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A dispute between the two titans in the poultry processing equipment market led the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to construe the term “protection of investments” in 35 U.S.C. §252.
A dispute between the two titans in the poultry processing equipment market led the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to construe the term “protection of investments” in 35 U.S.C. §252. John Bean Techs. Corp. v. Morris & Assocs., Inc., No. 2020-1090, 2021 WL 641987 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 19, 2021). This section outlines the boundaries of the court’s equitable powers to absolve liability from infringement for substantively altered patents. The court affirmed the summary judgment decision by the District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas that granted equitable intervening rights to Morris & Associate Inc.’s (Morris) against John Bean Technologies Corporation’s (John Bean) infringement claims based on its reissued patent. Rejecting John Bean’s argument that “protection of investment” is limited to monetary investments made and recouped before the reissue certificate, the Federal Circuit determined that the lower court did not abuse its discretion by considering factors other than money invested before the reissue and granting Morris the defense of equitable intervening rights.
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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.