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In Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), prohibiting the federal registration of potentially disparaging trademarks and service marks, violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The eight justices participating in the case agreed that the prohibition constituted a viewpoint-based government restriction, but they divided evenly on the constitutional significance of that consideration. Whatever the resolution of that division ultimately may be, though, the outcome of the litigation is unlikely to affect the validity of most — but not necessarily all — of the Lanham Act’s other prohibitions on registration.
By Elizabeth B. Hagan
The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that a patent owner may recover lost foreign profits for infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(f)(2). The holding in WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical rejects the Federal Circuit’s categorical exclusion of lost profits damages for foreign sales, and expands the potential for increased damages from domestic competitors operating in foreign markets.
By Jon Bachand and Ari Feinstein
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a question raised by Helsinn Healthcare: whether, under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention.
By James A. Trigg and Chris Bussert
Supreme Court Grants Cert to Resolve Circuit Split on Registration Prerequisite for Filing Suit under Copyright Act
Although the term “registration” as used in the Section 411(a) of the Copyright Act does not immediately appear to be ambiguous, courts have reached differing conclusions as to its meaning.
By Howard Shire and Adam Fisher
Federal Circuit Holds That Tribal Sovereign Immunity Cannot Be Asserted in IPR Proceedings
Citing ‘Steep Burden’ on Plaintiffs, Federal Circuit Denies Use of ‘Entire Market Value Rule’ in Cases Involving Multicomponent Products