Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

April 2016 Archives

Coleman's Armband Flotation Patent Suit Decided by Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit dealt recently with one of its more nuanced patent infringement stipulations. In Sports Dimension, Inc. v. Coleman Company, Inc., the circuit court determined that the slight tapering angle and inclusion of flotation armbands were "functional" and not primarily ornamental in nature.

A declaratory judgment of non-infringement in favor of rival petitioner was vacated. It verifies something that patent lawyers already understand: nothing is entirely functional or ornamental on a finished consumer product.

SimpleAir Suit: Google Doesn't Have to Pay $85 Million After All

Google has walked away victorious in a suit brought against it first in 2011 by SimpleAir in which allegations that Google violated patent law with its cloud computing services. Judge Wallach concluded that "no reasonable jury could have found patent infringement" under proper claim construction.

It's shaping up to be a good couple of days for the giant Internet company as it also posted a victory in its legal dispute with GeoTag.

Fossil Magnetic Fastener Suit Clarifies 1999 Lanham Amendment

Most of you are probably not aware that the magnetic fasteners that you have on your bags are all part of a controversial intellectual property case that was just decided. Romag, the patent holder of those magnetic button fasteners successfully brought a suit against Fossil and other companies for selling counterfeits of its fasteners in Fossil bags. But "real" and "fake" can assume different meanings when dealing with certain foreign countries. The company one, but just not as much as it hoped.

The case reaffirms the rules that laches is still a viable defense in IP suits, and that damages awards can be reduced for wanting of willful disregard for trademark rights.