There are many advantages to filing an Inter Partes Review (IPR) versus pursuing federal court litigation as a defense. They cost less, there’s a lower burden of proof, and they’re more quickly resolved. But is an IPR always the right strategy? Listen as Husch Blackwell partners Rudy Telscher and Dan Cohn discuss the ins and outs of IPRs.
|June 9, 2017|
|Lung Cancer Without Asbestosis? The Effects of Smoking
By Mark Zellmer
In the medical and scientific literature, a finding of asbestosis is clear evidence that asbestos at least contributed to cause a person’s lung cancer. Many medical experts regard a finding of asbestosis as essential to any finding that asbestos caused any lung cancer. Other experts look for sufficient exposure to cause asbestosis, even if not evident from radiology or pathology. Still others take a position contrary to both views. [Continue Reading]
|Defend Trade Secrets Act: Protecting Product Manufacturers and Sellers’ Confidential Information
By Dan Jaffe
Manufacturers and sellers of products can use the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) to effectively protect their trade secrets. The DTSA was enacted on May 11, 2016, extending the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. §§ 1831, et seq.). DTSA creates a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation whereby “[a]n owner of a trade secret that is misappropriated may bring a civil action . . . if the trade secret is related to a product or service used in or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce.” [Continue Reading]
|Protective Orders in Product Cases
By Alan Hoffman
Discovery in product liability cases often involves inquiry into and disclosure of a firm’s confidential internal product information and documents not available to competitors or the public that it has a legitimate interest in protecting. Plaintiffs frequently serve broad brush stroke discovery in an effort to avoid in missing documents, information and witnesses that might prove relevant to prosecuting their claims. Defense counsel must act quickly and effectively to defend their clients’ valid interests, and seek to limit the scope of discovery as much as possible to avoid costly and burdensome discovery disruptive to their clients’ normal course of business. [Continue Reading]
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|Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation
Product Liability Practice
Manufacturers work hard to develop material goods and product designs that are high-quality, safe and durable. We understand your commitment to excellence and commit ourselves to defending you against product liability allegations. Husch Blackwell’s Product Liability team has insight into your industry-specific challenges. [More information]
|Product Liability Monitor Archive|
In a 7-1 decision Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laches cannot be a defense in many patent infringement cases. The Federal Circuit previously ruled that laches, which bar suits after unreasonable delays, prevented SCA Hygiene Products AB from suing their competitor First Quality Baby Products LLC. Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products rejects this, noting that since Congress has imposed a six-year limitation on damages in patent cases, laches cannot be used to shorten that period. The ruling is available to read here.
The New England Patriots football organization is a model of success and efficiency in pro football, winning five Super Bowls and appearing in two others in the past sixteen years. The team’s rosters are frequently composed of no-name role players and former stars willing to accept less salary for a chance to play for a championship. They draft smartly, don’t overpay players and have managed to hold onto star quarterback Tom Brady. In short, they demonstrate vision and planning to ensure success.
These traits apply to the team’s approach toward trademark protection as well. Two days after winning this year’s Super Bowl, the Patriots filed intent-to-use (“ITU”) trademark applications to register BLITZ FOR SIX and NO DAYS OFF for, among other things, clothing and entertainment services. The Patriots had not used the marks before; these are marks that the team intends to use in its quest for a sixth Super Bowl championship.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision changed the landscape as to how software patents specifically are examined, but the Alice decision also has had broader implications for other technology art areas. 35 U.S.C. Section 101 – Patentable Subject Matter Rejections – have historically been unheard of, but after the Alice decision, Section 101 rejections are commonplace. Also, Alice has been used to invalidate many already issued computer and software patents for claiming abstract ideas, but recent Federal Circuit decisions have given patent owners and those prosecuting patent applications ways to make counter arguments. The pendulum appears to be at least beginning to swing in the opposite direction with three separate Federal Circuit decisions this year that appear to highlight what the court views as making computer related technologies patent eligible.
Any agreement between two parties begins with the rosy optimism that the good times will last forever. In the world of technology licensing and development, however, we know this is rarely the case. While this blog has previously considered data security oversight by the board of directors of the company, it is also important for a company’s legal and procurement teams to establish a plan for the security, use, and transition of its data throughout the contracting process. These issues are particularly important in highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services.
While there are many types of data issues that a company may need to address in any contract negotiation, our team has found that the following issues require consideration in nearly every technology licensing and development agreement.
Read the full list on our Byte Back blog.
Last month this blog posted an article here outlining 5 Key Points when Purchasing Software. This article focuses on key points for the other side, the seller of the software, typically a developer or licensor. Although the seller/licensor typically provides its own form license, sometimes a purchaser will suggest using a different form or change the terms of the licensor’s agreement. Below are five important points to look out for, from the perspective of the licensor.
Recently, I was at a technology fair with my young son and there were multiple desktop 3D printers that were on display and for sale. One display that caught my eye showed 16 printers stacked together with each one in a different stage of printing. Several of the printers were printing figures of dragons and dinosaurs. My son thought they looked like fun and asked for one for his birthday. I asked him what he would use it for and he said that he would want to print out dinosaur figures, action figures, ships from Star Wars® or missing Lego® pieces. He said that he could make his toys exactly how he wanted his toys to look.
This got me thinking and I wondered if he could actually do it, print toys and figures that are protected by copyrights. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just print that missing Monopoly® piece?
In its Technology Vision 2016 report, Accenture predicts that 25% of the world’s economy will be digital by 2020. The global consulting firm contends that we are witnessing a major technology revolution, specifically a digital revolution. It’s a revolution of emerging “digital platforms” comprised of cloud services, artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and intelligent automation.
These platforms transform and replace traditional business processes in areas such as finance & accounting, HR, marketing, procurement, supply chain and more. To quickly leverage these digital solutions, companies increasingly look to outsource traditional in-house functions to third party providers in what are referred to as Business Process Outsouring (BPO) transactions.
Although more companies are purchasing software nowadays, spending perhaps tens of thousands of dollars a year in this one area, they continue to fall into the familiar trap of immediately signing pre-printed or online “form’ license agreements designed to protect the vendor not the purchaser. Some of these “form” agreements are non-negotiable, but many can be modified upon request. Here are five important points to address in most software agreements, from the perspective of the purchaser: