Intellectual Property Archives

Trademark dispute pits wine maker against state government

The business courts of California have their fair share of intellectual property disputes. These may concern issues over copyright infringement, a trademark dispute, patent infringement, trade secrets or other related matters. An unusual trademark battle is occurring in another state right now, and it may go down to the wire before it is settled or decided by way of a jury trial.

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Several solutions available in intellectual property litigation

If a person owns a copyright or trademark, other individuals, unfortunately, may use the copyright or trademark without permission. In some cases, they might use a similar mark. In this situation, an attorney who specializes in intellectual property rights can guide him or her on how to protect his or her trademark or copyright in California.

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Intellectual property litigation gets a boost from Supreme Court

A patent owner has been given additional protection by virtue of a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. The Court liberalized the test for enhanced damages in intellectual property litigation dealing with the protection of patents. It will now be significantly easier for a plaintiff in a patent infringement case in California and all other jurisdictions to collect treble damages and a much larger verdict against the infringer.

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Companies battle over unfair competition and trademark claims

According to a frozen foods company, a competing giant has stolen its trademarked slogan for its own use. The company alleges that the Kraft Heinz conglomerate has recently introduced a line of frozen meals called Devour that is using the slogan, “Satisfy Your Cravings.” The problem is that Pinnacle Foods, the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in a federal district court, has been using the registered trademark, “Satisfy Your Craving.” Both brands can be found in supermarkets in California, but the unfair competition battle is being litigated elsewhere.

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Intellectual property case concerns critical technology issues

When two companies work together in a joint venture to develop innovative technologies, a later parting of the ways may give rise to litigation between them on a possible variety of issues. In California and other jurisdictions, one of the most likely conflicts to arise would be over the intellectual property rights to technology jointly developed. Such a conflict is currently ongoing between two biotechnology firms that worked together on a vaccine-producing mechanism for about 10 years.

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Intellectual property review centers on patent-granting process

There are controversial issues about the quality of the patents that are being issued these days by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A report commissioned by the U.S. Congress and conducted by the Government Accountability Office places considerable doubt on recent patent quality due to the fast pace of completing applications that the Patent Office has demanded of its employees. One of the results of hasty patent issuance is an increase in intellectual property litigation nationwide and in California as companies are taking their competitors to court more quickly and more often.

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Supreme Court adopts new intellectual property doctrine

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided two cases that support the potential of higher damages in patent infringement cases. One of the cases involves a California company, Halo Electronics, Inc., in an intellectual property dispute against Pulse Electronics Inc. Halo complained that Pulse had willfully infringed on Halo’s patent for a circuit board component that is marketed to Cisco Systems.

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Trademark dispute generally may give rise to injunctive relief

Relations between franchisors and franchisees are often riddled with business disputes leading to litigation between them. Often in California and other states the litigation takes place over the terms of an ongoing franchise agreement with respect to how it should be interpreted and enforced. In other cases, the dispute may be between a franchisor and a former franchisee. The latter kind of conflict often pertains to a trademark dispute in which the franchisor claims continuing trademark infringement by its former franchisee that is continuing to run a business similar to the franchisor’s business.

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Rights to Klingon language argued in intellectual property case

New issues in intellectual property law both in California and elsewhere are pushing the prior limits of that kind of protection into new conceptual frontiers. One of those deals with the ownership of literary languages created in books or movies. Another has to do with whether computer software code can be made the exclusive intellectual property of its creator.

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Spirit sues Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement

One of the highest earning songs of the rock music era is the subject of intellectual property litigation now transpiring in a federal district court in California. Some experts say that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” grossed over $600 million since its release in 1971. Now, however, a belated lawsuit for copyright infringement has emerged wherein it is claimed that the song was actually written by a guitarist for the group “Spirit” a few years before Jimmy Page allegedly penned it for his own band after touring with Spirit in the 1960s.

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