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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of Hard Candy's request for a jury trial in an action under the Lanham Act. In this case, Hardy Candy sought every remedy permitted by the Act besides actual damages: an injunction to prevent future infringement, an accounting and the disgorgement of profits that the defendant made from the allegedly infringing goods, and declaratory relief, along with fees and costs. The court held that the remedy of an accounting and disgorgement of profits for trademark infringement is equitable in nature and has long been considered that way, and thus a plaintiff seeking the defendant's profits in lieu of actual damages is not entitled to a jury trial. The panel also held that the district court did not err in its merits determinations on infringement and fair use. View "Hard Candy, LLC v. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Inc." on Justia Law

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VersaTop and Georgia Expo are competitors in the “drape and rod” industry. Both produce and sell systems of modular rod and pole structures, for assembly to form sectional spaces such as trade show booths and other drape-separated structures, as well as temporary barricades. VersaTop’s system for coupling structural components is the subject of the 027 patent and is called the “‘ball and crown’ coupler.” VersaTop alleged that since 2011 it has sold these systems with the trademarks PIPE & DRAPE 2.0™ and 2.0™ and that Georgia Expo distributed advertising and brochures that contained these VersaTop trademarks as well as pictures of the VersaTop coupler. The district court held that Georgia Expo did not infringe VersaTop’s patent, copyright, or trademark rights. Only the trademark issue was appealed. The Federal Circuit reversed. The district court incorrectly applied the definition of “use in commerce” and concluded that Georgia Expo’s use of the marks was not in commerce so that there was no infringement. Under the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1127, a trademark owner is entitled to summary judgment on a claim of likelihood of confusion where the marks were identical, the goods were related, and the marketing channels overlapped. View "VersaTop Support Systems, LLC v. Georgia Expo, Inc." on Justia Law

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TT’s patents relate to a graphical user interface for electronic trading. The 056 and 999 patents, which share a specification, disclose “a user interface for an electronic trading system that allows a remote trader to view trends in the orders for an item, and provides the trading information in an easy to see and interpret graphical format.” The 374 patent, which is from a different patent family, discloses “a display and trading method to ensure fast and accurate execution of trades by displaying market depth on a vertical or horizontal plane, which fluctuates logically up or down, left or right across the plane as the market prices fluctuate.” IBG sought review under the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents (CBM review), Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 125 Stat. 284, 329–31. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board held, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, that the patents meet the criteria to be eligible for CBM review and the claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The claims are directed to a covered business method, so CBM review was appropriate. Th claims are directed to a financial trading method used by a computer; there is no technological invention in this software method for trading. View "Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. IBG LLC" on Justia Law

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DuPont’s 926 patent, entitled “Composite Flame Barrier Laminate for a Thermal and Acoustic Insulation Blanket,” issued in December 2013 and claims composite laminates that are incorporated into thermal-acoustic blankets installed on the interior of the fuselage in aircraft to shield passengers from flames and reduce noise. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s construction of the term “100% by weight” to mean “[t]here is no carrier material such as resin, adhesive, cloth, or paper in addition to the inorganic platelets. The court also upheld findings that the patent was not invalid and that Unifrax’s flame barrier product infringed the patent. Substantial evidence supported a finding that the patent was not anticipated by prior art. View "E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Unifrax I LLC" on Justia Law

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BWP appealed the district court's memorandum and order granting summary judgment to Polyvore on BWP's copyright claims for direct and secondary infringement and denial of BWP's cross-motion for summary judgment on direct infringement. BWP's claims arose from Polyvore's posting of BWP's photos on its website. The Second Circuit held that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Polyvore on the direct infringement claim because there was a dispute of material fact regarding whether Polyvore created multiple copies of BWP's photos that were not requested by Polyvore users; questions of material fact precluded the court from holding at this stage that Polyvore satisfied the requirements for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) section 512(c) safe harbor, even though BWP has not shown that Polyvore's stripping of metadata disqualifies it from safe harbor protection; but Polyvore was entitled to summary judgment on BWP's secondary infringement claims of contributory, vicarious, and inducement of infringement because BWP abandoned those claims. Finally, the court held that the district court did not err by declining to sanction BWP. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "BWP Media USA Inc. v. Polyvore, Inc." on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed a jury verdict finding that he vicariously and contributorily infringed Erickson's copyrighted images by displaying them on his website and did so willfully. This case arose when defendant hired a website developer, Only Websites, to redevelop defendant's company website and three photos taken by Erickson were incorporated on the company site. The panel vacated the jury's vicarious liability verdict because Erickson presented no evidence that could constitute a direct financial benefit as a matter of law. However, the panel affirmed the jury's contributory liability verdict and upheld the judgment against defendant, because the district court did not plainly err in instructing the jury that "knowledge" for contributory infringement purposes includes having a "reason to know" of the infringement. Finally, the panel vacated the jury's willfulness finding and remanded for a determination of whether defendant's infringement was willful on the existing record. View "Erickson Productions, Inc. v. Kast" on Justia Law

