modern technology is unmistakable. The President of the United States presents this award annually to America’s leading technological honorees. As President Reagan expressed in 1985 during the first NMTI ceremony, each of the recipients of this award is recognized as a hero “just as surely as were Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.” This sentiment holds as true today as it did then. President Reagan went on to explain: “The story of American technology is long and proud. It might be said to have begun with a blacksmith at his bellows, hammering out fine tools, and the Yankee craftsman using simple wood planes, saws, and mallets to fashion the fastest sailing ships on the ocean. And then came the railroad men, driving spikes across our country. And today the story continues with the workers who built the computer in a child’s room; the engineers who designed the communications satellite that silently rotates with the Earth, shining in the sunlight against the blackness of space; and the men and women of skill and determination who helped to put American footprints on the Moon.” The USPTO strives to share the stories of these NMTI laureates and others. As a part of the USPTO Speaker Series, for example, we recently welcomed to our headquarters Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway® and founder of FIRST®, an organization inspiring young people to participate in STEM fields. Vint Cerf and Robert Metcalfe, two internet pioneers, also joined us for events like the Speaker Series and the Patent 10 Million unveiling. Jim West, inventor of the electret (modern) microphone, Cherry Murray, inventor of an optical data storage system for telecommunications, and Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold, whose work focuses on making fuel and chemicals from renewable sources, have been featured in the USPTO Journeys of Innovation series. The role that intellectual property (IP) plays in these inventors’ transformative innovations underscores the importance of a strong IP system to our nation’s prosperity. NMTI laureate Edith Flanigen received the award for her innovations in molecular sieves, which are used to purify petroleum, water, and countless other compounds. (Photo by Amando Carigo/USPTO) If you are interested in submitting a nomination and would like more information, please watch the recorded webinar. We accept nominations for individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies, and divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental, and social well-being. We invite a wide range of submissions that will demonstrate the incredible breadth of innovation taking place throughout all corners of the United States. Nominations of those from traditionally underrepresented groups are highly encouraged. Any nominee will remain under consideration for up to three consecutive years. Initial selections will be made by the NMTI Nomination Evaluation Committee, which reviews nominations and makes recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce. The committee will then make recommendations to the President for final selection. Please contact the NMTI program staff for additional information. To receive announcements about NMTI, sign up for the USPTO Awards newsletter.

  • USPTO in the game at CES
    by USPTO on February 24, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu From left: U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visit the joint government booth at CES. (Photo by Jeff Isaacs/USPTO) In January, Las Vegas turned its attention from the bright lights, shows, and casinos to leading consumer technology innovations in robotics, transportation, electronics, and more. Thousands of technology enthusiasts, including representatives from the Department of Commerce, the USPTO, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Small Business Administration (SBA), descended upon the bustling metropolis for CES to take part in what has been billed as the “Global Stage for Innovation.” Now in its 52nd year, CES is the place to be for those in the consumer technology industry. It is also one of the largest consumer shows in the world with more than 180,000 attendees and thousands of exhibitors. This year’s show featured an incredible array of products, including foldable tablets, smart home devices, plant-based substitutes for pork, emotional support robots, and flying taxis. These are not only the technologies of the distant future – many are available in the marketplace today. USPTO Gets in the Game Joint federal government booth at CES. (Photo by Jeff Isaacs/USPTO) Through our annual participation in CES, the USPTO is able to reach many current and future entrepreneurs to drive home the importance of securing intellectual property (IP) both domestically and abroad. The theme of the USPTO booth at CES’s Eureka Park startup village was “Get in the (intellectual property) Game.” The booth was co-located with a National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) exhibit highlighting the work of Stan Honey, inventor of the electronic football first down line. At the booth, staff from the USPTO provided resources on securing patent, trademark, and other IP rights. We were also joined by representatives from NSF, SBA, and SelectUSA who provided assistance to startups to help them navigate opportunities offered by the federal government. Director General of the French Patent Office (Institut National de la Propriété, INPI), Pascal Faure visits with Director Iancu at CES. (Photo by Jeff Isaacs/USPTO) Visitors to our CES booth included U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and U.S. Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Michael Kratsios. The Director General of the French Patent Office (Institut National de la Propriété, INPI), Pascal Faure, also joined us briefly, and he even got a quick lesson on American football! NIHF Inductee Announcement From left: Director Iancu and NIHF Executive Vice President Rini Paiva announced the 2020 class of inductees on the CTA Tech stage on January 7. They were joined by two of the new inductees, Mick Mountz and Raffaello D’Andrea, co-founders of robotics company Kiva Systems. (Photo by Jeff Isaacs/USPTO) During CES, I also had the great pleasure of announcing the 2020 inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) along with NIHF Executive Vice President Rini Paiva. This year’s class of inductees featured a tie for the highest number of women inventors from the past years. Technologies from the inductees ranged from the modern parachute to medical devices and software. I was delighted to be joined live during the announcement by two of the 2020 inductees – Mick Mountz and Raffaello D'Andrea – the co-founders of the robotics company, Kiva Systems. We look forward to further celebrating the entire class of the 2020 living and historic inventor-inductees and their societal contributions. The NIHF 2020 class will be officially inducted in May at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. View the entire list of the 2020 class of inductees, or watch the induction announcement from CES. Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Policy Consumer Technology Association’s Michael Petricone interviews Director Iancu at CES. Their discussion centered around artificial intelligence and intellectual property. (Photo by Jeff Isaacs/USPTO) Innovation is at the heart of CES’s annual agenda. This year’s show emphasized artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and the numerous innovative products grounded in AI.  I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Consumer Technology Association’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Michael Petricone on the topic of U.S. IP and innovation policy. Watch the recording of the interview. Michael remarked that “the USPTO is the world’s greatest and most pro-innovation patent system.” During our discussion, I summarized some of the USPTO’s current thoughts on AI innovation and patent issues. More public discussion on this topic can be expected in the near future. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios, who visited the USPTO booth, also spoke about AI policy. His focus was on the newly released White House Executive Order and principles promoting the need for a more balanced regulatory approach on safety in the innovation space. An overarching theme of these regulations is a focus on potential risks related to the government’s over-regulation of AI. As he explained during an interview, “If we’re too heavy-handed with artificial intelligence, we will end up stifling entire industries, and we want to make sure to [instead] foster the generation [of these industries] in the United States.” I also met with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao. Secretary Chao spoke at length about AI regulation as it relates to the transportation industry. In prepared remarks, she stressed the critical importance of “protecting American innovation and creativity – by protecting intellectual property.” CES made abundantly clear, once again, that innovation is driving the next generation and the future. IP is the necessary ingredient that fuels such innovation at accelerating rates. As the guardian of our intellectual property system, the USPTO looks forward to helping entrepreneurs and inventors protect these exciting new technologies.

