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Posts in Intellectual Property.

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed S. 1890 – The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) into law, the final step in creating the first federal civil cause of action against those who misappropriate a company’s trade secrets. In signing the Act, President Obama spoke of American innovation and the threat that trade secret theft, particularly in Asian markets, poses to American jobs, markets, and leadership. Our previous post, See You in Federal Court: Congress Creates Federal Civil Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation, provides details regarding key components of the Act ...

Congressional efforts to create a federal remedy to protect company trade secrets have been underway for several years. Last week, S. 1890 - Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, which would amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create federal civil jurisdiction over the theft of trade secrets, was sent by Congress to the President for consideration. The Bill was introduced last year and was passed by an overwhelming majority of both the Senate and House in April 2016: by Senate vote (87-0) on April 4 and by House vote (410-2), without changes, on April 27. The Bill was presented to the ...

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 575 U. S. ____ ( 2015), rejecting the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ recognition of a defense to induced patent infringement claims based on the good-faith belief that a patent is invalid.  The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision had vacated Commil’s multi-million dollar award ($63.7 million in damages and $10.3 million in interest) against Cisco Systems, Inc. and required a third trial to consider Cisco’s good-faith defense to Commil’s induced infringement claims.  ...

The answer should be a resounding “no,” according to the United States and Commil USA, LLC, the recipient of a multi-million dollar jury award against Cisco Systems, Inc.  Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (No. 13-896), which probes whether one who induces infringement of another’s patent can avoid liability under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) of the Patent Act by claiming that they had a good-faith belief that the patent at issue was invalid.  Recall from our previous discussion, Commil won a jury verdict against Cisco for $74 million ...

Congress Takes Up Patent Litigation Reform – Innovation Act Reintroduced, Supreme Court Cases Examined

Patent litigation reform has been on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee agenda, with the recent reintroduction of legislation seeking to address patent litigation abuses and a hearing examining recent U.S. Supreme Court cases that have imposed some reforms that may, or may not, curtail the need for further legislative efforts.  In February, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. Rob Goodlatte reintroduced the bi-partisan Innovation Act, H.R. 9, which is the same in substance as the previous Innovation Act, H.R. 3309 that passed the House in December 2013, but ultimately ...

Big Day for Patent Holders: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide if Good-Faith Defense to Induced Patent Infringement Survives

Imagine that you are fighting to enforce your valid patents and after winning two jury verdicts you feel vindicated by the $74 million award you have been granted for the defendant’s role in inducing the infringement…then the appellate court says “try again,” because the defendant believed in good-faith that the patent was invalid.  Today you may get to wake up from this daydream, but this is the real-world scenario from which Commil USA LLC is seeking relief in the U.S. Supreme Court.  On December 5th, the High Court agreed to hear Commil’s appeal challenging the Federal ...

On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bi-partisan federal Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which we previously wrote about when introduced in July, 2014 by North Carolina Representative George Holding.  H.R. 5233 seeks to amend the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation.  Regarding the importance of the Act, Rep. Holding and other supporters noted that “[a]s of 2009, the value of trade secrets owned by U.S. companies was estimated to be nearly $5 trillion.  While current federal ...

House Judiciary Subcommittee Continued Its Review of Intellectual Property Law with Hearings on Copyright Infringement Remedies, The America Invents Act, and IP Policy Goals

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet recently held hearings targeted at further exploring intellectual property laws and policy.  On July 24, the Subcommittee held another hearing in its series that is examining federal copyright laws, this time focusing on remedies for copyright infringement provided under Chapter 5 of Title 17.  This was a follow-up to a previous hearing that focused on the notice and take down provisions of Section 512.  Issues addressed in the July 24 hearing include the creation of a small claims ...

Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014 Introduced in Bi-Partisan Effort to Protect Businesses From Cyber Security Threats

On July 29, 2014, North Carolina Congressman George Holding introduced the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which seeks to create a private federal remedy for victims of trade secret theft.  Representative Holding introduced the bill with five co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, affirming in his statement the importance of protecting businesses from the damage caused by the loss of trade secrets:

American businesses face relentless cyber security threats every day, costing our economy billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs each year.  As a way to help ...

House Subcommittee Approved TROL Act Defining Bad Faith Communications Made During Patent Assertion as Unfair or Deceptive Practices Under the Federal Trade Commission Act

The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade considered and approved the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act of 2014 (“TROL Act”) with a 13-6 vote.  The purpose of the TROL Act is to establish that certain bad faith communications made in connection with the assertion of a United States patent are considered unfair or deceptive acts or practices under section 5(a)(1) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 45(a)(1)).  The Act was passed with minor amendment to the provision that establishes an affirmative defense that ...

In an April 25, 2014 article published in Bloomberg BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal, MVA Intellectual Property Member Mark Wilson examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, LLC, 134 S.Ct. 843 (2014) in which the High Court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that the burden of proof remains with the patentee even in declaratory judgment actions filed by licensees. You can read Wilson’s article here

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.”  The purpose of the hearing was to discuss ways to balance the need to curb the increasing abuse of patent demand letters by “bad actors” with protecting the legitimate interest that entities with patent holdings have in using demand letters “to engage other companies in lawful and productive discussions around their businesses.”  The hearing background memo explains that the ...

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE COPYRIGHT HEARING:  On April 2, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held a hearing “Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works.”  Witness testimony and a webcast of the hearing can be viewed here.  Posted by Tony Lathrop, Apr. 11, 2014.

Federal District Courts Continue to Use Local Patent Rules

            In our last post, we discussed proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure recently published for comment by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee.  Two years ago, I sat on a similar advisory committee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina with the mission to devise a set of local patent rules to enhance the Rules of Civil Procedure and guide parties through the unique aspects of patent litigation in our District.  Since 2001, Federal District Courts around the country have continued to establish local patent rules.  Local patent ...

About MVA Litigation Blog

Companies are operating in an increasingly globalized and regulated business environment, facing ever-changing and complicated litigation and regulatory challenges. The Moore & Van Allen Litigation Blog provides cutting-edge information regarding developments in federal, North Carolina State, and international litigation, as well as in arbitration, regulatory enforcement, and related business practices. 

Read about our practice and meet the MVA Litigation Team.

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