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Companies have historically turned to patent pools as vehicles for achieving shared objectives. A patent pool can be formed when a group of patent holders agree to pool their patents for some purpose. For instance, members of a patent pool may agree to pool and license their patent rights to a third party in exchange for fees or royalties. In this scenario, the pooling companies may own complementary patents that enable a technical standard. Pooling the complementary patents can enable a licensee to develop a product or service. In another scenario, members of a patent pool may agree to pool and cross-license their patent rights to one another. This may occur when a group of companies are developing similar products and services. Here, the members can benefit from shared patent rights that allow them to focus more of their resources on developing their businesses and less on patent transactional and litigation expenses.
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By Stan Soocher
To survive preemption under §301 of the Copyright Act, courts consider whether a state law claim in a lawsuit has an “extra element” that qualitatively distinguishes it from a federal copyright claim. Courts typically find that state law claims, such as breach of contract, have an extra element. Other state law claims, such as conversion, get varying court determinations as to whether they are preempted.
By Darin Snyder, Brad Garcia, Amy Liang, and Daniel Silverman
In the past year, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly required the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to transfer patent infringement suits from that district to more convenient venues, and in doing so it has provided increasingly specific — and often pointed — guidance to courts and litigants on the appropriate analysis for transfer motions.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Unicolors v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz to address the following question: “Did the Ninth Circuit err in breaking with its own prior precedent and the findings of other circuits and the Copyright Office in holding that 17 U.S.C. §411 requires referral to the Copyright Office where there is no indicia of fraud or material error as to the work at issue in the subject copyright registration?”
By Scott Graham
The agency announced that the Department of Commerce has applied to register the USPTO’s marks in a bid to crack down on scammers who are impersonating the agency.