The trade agreement was signed by Canada, the United States and Mexico on Friday and the text of the agreement, including the chapter on Intellectual Property published (link).
Today, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Oil States v. Greene’s Energy on the propriety of inter partes review (IPRs). One of the issues before the court was whether IPRs violate the U.S. constitution by extinguishing private property rights through a non-Article III forum without a jury.
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Matal v. Tam where the US Patent and Trademark Office had denied an application for “The Slants” under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” The court held that the disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. (link)
The United States Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC stating that corporate ‘residence’ refers only to the state of incorporation. The patent venue statute, 28 U. S. C. §1400(b), provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” This decision will likely have a significant effect on the number of cases filed in Texas, which saw 37% of all patent cases in 2016.
The United States Supreme Court has issued a couple of intellectual property decisions this week:
- Star Athletica, L. L. C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. where a majority found a feature incorporated into the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection only if the feature (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article, and (2) would qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work—either on its own or fixed in some other tangible medium of expression—if it were imagined separately from the useful article into which it is incorporated. The particular facts related to cheerleading uniforms.
- SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC where a majority found that laches cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for patent infringement damages brought within the 6-year limitations period.
The United States Supreme Court has released its decision in Samsung v. Apple regarding the damages for design infringement. Finding in favour of Samsung, the court held that in the case of a multicomponent product, the relevant “article of manufacture” for arriving at a §289 damages award need not be the end product sold to the consumer but may be only a component of that product. The $399 million damages award was reversed and the proceeding remanded back to the Federal Circuit.
Over the past week, there have been several interesting decisions relating to IP issued in the US. In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the rule for cost shifting in copyright litigation. In Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, the U.S. Supreme Court approved of the USPTO applying ‘broadest reasonable construction’ during IPR proceedings and that the initiation of an IPR was non-reviewable. Earlier today, in Immersion Corp. v. HTC Corp., the CAFC permitted continuation application to be filed on the same day as the grant date of the parent.
The United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision today in Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc. relating to the ability of district courts to award treble damages in patent infringement proceedings, rejecting limits arising from Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit decisions.