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On inter partes review of ATI’s “Unified Shader Patents,” LGE cited multiple prior references. A “shader” as used in this field is a computer-implemented system that specifies how a computer-graphics three-dimensional image is generated and presented on a two-dimensional screen. ATI argued that the invention in each of the three patents preceded the primary reference dates for that patent. In conformity with 37 C.F.R. 1.131, ATI presented evidence of conception, reduction to practice, and diligence for each patent. the Patent Trial and Appeal Board held all but one of the challenged claims unpatentable as anticipated or obvious, The Board held that ATI had not established actual reduction to practice and had not established diligence to constructive reduction to practice, for all three patents. The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that the Board erred in its application of the law of diligence and that on the correct law, diligence was shown, thereby antedating the relevant references. The undisputed rulings established conception and constructive reduction to practice. View "ATI Technologies ULC v. Iancu" on Justia Law

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Siny sought to register the mark CASALANA in standard characters for “Knit pile fabric made with wool for use as a textile in the manufacture of outerwear, gloves, apparel, and accessories” based on use in commerce under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051(a). Siny submitted a specimen consisting of a webpage printout. The examining attorney refused registration because the specimen “appear[ed] to be mere advertising material,” that did not include a means for ordering the goods. Siny submitted the same webpage with additional text stating, “For sales information:” followed by a phone number and email address. The examining attorney found that the text alone was insufficient for consumers to make a purchase, noting the absence of necessary ordering information, such as minimum quantities, cost, payment options, or shipping information. The Trademark Board and Federal Circuit affirmed. For a mark to be in use in commerce on goods, it may be “placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or the displays associated therewith or on the tags or labels affixed thereto.” The Webpage Specimen was not placed on the goods or their containers, tags, or labels and did not cross the line from mere advertising to an acceptable display associated with the goods. While some details must be worked out by telephone, if virtually all important aspects of the transaction must be determined from information extraneous to the webpage, the webpage is not a point of sale. View "In re: Siny Corp." on Justia Law

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Omega sued CalAmp for infringement of patents that generally relate to multi-vehicle compatible systems that can remotely control various vehicle functions (for example, remote vehicle starting), and read the status of various vehicle devices (for example, battery health). The systems can also be used to notify the driver, or the driver’s employer, if certain conditions occur (for example, speeding). CalAmp operates in the telematics industry, assisting businesses and government entities monitor and collect data for their assets (for example, a fleet of vehicles). CalAmp sells its Location Messaging Unit products, which are multi-vehicle compatible devices that include a GPS receiver for vehicle tracking. The Federal Circuit upheld a finding that the patents are not invalid; reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded as to direct infringement; and vacated and remanded for a new trial on indirect infringement, compensatory damages, willful infringement, enhanced damages, and attorney’s fees. View "Omega Patents, LLC v. CalAmp Corp." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Iowa Parts in a trademark secrets and intellectual property action brought by CMI. The court held that CMI could not establish its burden of proving that the discovery rule saves its statutory cause of action because it was on inquiry notice that Iowa Parts was making its component parts, possibly with its engineering documents and other trade secrets, starting in 2002 and continuing thereafter. The court also held that CMI was on notice of a possible problem as early as 2002 on the conversion claim. Finally, the district court properly granted summary judgment on the unjust enrichment claim where an equitable claim could not provide alternative relief. View "CMI Roadbuilding, Inc. v. Iowa Parts, Inc." on Justia Law