Other Barks & Bites for Friday, March 22: Vanda Action at Supreme Court, Apple Has to Pay, and Senators Express Concerns Over Fourth Estate

Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.

Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Supreme Court asks for the U.S. Solicitor General’s view on whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101; a jury gives Qualcomm a win in its ongoing patent battle with Apple; the World Intellectual Property Office announces record-breaking totals for international patent applications and cybersquatting actions; Cisco avoids a nearly $60 million damages award at the Federal Circuit; McDonald’s appeals its loss in the EU over its Big Mac trademark; Tesla files trade secret lawsuits against former employees; Peloton faces a copyright suit from music publishers who are seeking $150 million; and Google gets another billion-dollar-plus fine from antitrust regulators in the EU.


Supreme Court Invites U.S. Government to Weigh in on Vanda Pharmaceuticals – On Monday, March 18, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to submit briefs in Hikma Pharmaceuticals [formerly West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International, Inc.]  v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals, which asks the Supreme Court to decide “whether patents that claim a method of medically treating a patient automatically satisfy Section 101 of the Patent Act, even if they apply a natural law using only routine and conventional steps.”

Jury Awards $31 Million to Qualcomm for Apple’s Patent Infringement – On Friday, March 15, a jury in the Southern District of California entered a verdict awarding $31.6 million to Qualcomm over Apple’s infringement of three patented technologies.

Sens. Tillis, Coons Send Letter to Copyright Office Over Fourth Estate Concerns – On Thursday, March 14, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) sent a letter addressed to the Acting Register of Copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office asking if the Office had plans to reduce copyright registration backlogs in response to the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC.

WIPO Statistics Show Record High For Cybersquatting Actions – On Friday, March 15, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that trademark owners filed 3,447 Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) actions during 2018, a 12 percent increase over 2017’s totals, with the highest number of cases being filed by Philip Morris. 

Huawei Files Most International Patent Applications at WIPO in 2018 – On Tuesday, March 19, WIPO announced that Chinese tech firm Huawei had filed 5,405 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent applications, making it the top corporate filer during 2018.

South African Copyright Law Amendments Move Forward – On Wednesday, March 20, a South African copyright amendment bill that would reportedly make meme sharing an act of infringement successfully passed out of committee in the National Council of Provinces and is expected to be passed into law.

Federal Circuit Nixes $57 Million Ruling Against Cisco in Patent Appeal – On Wednesday, March 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit tossed out a $57 million judgment against Cisco after the appellate court found that Cisco’s patent infringement wasn’t willful.

European Websites Go Dark in Protest of EU Copyright Law Changes – On Wednesday, March 20, Wikipedia sites in multiple European countries blocked access to all users for the entire day in order to protest proposed copyright amendments in the European Union that will be voted on next week.


Tesla Files Suits Against Former Employees Over Source Code Theft – On Wednesday and Thursday, March 20 and 21, Tesla filed lawsuits in California federal court against former employees who allegedly stole trade secrets and proprietary source code related to autonomous vehicles prior to joining other vehicle startups. 

Novo Nordisk Settles Patent Dispute With Teva Over Generic Victoza – On Monday, March 18, Novo Nordisk announced that it had settled the patent infringement case filed against generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals over the Type 2 diabetes treatment Victoza. The settlement will delay Teva’s generic version until at least March 2023. 

To Kill a Mockingbird Copyright Issue Dismantles Theater Productions Across the U.S. – Through March, many U.S. theater companies staging an adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird had to cancel their productions after a copyright enforcement campaign by Broadway producer Scott Rudin. 

https://depositphotos.com/30633387/stock-illustration-postman-followed-by-a-dog.htmlAbbVie Faces Lawsuit Over Humira Patents From Grocery Store Worker Union – On Monday, March 18, Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers filed a class-action lawsuit against AbbVie and other drug manufacturers over patent settlements that have prevented generic versions of the autoimmune treatment Humira.

McDonald’s Appeals Big Mac Trademark Cancellation in EU – On Tuesday, March 19, Irish news website TheJournal.ie reported that American fast food chain McDonald’s had appealed the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) decision to cancel its Big Mac trademark.

Peloton Sued For $150 Million Over Willful Infringement of Copyright – On Tuesday, March 19, streaming exercise class company Peloton was sued by a collection of music publishers in the Southern District of New York over allegations that Peloton has been using more than 1,000 musical works without synchronization licenses in violation of copyright.

U.S. Government Ordered to Pay $4.3 Million For Patent Infringement – On Friday, March 15, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims entered a $4.3 million judgment against the federal government based on Hitkansut LLC’s claims of patent infringement against Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

New York City’s Hudson Yards Vessel Structure Will Own Copyright to Tourist Photographs – On Monday, March 18, photography news website PetaPixel reported that the terms and conditions put in place by the owners of Vessel, an art installation included within New York City’s Hudson Yards development, gives the private developer the right to use photographs taken by visitors and published online when those visitors buy a ticket to visit Vessel.

Weinstein Company Faces Trademark Suit Over Famous Horse Racing Call – On Wednesday, March 20, David Johnson, the horse racing caller who coined the phrase “And down the stretch they come!” filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against the Weinstein Company and other defendants for the use of that phrase in the 2014 Bill Murray film St. Vincent.

This Week on Wall Street 

Google Hit With Another Antitrust Fine From the EU – On Wednesday, March 20, the European Union levied a $1.7-billion antitrust fine against Google, the third such fine received by the American tech giant in the EU over the past two years, for abuses in the online search advertising market.

Ford to Invest $850 Million in Michigan Electric Vehicle Factory – On Wednesday, March 20, Ford Motor Company announced a $900 million investment in its Michigan-based manufacturing operations, including $850 million to expand production capacity at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant which produces electric vehicles.

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2017 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2017 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: Red Hat, Inc. (t-179th)
  • Tuesday: Blackberry Ltd. (81st)
  • Wednesday: None
  • Thursday: Accenture PLC (t-225th)
  • Friday: None

Images Source: Deposit Photos

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