Trade Secret Protection Requires Steps to Protect Trade Secrets

A defendant who misappropriated a plaintiff’s designs could not be liable for trade secret misappropriation no matter how nefarious the defendant’s conduct, where the plaintiff had not taken reasonable steps to protect prototypes embodying the designs. Accordingly, in Direct Technologies, LLC v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. SACV 10-1336 AG (PJWx) (C.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2014), […]

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Precedential PTAB Decision Provides Reminder That PG Patent Review Is Barred By Prior Civil Action Challenging Validity

On November 15, 2013, SecureBuy, LLC, petitioned the US Patent and Trademark Office for review of U.S. Patent No. 7,051,002 under the America Invents Act’s transitional program for covered business method patents. Two weeks earlier, on November 1, 2014, SecureBuy had filed actions in two different federal district courts seeking a declaratory judgment of invalidity […]

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Patent “Assignee” Lacks Standing to Sue

Clouding IP lacked standing to sue to enforce a set of patents it had purportedly purchased under a “Patent Assignment Agreement” because rights retained by Symantec, the seller, prevented Clouding from obtaining “substantially all rights” in the patents.  Clouding IP LLC v. AT&T Inc., No. 1:13-cv-01342 (D. Del. Jul 28, 2014). The Court’s consideration of […]

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The Alice Effect: Recent Patent-Eligibility Cases in the District Courts

As this blog and others have noted, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reacted quickly to change examination procedures in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l.  Moreover, as two recent district court cases suggest, Alice’s impact is being felt in ongoing patent litigation.  In […]

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Claims Directed to a Data Structure Are Not Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit

In its first patent-eligibility case since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the Federal Circuit has held that claims directed to a data structure are not patent-eligible, affirming the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity.  Digitech Image Techs., LLC v. Elecs. for Imaging, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 11, 2014).  […]

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New Patent Prosecution Standard? USPTO Provides Preliminary Post-Alice Corp. Guidelines for Evaluating Patent-Eligibility

In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “preliminary instructions effective today to the Patent Examining Corps relating to subject matter eligibility of claims involving abstract ideas, particularly computer-implemented abstract ideas, under 35 U.S.c. § 101.”  At the same time, the USPTO is clearly struggling […]

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Inapplicability of Copyright First Sale Doctrine to Restrictive Software License

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a district court decision (reported in this blog) holding that a restrictive software license is not a “sale” for purposes of the federal copyright laws, and that the license could not be used to assert a defense to copyright infringement based on the first sale doctrine.  Adobe Systems Inc. v. […]

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Inter Partes Review Barred by Real Party in Interest Requirement

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has dismissed RPX Corporation’s multiple petitions for inter partes review (IPR) of four patents owned by Virnetx, Inc., holding that Apple, Inc., whose ability to bring the IPR petitions was time-barred, was the real party in  interest.  RPX Corp. v. Virnetx, Inc., Cases IPR2014-171 to 177 (PTAB […]

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