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Trade Secret and Contract Law

The Federal Circuit has recently articulated the position that a contractual agreement to transfer otherwise secret information will override trade secret protections that may be in place. The recent case on-point was Convolve, Inc. v. Compaq Computer Corp., No. 2012-1074, 2013 WL 3285331 (Fed. Cir. July 1, 2013), reaches back more than a decade to 1998, when MIT and Convolve sued a group of defendants for both trade secret misappropriation




Claim Construction & Disclaimer –Federal Circuit Sides with the University of Minnesota

07/01/2013 In Regents of the University of Minnesota v. AGA Medical Corp., No. 12-1167 (Fed. Cir. June 3, 2013), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s partial dismissal of a suit brought by the University of Minnesota (“the University”) alleging that AGA Medical Corp. (“AGA”) infringed the University’s medical devices patents. The University’s patents cover medical devices for repairing heart defects. Specifically, the two patents, derived from the same parent




Copyright and Architecture

In 2004, the Fourth Circuit revived a two prong test for a copyright claim involving architecture between two home builders in Charles W. Ross Builder, Inc. v. Olsen Fine Home Building, 2012 WL 5447871 (4th Cir. Nov. 8, 2012). Rick and Jennifer Rubin, who wished to build new home, had visited the plaintiff Ross’s model home and received a copy of a brochure, including the “Bainbridge” model allegedly copied by




ITC Pilot Program to Promote Early Adjudication of Dispositive Issues

On June 24, 2013, the International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it will launch a pilot program for early adjudication of potentially-dispositive issues in Section 337 investigations. This pilot program is part of the Commission’s ongoing efforts to streamline the investigation procedures to reduce the cost of investigations and to expedite the process. Under the new pilot program, the Commission will first select those investigations that appear likely to present




Trade Secrets Litigation

At no other time in history have trade secrets been so vital to the making or breaking of a company. Modern firms, from startups to multinationals, face new challenges daily, as the speed of information exchange itself accelerates to keep up with technology shifts, changing trends and competitive challenge. Yet, as swiftly as companies must exchange information to stay in the game, so may competitive advantages built on years of




Assignment of Intent-to-use Trademark Applications

The Trademark Act Section 10(a)(1) clearly states that an intent-to-use application cannot be assigned “except for an assignment to a successor to the business of the applicant, or portion thereof, to which the mark pertains, if that business is ongoing and existing.” In the recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board case, Cent. Garden & Pet Co. v. Doskocil Mfg. Co., No. 91188816 (TTAB August 16, 2013), All-Glass Aquarium Co., a




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Standard of Review Changes for Freeze-Out Mergers

On May 29, 2013, the Delaware Chancery Court, in its landmark decision of In re MFW Shareholders Litigation (MFW), held that the “deferential business judgment rule” is the correct standard of review for freeze-out mergers, as opposed to the more rigorous “entire fairness standard.” This decision requires that a freeze-out merger, from the inception of merger negotiations, be subject to both (1) negotiation and approval by a fully empowered special committee of




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