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In the long-running Apple v. Samsung dispute, the Federal Circuit has highlighted a marked difference between the effectiveness of trade dress and design patents in protecting the visual characteristics of a product, which could potentially cost Apple hundreds of millions of dollars in lost damages. Explaining that both the registered and unregistered trade dress features of Apple’s iPhone products are functional and thus not protectable, the Federal Circuit remanded the case back to the district court for entry of damages awards “not predicated on Apple’s trade dress claims.” On the other hand, the court affirmed awards on design patents that arguably cover many of the same features present in the trade dress.
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By Kerry S. Taylor and Nathanael R. Luman
On May 27, 2020 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proposed rule changes to govern inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), and covered business method (CBM) review proceedings at the PTAB. This article provides a summary of each proposed rule change and its potential impact on PTAB practice.
By J. Alexander Lawrence
Don and Phil Everly’s flawless harmonies that resulted in a string of hits in the 1950s and '60s regrettably ended in acrimony. The Sixth Circuit recently issued a decision in a dispute between Phil’s heirs and Don over copyright ownership of the No. 1 hit “Cathy’s Clown,” in which concurring Judge Eric E. Murphy raised important questions about when the statute of limitations should begin to run in copyright cases and whether courts have been correctly applying the law.
By Rebecca Kirk Fair, Peter Hess and Vendela Fehrm
Surveys can provide useful evidence in litigation if they are conducted by a qualified expert employing reliable methods that survive a Daubert challenge. In the first of a series of articles drawing on our review of over 300 U.S. court rulings in cases involving surveys, including over 150 Daubert motions, we provide some suggestions for getting survey evidence admitted for consideration in court.
By Stan Soocher
Federal courts have long disagreed over whether the unauthorized “making available” of a plaintiff’s works to the public is sufficient to constitute copyright infringement under the U.S. Copyright Act. Two June District Court decisions demonstrated the differences between the views of the Fourth and Ninth Circuits.