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The Federal Circuit recently clarified — and lowered — the threshold to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over an out of state declaratory judgment defendant. In Trimble Inc., Innovative Software Engineering, LLC v. PerDiemCo LLC, the Federal Circuit reiterated that there is “no general rule that demand letters can never create specific personal jurisdiction” and reversed the district court’s dismissal of a declaratory judgment action for lack of personal jurisdiction where the parties had engaged in extensive pre-litigation communications. 997 F.3d 1147, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 13985, at 16 (Fed. Cir. 2021). Trimble highlights several key trends and practical takeaways for parties and practitioners alike, including a lesson in being cautious, conscientious, and strategic when engaging in pre-litigation communications including cease-and-desist letters.
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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.