Archive | April, 2012

Second Circuit Holds Software Is Not A Good Under Criminal Statute

In the context of the National Stolen Property Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2314 (“NSPA”), the Second Circuit has held that software is not a good.  United States v. Aleynikov, No. 11-1126 (2nd Cir. April 11, 2012).  In the law, of course, context is everything, so this holding may not have much bearing on other questions […]

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Misrepresentation in UDRP Proceeding Violates ACPA

Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) proceedings are easy to bring, and, some say, easy to abuse.  One recent case, if the plaintiff’s allegations are true, illustrates the latter point.  Misrepresenting, in a UDRP proceeding, the nature of a web site allegedly using an infringing domain name gave rise to a civil action under the Anticybersquatting […]

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Independent Contractors Are Covered by the Attorney-Client Privilege

Use of independent contractors is common in the tech world, especially in software development.  Communications between a company’s attorneys and an independent contractor may be protected by the attorney-client privilege, so long as the communications are directed to the independent contractor functioning as an employee.  A recent case illustrates the principle.  Gen-Probe Inc. v. Becton […]

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Section 101: USPTO Issues Preliminary Mayo Guidelines

In case you missed it, just a day after last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., a case with lessons for software patents, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued “preliminary guidance” to patent examiners on how to proceed in light of Mayo.  The bottom line: examiners should […]

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Software Patent Means Claims Held Indefinite

A software patent means-plus-function claim is indefinite where the specification fails to disclose an algorithm that performs the recited function.  The Federal Circuit has now held that where a means limitation is associated with multiple functions, a claim is indefinite where the patent specification discloses only one of the functions.  Noah Systems, Inc v. Intuit, […]

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DMCA Copyright Infringement Safe Harbors Addressed by 2nd Circuit

In a high-profile case, the Second Circuit has defined contours of the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c); those provisions relieve a service provider of liability for certain copyright infringements.  Viacom Int’l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc, Nos. 10-3270-cv and 10-3342-cv (2nd Cir. April 5, 2012).  In a detailed […]

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Notice Pleading Contributory and Induced Patent Infringement

Bare bones allegations that a defendant knew of a patent, and intended others’ infringement, were not enough to sustain allegations that the defendant indirectly, i.e., contributorily and by inducement, infringed the patent.  DR Systems, Inc. v. Avreo, Inc., No. 11-CV-0932 (S.D. Cal. March 29, 2012). The plaintiff’s complaint simply alleged that the defendant knew of […]

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Sanctions Denied Where Patent Plaintiff’s Theory of Infringement Was (Barely) Colorable

A plaintiff whose theory of patent infringement depended on reading the word “at” to mean “associated with” was not subject to sanctions for bringing suit, even though the court found “unconvincing” the “plaintiff’s advocacy of this unusual interpretation.”  NorthMobileTech LLC v. Simon Property Group, Inc., No. 11-cv-287 (W.D. Wisc. March 27, 2012). The claims of […]

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Registering Large Number of Domain Names Not by Itself Evidence of Bad Faith Cybersquatting

A trademark infringement defendant’s counterclaim under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), was dismissed where the sole basis for the counterclaim was the sheer number of domain names that the plaintiff had registered.  Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Medical News Now, Inc., No. 09-11505 (D. Mass. March 29, […]

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Computerized Method of Managing Financial Instruments Not Patent Eligible

Yet another district court has invalidated patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  In Digitech Information Systems, Inc. v. BMW Financial Services NA, LLC, No. 6:10-cv-1373 (M.D. Fla. March 30, 3012), the court held that a “method for selecting leases to optimize an investment portfolio,” implemented in a computer, did not recite patentable subject matter […]

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