There are many advantages to pursuing relief for patent infringement in the International Trade Commission (ITC) compared to U.S. district court, but one that receives little attention is the success rate for complainants (plaintiffs). The rate has been climbing for years and reached nearly 90% for cases decided on the merits in 2017. With such a high rate of success and the many other advantages for complainants, the ITC should be on every patent owner’s radar.
In a recent decision, the Second Circuit further clarified the confines of permissible fair use, reversing the district court’s ruling that functionality that enabled customers to search for videos by term, and to view and archive such videos, was protected fair use. In doing so, the court relied on its “Google Books” fair use decision but here concluded that TVEyes had “exceeded those bounds.”
The Southern District of New York has teed up an important copyright issue for interlocutory appeal, which could create a circuit split with the Ninth Circuit’s 2006 decision Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. On March 19, Judge Katherine Forrest certified for interlocutory appeal her February 15 summary judgment decision favoring the copyright owner, Justin Goldman. In her summary judgment decision, she rejected the publishers’ argument that “embedding” Tweets with the allegedly-infringing photo was not copyright infringement, expressing skepticism with the Ninth Circuit’s “Server Test” set forth in Perfect 10 v. Amazon.
This copyright action stems from a photo that Goldman took of Tom Brady with Danny Ainge (the GM of the Boston Celtics) and others in the Hamptons in 2016 when the Celtics were attempting (unsuccessfully) to recruit Kevin Durant. Three days later, Durant announced he would sign with the Golden State Warriors.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, LLC, 547 U.S. 388 (2006), injunctions are an infrequent remedy for patent infringement in federal district courts. Yet, an exclusion order – the functional equivalent of an injunction – is the remedy issued when a violation of Section 337 is found by the International Trade Commission (ITC). This means that component manufacturers and their downstream customers may have their products excluded from entry into the United States, even if the infringing component is only a small part of the downstream product. This article addresses issues with respect to the public interest, what are commonly known as the EPROMs factors, and issues with respect to domestic industry that arise in ITC Section 337 investigations against component manufacturers and their downstream customers.
For years the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has been known as the “Food Court.” It acquired the name because both plaintiffs and defendants viewed it as pro-plaintiff in class action food product false advertising cases. This led to a disproportionate number of those cases being filed there. The decision in Strumhauf v. Starbucks Corp., 2018 WL 306715 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 5, 2018) is the most recent of a number of cases indicating that the “Food Court” is closing for many food claim class actions. Continue reading this entry