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The Lanham Act and Jim Brown

On July 31, 2013, the Ninth Circuit affirmed dismissal of the Lanham Act claims brought by Jim Brown, a former NFL star, against video game developer Electronic Arts, Inc. (EA). The court concluded that the Rogers balancing test was the appropriate standard to evaluate defendant EA’s use of Brown’s likeness in video games, and since the use of his likeness was artistically relevant to games, it is protected by the




RAND Obligations and Injunctive Relief

Entities that are parts of technology standard-setting organizations are typically required to promise, in some fashion, to license patents essential to any resultant standard on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. Once the standard has been promulgated, the standard essential patents (“SEP”s) may be asserted in litigation and the patent holder is expected to live up to reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) terms. A thorny issue for courts and litigants in the context




Patent Litigation

Building on a reputation for the highest quality first chair patent litigators, and working in cooperation with nationally known litigators serving as our local counsel, IPLL brings extensive expertise in handling complex patent litigations, as well as mediation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution. IPLL’s patent litigators themselves possess advanced technology degrees and industry experience, and collaborate with experts across multiple industries, including Biotechnology, Chemical, Clean and Green Technology,




IP License Agreements Under the AIA

Over the past few years, there has been an ongoing subject matter jurisdiction battle between state courts and federal circuit courts. This jurisdiction battle is especially prevalent in cases where a complaint asserts a non-patent cause of action with an underlying patent issue, such as disputes over intellectual property licensing or malpractice claims. In most patent cases the “arising under” analysis for the Federal Circuit jurisdiction is fairly straight forward because a




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




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




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




M&A and Government Immunity

The Supreme Court’s decision in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System Inc., 133 S. Ct. 1003 (2013) put a limitation on the state immunity under which local governments across the country have relied upon for decades to shield their activities from federal antitrust scrutiny. This decision will open the door to challenging numerous government transactions including the transactions consummated before the Phoebe Putney decision. Until Phoebe Putney, the Supreme Court




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




The White House on ITC Section 337

On June 4, 2013, the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its Notice of Final Determination in the ’794 Investigation finding that Apple had violated Section 337 with respect to one of Samsung’s patents. Based on this determination, the Commission issued both a limited exclusion order and cease and desist order barring Apple from importing its iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, iPad 3 and iPad 2 models for sale in