Post-Halo trends, cracking down on counterfeiting, and more in this issue of IP Buzz

3 min

Venable is proud to be named Law Firm of the Year for Technology Law in the 2017 edition of U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms."

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Gaming Controllers

Back In the Game

For companies whose core technology is software – certainly companies developing video games – the Federal Circuit's recent decision in McRO, Inc. v. Bandai Namco Games America, is welcome news. The Federal Circuit provided guidance regarding what constitutes an abstract idea in the context of video game software in light of the now infamous Alice decision, which some might think was designed to kill software patents. However, defendants in McRO have recently filed a petition for rehearing en banc raising a number of challenges to the appellate court's ruling. In this client alert, Kimberly Culp and Bill Hector discuss in detail the decision and background of the cases as they apply to the video gaming industry.

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Supreme Court

Post-Halo Trends

35 U.S.C. § 284 provides that, upon a finding of willful infringement, courts "may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed." To determine willful infringement, courts had long applied the Federal Circuit's two-prong Seagate test, which required a finding of objective recklessness, as well as a subjective finding of willfulness. But, the Supreme Court recently rejected this test in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc. In this article, Venable attorneys Ralph Dengler, Bill Hector, and Leslie Lee discuss the aftermath of Halo as several courts have considered its effect on willful infringement determinations.

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Cracking Down on Counterfeiting: Trade Groups Demand Change in USTR Treatment of Alibaba Group e-Commerce Platforms

Counterfeiting is not new to the Alibaba Group's e-commerce platforms, including Taobao and AliExpress. Yet it has reached "crisis levels" and "epidemic" proportions, according to a letter from North American, European, and Asian trade groups to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), which issues a list of "Notorious Markets" each year. Signatories include over a dozen business and trade groups, including the AFL-CIO, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH. Trademark attorneys Marcella Ballard, Kristen Ruisi, and Victoria Danta discuss concerns and trade groups' demands for change in the USTR treatment of e-commerce platforms.

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Latest USPTO Memorandum on Subject Matter Eligibility

On November 2, 2016, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Memorandum providing additional guidance on the examination of claims with respect to subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In this article, Venable lawyers Michael Sartori and George Howarah discuss the Memorandum and its impact in greater detail.

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PLI's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement 2017

Venable partner Justin Pierce will present at PLI's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement 2017 seminar on January 20, 2017, in New York, NY. His presentation, titled "IP Remedies," will highlight the differences in the ability to get fees in copyright cases vs. patent cases vs. trademark cases; the Supreme Court case on the scope of damages in design patent cases; willful infringement and damages awards in copyright, patent, and trademark cases; ITC exclusion orders; and significant fee awards of note. Venable guests will receive discounted registration.


IQPC's 18th Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Summit

Venable is a proud sponsor of the IQPC's 18th Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection conference in San Francisco, CA. The conference will focus on actionable strategies to reduce product counterfeiting and strengthen brand protection initiatives. Join Venable partner Marcella Ballard, who will present on a panel discussion titled "Effective Strategies to Chase and Stop Counterfeiting Rings" on Wednesday, January 25.