Francis J. Lawall and Marcy J. McLaughlin
The Office of U.S. Trustee is known among practitioners as the “watchdog” of the bankruptcy process. To fund the U.S. Trustee, Chapter 11 debtors must pay quarterly fees. Following a recent substantial increase to the U.S. Trustee fee schedule, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found the amended fee schedule to be unconstitutional because it was being applied nonuniformly to Chapter 11 debtors around the country.
Lewis R. Clayton and Eric Alan Stone
How, if at all, can a non-injured party that challenges a patent before the PTAB and loses may then demonstrate Article III standing to appeal to the federal courts from the PTAB’s decision upholding the patent’s validity.
A rap video posted to Facebook crossed the line from artistic to threatening when its lyrics described violent acts, named two Pittsburgh police officers and suggested the rappers knew where those officers lived, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said in holding it was not protected by the First Amendment.
Jonathan S. Feld, Dante Stella and Christina Brunty
As rapid technological changes in the 21st century continue to expand the types and volume of private electronic information, the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections are evolving. The critical question in Fourth Amendment cases is whether a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy in the information or event.”
The California Court of Appeal created some First Amendment breathing room for the creators of docudramas — at the expense of legendary actress Olivia de Havilland — when the court ordered her suit against FX Networks over its Emmy Award-winning miniseries Feud be stricken under California’s anti-SLAPP law, even if it did play a little fast-and-loose with de Havilland’s character.
Stacey C. Kalamaras
Refusal Is an Unconstitutional Violation of Free Speech
On Dec. 15, 2017, a unanimous Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that despite Appellant’s mark comprising “immoral or scandalous” matter, the PTO could no longer refuse federal registration of such marks on the grounds that this refusal violated the free speech clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. solicitor general, law professors, nonprofits and even one pharma company make the case for saving the Patent and Trial Appeal Board as a cost-effective mechanism for challenging patents.