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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




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




Patent Attorney

In WiAV Solutions LLC v. Motorola, Inc., No. 10-1266 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 22, 2010), the Federal Circuit broadened the scope of exclusive license by holding that “a licensee is an exclusive licensee of a patent if it holds any of the exclusionary rights that accompany a patent.” The licensing rights at issue were held by six third-parties and seven patents owned by Mindspeed Technologies, Inc. After a series of spin-offs




Employee Access vs. Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

The Michigan District Court in Dana Limited v. American Axle and Manufacturing Holdings, Inc., 1:10-cv-00450 (W.D. Mich. Aug. 19, 2013) addressed an important aspect of a trade secret misappropriation claims, holding that the mere fact that a former employee had access to a valid trade secret does not necessarily mean that he or she misappropriated the trade secret just, by the act of accepting employment at a competing company. In May




Copyright Violation and the Constitutionality of Excessive Damages – Music Downloaders Beware!

The Eight Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of statutory damages for copyright infringement against the challenge that it is disproportionately excessive in Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas-Rasset, 692 F.3d 899 (8th Cir. 2012). In 2011, record companies sued a woman for making copyrighted music available to others for free download by using a file-sharing service.  First the jury awarded the record companies $222,000 in damage.  Months after the verdict, however, the district court granted a new




The Economic Espionage Act

In April 2012, the Second Circuit in United States v. Aleynikov reversed the defendant’s conviction under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) holding that the misappropriated trade secrets were not sufficiently related to a product produced for or placed in interstate or foreign commerce, as required under Section 1832(a). The defendant, a former employee at Goldman Sachs, was responsible for developing computer programs used in the bank’s high-frequency trading (HFT) system.




Post Grant Proceedings

Aside from litigation before the federal district courts, the validity of granted U.S. patents may be challenged before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Post grant proceedings are in fact a changing and vibrant area of patent law, as the America Invents Act (AIA)  has changed the landscape for such post grant challenges. Following AIA, the collection of post grant proceedings used to effect patent validity challenges comprises Ex Parte




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




FIRREA and Bank Fraud

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in U.S. ex rel. O’Donnell v. Bank of America Corp et al., No. 12-01422 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), has endorsed a broad interpretation of a savings-and-loan era law that the Justice Department is trying to use in cases against Wall Street banks. This ruling came as part of a federal case against Bank of America over allegations that it sold toxic




Possessing a keen understanding of and knowledge in the science and technology sectors, IPLL provides clients counseling in all advanced areas of technology. Our patent law-related services are cutting-edge, and our understanding of technology matters is unsurpassed. Our patent expertise includes patent searching; drafting and filing; prosecution; infringement, validity and freedom-to-operate analyses and opinions; due diligence investigations and analytical reviews; Post Grant Proceedings; conducting complex IP audits; establishing in-house patent