Willamette Law Online

Intellectual Property

( 19 summaries )

Opinions Filed in March 2012

Fail-Safe, LLC v. A.O. Smith Corp.

Trade Secrets: By volunteering information without broaching the topic of confidentiality, it is unreasonable to expect a confidential relationship.

(Filing Date: 03-29-2012)

Merit Homes, LLC v. Joseph Carl Homes, LLC

Copyright: A nonexclusive license can be granted without a written conveyance.

(Filing Date: 03-27-2012)

Poindexter v. EMI Record Group, Inc.

Copyright: Only the owner of the copyright has standing to assert a claim for its infringement, and assignment of the right to sue to a non-owner is insufficient to confer standing.

(Filing Date: 03-27-2012)

Ergo Licensing, LLC v CareFusion 303, Inc.

Patents: Means-plus-function terms are required to point out the particular structure used to perform the function, lest it be deemed “indefinite.”

(Filing Date: 03-26-2012)

Brigham Young Univ. v. Pfizer, Inc.

Trade Secrets: Under Utah precedent, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act preempts claims based on the unauthorized use of information, regardless of whether that information met the statutory definition of a trade secret.

(Filing Date: 03-22-2012)

Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.

Patents: Patents based on natural law must contain other inventive elements to ensure the patent in practice amounts to significantly more than a patent of the natural law itself.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

McGee v. André

Copyright: Copyright infringement can only occur when probative and substantial similarity are proven; copyright does not protect unoriginal work.

(Filing Date: 03-20-2012)

Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v. HemCon Inc.

Patents: Intervening rights with respect to reissued patents do not accrue where the accused product or activity infringes a claim that existed in the original patent and remains without substantive change after reissue.

(Filing Date: 03-15-2012)

Erickson v. Blake

Copyright: If there is primarily only one way to express an idea, the expression cannot be copyrighted under the merger doctrine.

(Filing Date: 03-14-2012)

Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Haibo, Inc.

Copyright: When assessing the amount of statutory damages warranted for infringement, the Court has wide discretion.

(Filing Date: 03-12-2012)

OgoSport, LLC v. Maranda Enterprises, LLC

Trademarks: Even if a plaintiff established a protectable trade dress and a likelihood of confusion, it cannot prevail if defendant shows that trade dress is merely functional.

(Filing Date: 03-12-2012)

Bedford Auto Dealers Assoc. v. Mercedes Benz of North Olmsted

Trademarks: Even though Plaintiff may have registered term as a trademark, if the court finds that the term is generic then the term will not be worthy of the protection of a trademark.

(Filing Date: 03-08-2012)

Ray Communications, Inc. v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc.

Trademarks: Laches may bar relief, but not automatically; a showing of “plus” factors must be presented for laches to bar relief.

(Filing Date: 03-08-2012)

Digital-Vending Services International, LLC v. The University of Phoenix, Inc.

Patents: “The context in which a term is used in the asserted claim can be highly instructive” to its claim construction. A limitation should not be read into a claim “based on statements made during prosecution absent a clear disavowal or contrary definition.”

(Filing Date: 03-07-2012)

In re Viterra Inc.

Trademarks: Concerning identical marks, the “degree of similarity necessary to support a conclusion of likely confusion declines.”

(Filing Date: 03-06-2012)

Own Your Power Communications, Inc. v. Oprah Winfrey

Trademarks: A trademark phrase can be used by Plaintiff in a non-trademark descriptive sense and thus will not infringe on Defendant's trademark phrase.

(Filing Date: 03-06-2012)

In re Erik P. Staats and Robin D. Lash

Patents: The two-year limitation of 35 U.S.C. § 251 relating to broadening of claims on reissue application only applies to the first broadening reissue application; any further broadening reissue applications, whether or not related to the first broadening reissue application, may be filed outside of the two-year limit.

(Filing Date: 03-05-2012)

Beane v. Mii Technologies, LLC

Trade Secrets: An assertion that all information ever created amounts to a trade secret does not satisfy the requirements of the Uniform Trade Secret Act.

(Filing Date: 03-01-2012)

Fort Properties, Inc. v. American Master Lease, LLC

Patents: Simply adding a “computer aided” limitation to a claim covering an abstract concept, without more, is insufficient to render the claim patent eligible.

(Filing Date: 02-27-2012)