Virginia IP Law > Troutman Sanders LLP

EDVA Judge Invalidates Patent on Satellite-Based Emergency Notification System

In a lengthy opinion issued November 19, Judge Brinkema of the EDVA held that a patent on a text messaging system for use in emergencies in remote areas was both anticipated and rendered obvious by the prior art. DeLorme Publishing Co., Inc. v. BriarTek IP, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162197 (E.D. Va. Nov. 19, 2014), found here. While Judge Brinkema’s decision is very fact-dependent, she relies on several legal principles which may be helpful to EDVA practitioners.

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November 21, 2014   Comments Off

Troutman Sanders Federal Circuit Review – November 21, 2014

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Each week, Troutman Sanders’ Federal Circuit review summarizes the Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions from the prior week.   

This week:

  • Collateral estoppel may preclude construction of a claim limitation in a reexamined patent if the limitation has been previously construed and presents an identical issue. 

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November 21, 2014   Comments Off

Troutman Sanders Federal Circuit Review – November 14, 2014

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Each week, Troutman Sanders’ Federal Circuit review summarizes the Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions from the prior week.   

This week:

  • Use of the Term “Module” Did Not Specify A Means-Plus-Function Claim. 

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November 14, 2014   Comments Off

Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in Software after Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank

It is becoming clear that the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014) marks a sea change in the patentability of computer software.  The numerous recent decisions invalidating software patents under Alice will force software owners and developers to find other ways to protect their investments in their software products.  Chief among these alternatives are non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and trade secret protections, but software owners should also keep in mind the potential for copyright protection for their intellectual property. [Read more →]

November 11, 2014   Comments Off

Troutman Sanders Federal Circuit Review – October 31, 2014

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Each week, Troutman Sanders’ Federal Circuit review summarizes the Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions from the prior week.   

This week:

  • Negotiations within the U.S. for sales outside the U.S. do not constitute infringement. 

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October 31, 2014   Comments Off

Troutman Sanders Federal Circuit Review – October 24, 2014

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Each week, Troutman Sanders’ Federal Circuit review summarizes the Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions from the prior week.   

This week:

  • Patentee’s failure to argue infringement under adverse claim construction on appeal constitutes waiver of the infringement claim. 
  • A claim construction that naturally aligns with the problem and solution in the written description is most likely correct. 
  • The Government assumes infringement liability when it requires a private party to performed a quasi-governmental act that infringes on a patent. 

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October 28, 2014   Comments Off

EDVA Judge Holds that the Copyright Act Preempts Some Claims Under the Virginia Computer Crimes Act

In Maxient, LLC v. Symplicity Corp., Case No. 1:14CV1184, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150542 (E.D.Va. Oct. 23, 2014) (found here), Maxient, a developer of web-based software for student conduct records management, claimed that a competitor, Symplicity, posed as a customer to access its proprietary website and gain access to Maxient’s trade secrets. Maxient brought suit in state court alleging violations of the Virginia Trade Secrets Act and the Virginia Computer Crimes Act (VCCA) and a claim for unlawful use of encryption in criminal activity. Symplicity removed the case on the grounds that the Copyright Act preempted all of Maxient’s claims other than the claim under the Trade Secrets Act.  On a Motion to Remand, Judge Trenga held that Maxient’s claims under the VCCA for using a computer to convert software and for computer trespass were preempted but held that a separate VCCA claim for using a computer to obtain property under false pretenses and Maxient’s claim for the unlawful use of encryption in criminal activity were not.

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October 24, 2014   Comments Off

Troutman Sanders Federal Circuit Review – October 17, 2014

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Each week, Troutman Sanders’ Federal Circuit review summarizes the Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions from the prior week.   

This week:

  • Disclosures that do no more than recite functions cannot meet the “means-plus-function” requirements of §112 ¶ 6. 
  • Attorney’s fees to a “prevailing party” do not require a patentee to succeed on all of its infringement claims.

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October 17, 2014   Comments Off

EDVA Court Rules that Federal Circuit Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over IPR Appeals

In a recent memorandum opinion, Judge Cacheris of the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed Synopsys, Inc.’s challenge under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to a final decision rendered by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on Synopsys’s petition for inter partes review of the validity of U.S. Patent No. 6,240,376 (the “‘376 patent”). The Court held that under the America Invents Act (AIA), the Federal Circuit possesses exclusive jurisdiction to review post-grant patentability decisions. “To conclude otherwise,” said Judge Cacheris, “would defeat Congress’s intent [in the AIA] to improve the efficiency of the post-grant patentability review process.” Slip Op. at 10-11. [Read more →]

October 10, 2014   Comments Off

EDVA: In battle between novelty bearded hat makers, defendant’s trademark infringement and cybersquatting claims survive motion to dismiss

In a patent and trademark dispute between makers of novelty bearded hats, Judge Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia denied in part the plaintiff’s motion to dismiss the defendant’s trademark related counterclaims. Stat Ltd., v. Beard Head, Inc., et al, 3:13CV762, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141097 (E.D. Va. Oct. 3, 2014).  Although defendant Beard Head’s trademark infringement and cybersquatting claims are skeletal, they were sufficiently pleaded to survive a 12(b)(6) motion.  Judge Hudson’s brief memorandum opinion can be found here.

For those of us unable to grow a beard, there’s hope! Enter Beardo and Beard Head.  Stat Ltd, or “Beardo,” produces hats with . . . well, beards. Beardo does not discriminate—it makes bearded hats for men, women, and children. Similarly, competitor in the bearded hat market Beard Head also produces bearded hats. The products are essentially ski masks. In the place of a boring, purely utilitarian mask, however, the consumer finds a fuzzy beard to keep his or her face warm.

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October 9, 2014   Comments Off