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The Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action based on the “abstention doctrine,” despite the declaratory judgment plaintiff’s insistence that the underlying contract dispute required resolution of patent validity and claim scope that were within the federal courts’ exclusive purview. Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc., et al. v. Sasso, 977 F.3d 1224 (Fed. Cir. 2020). The decision in Warsaw Orthopedic provides guidance to litigants with claims involving both state and federal issues and attempts to resolve competing Supreme Court standards governing application of the abstention doctrine.
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By Hanchel Cheng
Regardless of whether a patent practitioner’s clients favor a stricter or more lenient eligibility regime, patent eligibility decisions continue to evolve. We need a line drawn for what practitioners expect to be clearer. Hardware inventions are facing patent eligibility challenges that would have seemed more likely in software inventions. Recent court decisions have shown that what once made a hardware invention eligible may no longer fly.
By Richard S.J. Hung, Jacob N. Nagy and Evangeline T. Phang
A recent Federal Circuit opinion sheds light on the process for settling co-ownership disputes pursuant to an underlying agreement. Although the precedential opinion does not change the rules of contract interpretation, it suggests considerations when drafting ownership agreements.
By Stan Soocher
Composers of pre-1978 works often assigned both the initial and renewal copyright terms in their works when signing songwriter agreements with music publishers. But what happens when a grant of the copyright renewal term of a pre-1978 work has been made post-1977?
By Keith Hauprich
In the last two decades, the music industry and, more specifically, songwriters, producers and recording artists have been losing the value of their efforts to online piracy. Perhaps a business-to-business solution can be found between the music industry and cable providers.