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Cantor Colburn October / November 2015 Newsletter

Ideas on Intellectual Property Law Newsletter

October 1, 2015
October / November 2015

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Caught in a web
Supreme Court addresses royalties and patent expiration
In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the much-anticipated ruling regarding the availability of royalties beyond a patent’s expiration date. This article explores the decision, which saw the Court decline to override a long-standing precedential rule. A sidebar looks at some ways patent holders can still seek financial recourse after their patents expire.
Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., No. 13-720, June 22, 2015 (Supreme Court)
Brulotte v. Thys Co., No. 20, November 16, 1964 (Supreme Court) 

Supreme Court disconnects patent infringement defense
The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a defense that had been available to accused infringers. Specifically, the high court rejected the notion that a defendant’s good-faith belief that a patent was invalid — even if it was actually valid — was a defense to an infringement claim. This article explains the Court’s reasoning behind the decision.
Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., No. 13-896, May 26, 2015 (Supreme Court)

Laying a low floor for copyright originality
Things found in nature are generally considered in the public domain and not subject to copyright protection. Yet a federal appeals court recently ruled that a flooring design based on the natural aging of wood was indeed copyrightable. This article reviews the decision, which illustrates how — depending on originality — a work using uncopyrightable elements can be copyright-eligible itself.
Home Legend, LLC v. Mannington Mills, Inc., No 14-13440, April 29, 2015 (11th Cir.)

Is that trademark too concise?
Generally, an effective trademark is both concise and memorable. But being too concise can backfire on a trademark applicant if the mark is found to be “merely descriptive.” This brief article covers a recent case in point.
In Re: TriVita, Inc., No. 2014-1383, April 17, 2015 (Fed. Cir.)

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