One-E-Way, Inc. v. International Trade Commission

The International Trade Commission found the claim term “virtually free from interference” indefinite and invalidated the asserted claims of One-E-Way’s patents. Because we conclude that the term “virtually free from interference,” as properly interpreted in light of the specification and prosecution history, would inform a person of ordinary skill in the art about the scope of the invention with reasonable certainty, we reverse.

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Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Westlake Services

Credit Acceptance Corp. (“CAC”) appeals the final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) in a Covered Business Method (“CBM”) review proceeding. The Board determined that claims 10–12 and 14–33 of CAC’s U.S. Patent No. 6,950,807 B2 (“the ’807 patent”) are directed to patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. CAC appeals the Board’s determination that the petitioner, Westlake Services, LLC (“Westlake”), was not estopped from maintaining CBM review of those claims under 35 U.S.C. § 325(e)(1). CAC also appeals the Board’s § 101 determination. Because we agree with the Board that Westlake was not estopped from maintaining CBM review of those claims and that the challenged claims are unpatentable under § 101, we affirm.

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Checkpoint Systems, Inc. v. All-Tag Security S.A.

This is the second attorney fee appeal arising from a patent infringement suit brought by Checkpoint Systems, Inc. (“Checkpoint”) against All–Tag Security S.A., All–Tag Security Americas, Inc., Sensormatic Electronics Corp., and Kobe Properties SARL (collectively, “All–Tag”). The district court deemed the case “exceptional” and awarded attorney fees to All–Tag.1 We conclude that the court erred in its application of fee-shifting principles; the award is reversed.

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Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC v. Guardian Protection Services, Inc.

Appellant ADS Security, L.P. (“ADS”) appeals the opinion and order of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (“District Court”) denying ADS’s request for attorney fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285 (2012). See Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC v. Guardian Prot. Servs., Inc., No. 2:15-cv-01431- JRG-RSP, 2016 WL 3883549, at *4 (E.D. Tex. July 18, 2016). The District Court found that Appellee Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC (“Rothschild”) had not engaged in conduct sufficient to make the litigation “exceptional,” such that ADS did not merit attorney fees pursuant to § 285. See id. at *1–3.

ADS appeals the District Court’s exceptional case determination. We possess subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) (2012). We reverse and remand.

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New World International, Inc. v. Ford Global Technologies, LLC

New World International, Inc., and National Auto Parts, Inc., (collectively, “New World”) appeal from a final decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissing New World’s declaratory judgment complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant-appellee Ford Global Technologies, LLC (“FGTL”). We affirm.

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Lyons v. American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Sheila Lyons, DVM (“Lyons”) appeals from a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“the PTO”) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) canceling her registration of the service mark THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SPORTS MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION (“the mark”) on the Supplemental Register on the ground that she does not own the mark. See Am. Coll. of Veterinary Sports Med. & Rehab. v. Lyons, 2016 WL 1380739, at *19 (T.T.A.B. Mar. 17, 2016) (“Decision”). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

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Skky, Inc. v. MindGeek, S.A.R.L.

Skky, Inc. (“Skky”) appeals from the final written decision of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) in an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding concluding that claims 1–3, 5, and 15–23 (“the challenged claims”) of U.S. Patent 7,548,875 (“the ’875 patent”) are unpatentable as obvious. MindGeek, s.a.r.l. v. Skky Inc., IPR 2014-01236, 2016 WL 763036, at *1 (P.T.A.B. Jan. 29, 2016) (“Final Decision”). Because the Board did not err in its claim construction or in concluding that the challenged claims are unpatentable, we affirm.

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Design Basics, LLC v. Lexington Homes, Inc.

This copyright suit shows the difficulty in finding protected creative expression in a crowded field, in this case, architectural design of single‐family homes. The case also shows the challenge in administering intellectual property law to discourage so‐called intellectual property “trolls” while protecting genuine creativity.

Plaintiffs Design Basics, LLC; Prime Designs, Inc.; and Plan Pro, Inc. (collectively, “Design Basics”) and their affili‐ ates claim rights to some 2700 home designs. They sued defendants Lexington Homes, Inc. and related parties (collectively, “Lexington”) for copyright infringement, contending that Lexington built homes that infringed four of Design Basics’ designs.

The district court granted summary judgment to Lexington, finding no evidence that Lexington ever had access to De‐ sign Basics’ home plans. Without access, the court reasoned, there could be no copying and no copyright infringement. We affirm. We agree with the district court that Design Basics has no evidence of access. We also conclude that no reasonable jury could find that Lexington’s accused plans bear substantial similarities to any original material in Design Basics’ plans.  

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Evans v. Building Materials Corp.

In September 2009, Roof N Box, Inc. (RNB) and Building Materials Corp. of America d/b/a GAF-ELK Corp. (GAF) entered into an agreement under which GAF would promote RNB’s “Roof N Box” product, a three-dimensional roofing model, to building-construction contractors affiliated with GAF. The agreement contains a provision that requires the parties to submit disputes “arising under” the agreement to arbitration. GAF terminated the agreement after about a year, and the validity of that termination is not at issue.

In March 2016, RNB, together with its founder and president, Stephen Evans, brought the present suit against GAF based on GAF’s activities in marketing its own product that competes with the Roof N Box product. The complaint alleges design-patent infringement under federal law as well as trade-dress infringement and unfair competition under federal and state law. GAF moved to dismiss or stay the action pending arbitration based on the 2009 agreement’s arbitration provision. The district court denied that motion. GAF appeals. Because GAF’s assertion that the arbitration provision covers the claims stated in the complaint is “wholly groundless,” a standard that GAF accepts as applicable in this case, we affirm.

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Preston v. Nagel

Plaintiffs (collectively, Preston) filed a complaint against Defendants (collectively, Nagel) in Massachusetts Superior Court alleging fifteen state-law claims. Nagel answered the complaint and filed eleven counterclaims under the Declaratory Judgment Act seeking declarations of non-infringement of several patents held by plaintiff Electromagnetics Corporation. Nagel also removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts under 28 U.S.C. § 1441, the general removal statute, and 28 U.S.C. § 1454, the patent removal statute. Preston moved to remand. The court determined that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Preston’s state-law claims did not arise under federal law and Nagel’s patent counterclaims did not present a justiciable case or controversy under Article III. It therefore remanded the case to Massachusetts Superior Court. Nagel timely appealed.

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