Above the Law A Legal Web Site – News, Insights, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, Law Suits, Judges and Courts

  • Another Am Law 100 Firm Turns To Furloughs And Salary Cuts Amid COVID-19 Crisis
    by Kathryn Rubino on April 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Biglaw continues to feel the impact of coronavirus.

  • Morning Docket: 04.01.20
    by Jordan Rothman on April 1, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    * Harley-Davidson has a new top lawyer — hopefully he gets a few Harleys thrown into his compensation package. [Bloomberg Law] * Federal courts have begun to promote teleconferencing for certain criminal and civil matters due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. [Indiana Lawyer] * The New York Attorney General is looking into privacy settings on the popular Zoom videoconferencing app that may make it vulnerable to hackers. [New York Times] * Zoom is having a rough week, as the videoconferncing app is also being sued for allegedly sharing user data with Facebook. [CBS News] * A federal appeals court has temporarily allowed Texas to prohibit nonessential abortions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. [Dallas Morning News] * Upcoming oral arguments before the Supreme Court are in limbo because of concerns surrounding COVID-19. The justices should just conduct their business through videoconferencing apps like everyone else in the world at the moment. [CNN]

  • Biglaw’s Response To The COVID-19 Economic Downturn — See Also
    by Kathryn Rubino on March 31, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    Cadwalader Cuts Associate Pay By 25 Percent: And partners aren't get paid at all. Midsize Firms Are Also Slashing Salaries: To protect the firm's viability. Pryor Cashman Furloughs Associates: They're hopeful they can be rehired, but who knows when that'll happen. Harvard Law School Moves On-Campus Recruitment: Now it'll be in January. Notre Dame's COVID-19 Grading Policy: Leaves a lot to be desired.

  • You’re Never Too Old To Be A Supreme Court Justice
    by Kathryn Rubino on March 31, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Though your tenure on the Court may be brief.

  • The $5 Million Coronavirus Law School Student Emergency Relief Fund
    by Kathryn Rubino on March 31, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Some good news among the COVID-19 crap storm.

LJN - Internet Law & Strategy The newsletter publishing arm of ALM, publishers of The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and legal newspapers of record throughout the U.S.

  • Digital Dive: New Report Reveals Opportunities for Improvement on Digital Marketing Strategy for Law Firms
    on December 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    For those of us who have devoted more years in legal marketing than we'd care to admit, it's heartening to see the field receiving the recognition it deserves. The demand for top talent has never been higher and marketing plans are getting more attention from firm management. Still, there is more work for law firms to do. That's particularly true in digital marketing.       

  • IP News
    on December 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Booking.com Trademark Case       

  • Exploring the Nebulous Boundaries of Trade Dress
    on October 1, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Now that we are in the digital age, questions have been raised about the trade dress of websites and apps.       

  • Legal Tech: Demystifying Social Media Discovery
    on October 1, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Social Media Escapes an Easy Definition, But You Know It When You See It While it would be helpful to understand the technical details of collecting data from various social media platforms, what's more important is what parts of social media might be relevant to a dispute and what that means for both the requesting and producing parties.       

  • EU E-Commerce Proposal Aims to Eliminate Barriers; Calls for E-Signatures and Net Neutrality
    on June 1, 2019 at 5:11 am

    The European Union has put forth an ambitious proposal for how countries can eliminate barriers to e-commerce and protect businesses and consumers engaged in online transactions. But parts of the proposal, published as part of a World Trade Organization initiative that includes the U.S. and China, are likely to face opposition.