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In recent years, one of the most important and controversial developments in U.S. patent law relates to the standard for whether an invention is “patent eligible,” or in other words, whether an invention falls within the scope of subject matter that is capable of being patented. Through the late 1990s and into the 2000s, for most kinds of patents, patent eligibility was not really a concern for patent holders. Certainly, as exemplified first by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in State Street Bank & Trust v. Signature Financial Group, 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and later the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. 593 (2010), the patent eligibility of business method patents and software was an issue both in the prosecution and enforcement of patents. However, widespread uncertainty about and ultimate decimation of issued patents was nothing compared to what we have seen in the last five years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), which was the culmination of a series of decisions after Bilski, including Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, 566 U.S. 66 (2012), and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, 569 U.S. 576 (2013).
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By Sarah Benowich
Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc.
The Supreme Court, settling a circuit split, held that, although highly important, willfulness is not a prerequisite for a trademark infringement plaintiff to obtain a profits award.
By Anthony J. Dreyer
On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split, finding that any preclusion of litigation defenses must comply with traditional res judicata principles, and ruling that Lucky Brand was not precluded from asserting its defenses in its long-standing trademark litigation against Marcel Fashions Group
By Shaleen J. Patel and Sushmitha Rajeevan
Machine learning allows certain AI to create entirely new content based upon the materials it used to learn. In the process of creating new content, AI may create copies of copyrighted works in memory storage as a byproduct of its overall output sequence. This article explores authorship and ownership of such AI-generated content, and to what extent, if any, can copyrights be infringed upon when AI reproduces copyrighted works for machine learning.
By Rudy Kim and Chris Han
Holding that the parties’ executed agreement mooted the issues in the case, the Federal Circuit recently reversed a district court’s decision to grant summary judgment of non-infringement despite the parties’ agreement. The decision builds upon prior Federal Circuit case law giving effect to settlement agreements.