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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. 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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Federal Circuit and Advisory Council Model Orders

On July 22, 2013, a model order relating to the number of asserted claims and prior art references in patent litigations was released on the Federal Circuit Advisory Council’s webpage. The order required that in the first phase, plaintiffs must select 10 claims per patent, and 32 claims total, 40 days after production of “core” …

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