Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 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

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.

Posting of “Selfies” Taken with Celebrities at Company Functions – Possible Violation of Publicity Rights?

By J. Graham Matherne

SelfieYour company sponsors, at your offices, a charitable, newsworthy event. Local celebrities attend. Afterwards, you have numerous “selfies” of you and your employees with those celebrities. You want to place various “selfies” on your website but don’t want to go to the trouble of getting the celebrities’ permission first.

While it is always best practice to gain permission, if you don’t, will you violate Tennessee’s law prohibiting misuse of another’s name and likeness for commercial purposes?1 How’s this for a lawyer’s answer: “It depends.”

The Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act (“TPRPA”) provides that “every individual has a property right in the use of that person’s name, photograph, or likeness in any medium in any manner.” T.C.A. § 47-25-1103. The TPRPA applies, however, only when the unauthorized use is in a commercial, advertising, sponsorship or endorsement context. T.C.A. § 47-25-1105(a).

It is permissible under the TPRPA for one to use another’s name or likeness if the use is in connection with a newsworthy, public affairs or sports-related event. T.C.A. § 47-25-1107(a). But Tennessee courts suggest that if Continue reading