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June / July 2023 IP Newsletter

Whose idea was this? Determination of patent inventorship issue requires trial
In patent law, the line between actual contributions to an invention and “more prosaic” contributions to the process can be difficult to draw. This article covers a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that drives this home. A brief sidebar looks at why an overwhelming amount of evidence wasn’t enough for summary judgment.
Plastipak Packaging, Inc. v. Premium Waters, Inc., No. 21-2244 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 19, 2022).

Amended trademark registration raises suspicion
Can a trademark holder facing a cancellation proceeding avoid judgment by simply deleting goods from its registration? The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) recently addressed this question for the first time. This article summarizes the TTAB’s conclusion that a respondent couldn’t moot the proceeding and avoid judgment as to deleted goods by deleting certain goods subject to the cancellation without the written consent of the petitioner.
Ruifei (Shenzhen) Smart Technology Co., Ltd. v. Shenzhen Chengyan Science and Technology Co, Ltd., Cancellation No. 92077931 (TTAB Jan. 12, 2023);

Minimal creativity required to secure copyright protection
A dispute between two testing companies is the latest example of the bar for how much creativity is necessary to secure copyright protection. This article reviews the case and the court’s reasoning behind it finding that the plaintiff’s creative choices merited copyright protection.
ACT, Inc. v. Worldwide Interactive Network, Inc., No. 21-5889, -5907, -6155 (6th Cir. Aug. 23, 2022).

Dictionary finishes third in patent claim construction
Dictionaries have their place, but when it comes to interpreting the meaning of patent terms, that place generally isn’t first. This article reviews a case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in which it laid out just when the dictionary may play a role in such “claim construction.”
Grace Instrument Indus., LLC v. Chandler Instruments Co., LLC, No. 21-2370 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 12, 2023).

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