Category Archives: Uncategorized

Net Neutrality Repeal is Anti-Consumer but the Problem is Even Bigger

This article was originally published on Commercial Appeal, part of the USA Today Network, as an opinion piece written by Mark Vorder-BrueggeClick here to view the original publication.

net neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has now repealed its own 2015 “Net Neutrality” regulations. As controversial as this has been, it is just a small part of the federal government’s massive policy failure concerning the Internet.

Media reports over the past 15 years have detailed extensive horror stories of monopolistic service options, consumer price-gouging, frequent outages, and downright hostile support personnel.

A truly legitimate policy would be something like this: “High-speed, high-quality Internet access available to everyone at competitive prices, with minimal service disruptions and effective, user-friendly provider support.”

No version of the FCC regulations or any other agency initiatives, or Congress, or any president, has ever adopted a comprehensive policy of this type.

Continue reading Net Neutrality Repeal is Anti-Consumer but the Problem is Even Bigger

IS INTER PARTES REVIEW UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

By Stephen Hall

iStock_000019576650Large“Adjudication:”  a proceeding which leads to a judicial decision

On November 27, 2017, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a challenge to the most frequent form of patent challenges before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), known as inter partes review (“IPR”).  The USPTO is a federal agency empowered by Congress to grant patents and perform other functions related to patents.  Its other functions include the authority to review previously granted patents and determine whether they were, in fact, validly granted.

In some cases, the need for review may occur because material not found by the patent examiner would have prevented the patent from being granted in the first place.  With all the millions of patents, published applications and journal articles in this country and worldwide, as well as other written publications, industry standards and activities that could affect the right to a patent, there is no system of patent searching guaranteed to uncover every relevant item.  Thus, for several decades, Congress has authorized Continue reading IS INTER PARTES REVIEW UNCONSTITUTIONAL?

Will the New USPTO Director’s Practical Thinking Translate to a More Flexible Approach and Better Decisions?

By Stephen Hall

Once-in-a-generation patent reform was introduced in our country about five years ago.  Similar to many major initiatives, it may have reaped a few unintended consequences as well.  Andrei Iancu, current nominee for USPTO Director, has written about one of these consequences that affects certain procedures at the Patent Office.  Among his many other writings, he also has written substantively concerning the patentability of software.  This post examines Mr. Iancu’s writings on both topics, and offers some thoughts on how his thinking could affect future patent cases.

THE SUBSTANTIVE: WHEN SHOULD SOFTWARE BE PATENTABLE?

There is not and never has been a bright line rule on the patentability of software-based systems.  Rather, patentability depends on the nature of the problem the system solves and the extent of the improvements over existing technology present in the solution.

Although most cases addressing the software issue begin by citing the 2014 Alice[1] case by the Supreme Court, Mr. Iancu was Continue reading Will the New USPTO Director’s Practical Thinking Translate to a More Flexible Approach and Better Decisions?

Mark Vorder-Bruegge Admitted to American College of Trial Lawyers

Mark Vorder-BrueggeMark Vorder-Bruegge, Jr. has become a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America.

The induction ceremony at which Mr. Vorder-Bruegge became a Fellow took place recently before an audience of approximately 600 persons during the recent 2017 Spring Meeting of the College in Boca Raton, Florida.

Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers of diverse backgrounds, who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship.

Continue reading Mark Vorder-Bruegge Admitted to American College of Trial Lawyers

Matt Lubozynski authors article for the Memphis Daily News on recent patent-infringement lawsuit ruling

MattLubozynski_HeadshotMatt Lubozynski, member of Wyatt’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, wrote an article that was recently published in the Memphis Daily News.  The article, “Patent-holders Feel More Secure Thanks to Patent-Infringement Lawsuit Ruling,” discusses how the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. has helped ease the rigid standards required to collect enhanced damages against a patent infringer.

Please click here to read the full article.

The Fair Use Doctrine’s Impact on the Future of Software Development

Written by Kate Van Namen, with contribution from Ryan Chambers

softwareIf a software company makes a free tool available online, can competing developers use it without the company’s permission?  According to a California jury, the answer is yes, so long as the developers’ actions constitute fair use under The Copyright Act.

The Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101, et. seq. gives copyright holders exclusive rights to copyrighted material.  However, fair use is a limitation on those rights and can provide a powerful defense to copyright infringement.  Fair use is an exception to the rule that no one may use copyrighted material without permission from the owner, and allows copying for limited purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.  If any given use qualifies as fair use, then no infringement has occurred.  There are four factors which must be considered when evaluating whether the use of copyrighted material is fair: (1) the purpose of character of the use, including whether such use is Continue reading The Fair Use Doctrine’s Impact on the Future of Software Development

The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Employers Need to Know

By Kacey L. Faughnan, Byron N. Brown, IV, and Sean G. Williamson

IP out the door 4930034SmallBusinesses now have an additional weapon with which to protect their trade secrets.  Effective May 11, 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) was signed into law.  The DTSA provides a federal cause of action for the protection of trade secrets related to products or services used, or intended for use, in interstate or foreign commerce.  Traditionally, trade secrets have not enjoyed the same protections under federal law as other forms of intellectual property, like patents, trademarks, and copyrights.  Instead, owners of trade secrets had to rely upon a patchwork of state laws and various adoptions of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act to safeguard their innovations.  The DTSA only broadens trade secret protection, leaving intact the parallel remedies available under state law.  Yet, the implementation of the DTSA will help to alleviate the uncertainty and inconsistent results that previously occurred in some cases as a result of state-by-state variations in trade secret law.

The enactment of the DTSA provides increased forum choices for businesses taking legal action to protect trade secrets.  Prior to the DTSA, federal courts were only available as a forum in limited cases.  The new law also increases the amount of Continue reading The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What Employers Need to Know

Bob Craddock and Graham Matherne author “Trade Secrets and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine” for the Memphis Daily News

Bob Craddock and Graham Matherne, Partners in the Firm’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution Service Team, wrote an article that was recently published in the Memphis Daily News.  The article, “Trade Secrets and the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine,” explains the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act and how it can prevent a former employee from stealing a company’s trade secrets.

Please click here to read the full article.

Steve Hall quoted in The Lane Report on Intellectual Property Protection

Steve Hall, an experienced patent lawyer and litigator, and member of Wyatt’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, was recently quoted in the February 2016 issue of The Lane Report.  The article, “Many Options to Protect Intellectual Property,” draws upon the knowledge of local experts in the field and describes various ways to ensure a company’s intellectual property is protected.

Please click here to read the full article.

Steve Hall to present at the Defense Research Institute’s Intellectual Property Seminar

Steve Hall, member of Wyatt’s Intellectual Property Protection & Litigation Service Team, will be speaking at the Defense Research Institute‘s (DRI) Intellectual Property Seminar on the topic “Using the AIA’s First to File Rule and the Written Description Requirement to Invalidate Patents” on May 6, 2016 in Nashville. Mr. Hall’s presentation will teach attendees how to use the “written description” requirement, along with recent amendments to the Patent Act, to challenge a patent’s validity in a way that was not available to defendants before 2013, when the First-to-Invent features of the America Invents Act went into effect.

Event details to follow.

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