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Patent Infringement Suit Revived Against Google

Everybody knows how to 'google,' but not everybody knows a 'googol.'

That happens sometimes when a word becomes so popular that another gets lost in usage. "Google," the company, has also eclipsed another company with its cloud messaging.

SimpleAir owns a '433 patent relating to push notification technology, which allows messages to pop up on devices without opening a separate application. SimpleAir won an appeal against Google for infringement of related patents, but is still under the long shadow of Google's popular cloud.

The Elbit Systems v. Thales Visionix appeal came down to a battle of experts, and it was the more supported expert's testimony that carried the day for Thales Visionix.

Thales Visionix is a French defense company that has vigorously defended their motion tracking patent. It has accused the U.S. Government as well as Elbit Systems of infringing on their IP. In response, Elbit brought an inter parties review action, which has not been successful.

Decisions in patent appeals often involve long winded explanations that delve deep into technical specifications, discuss the various merits of the competing interests, and provide detailed exposition of how the ultimate decision was reached. However, sometimes, on appeal, all the circuit court really needs to say is "no error, judgment affirmed."

In the most recent of Google's patent appeals on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal's docket, the court rejected the search giant's contention that a patent held by Network-1 was actually unpatentable. Luckily for Google, the appellate court provided a little less than a page worth of explanation.

When it comes big beauty, there might not be any player bigger than L'Oreal. But after the recent Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision against the goliath in favor of Olaplex, a new entrant into the hair product market, it could be poised to fell the giant (at least in the hair "bond-builders" market).

Olaplex created and patented a new product designed to enhance the hair coloring process. According to Olaplex, other manufacturers of hair products have tried to categorize their product as a "bond-builder," but as company founder and CEO Dean Christal claims, Olaplex is in a category all on its own and "could change the world by making women more confident with amazing damage free hair during and after chemical services."

In what is shaping up to be one of the most important software copyright cases of 2018, the Bikram Yoga case, decided by the Ninth Circuit in 2015, may prove to be pivotal in the battle between Cisco and Arista.

The fight between Cisco and Arista is over code that Cisco alleges to have created and thus believes deserves copyright protection. However, Arista and several amici contend that the sections of code Cisco seeks to protect are not creative or unique enough to merit copyright protection. A jury also ruled against Cisco on the same issue. Interestingly, how Bikram Yoga fits into this all is a little less curious than it all sounds.

Some cases defy expectations. In Re: Erik Brunetti is exactly one of those cases. Brunetti sought to register his clothing brand's trademark with the US PTO. However, his trademark application was rejected due to section 2(a)'s prohibition on immoral and offensive trademarks. After all, his brand name is FUCT.

Surprisingly though, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that section 2(a) was unconstitutional as an impermissible First Amendment restriction. It held that the restriction on immoral or offensive marks was a content based restriction that could not pass strict scrutiny. And if that's not surprising enough, the opinion is filled with a fascinating discussion of trademark morality.

Below, you can read some of the highlights from the case.

When it comes to the so-called patent dance, state law cannot be invoked to force a party to be a dance partner. At least, that's how the recent Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision in Amgen v. Sandoz is being interpreted.

If that case name sounds familiar, that's because these two have been battling it out for some time and have been making headlines in pharma and patent circles. Most notably, the pair of litigants recently had SCOTUS opine on their case. However, the High Court merely struck down the injunction granted by the district court and remanded the matter as to the state law claims of unfair competition stemming from Sandoz's alleged strategic refusal to engage in the "patent dance."

Hulu Wins for Streaming Services

A federal appeals court pressed rewind for Hulu and other streaming companies, which means the shows will go on.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board had ruled against the companies last year over a technology for users to transfer streaming sessions from one device to another. The board found in favor of a research firm that had sued the companies for infringing on its patent to the technology.

But in CRFD Research, Inc. v. Matal, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals reversed.

The Circuit Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit explained in the recent In Re: Micron Technology opinion that the huge SCOTUS TC Heartland decision effectively changed the law on venue in patent cases. That change is causing ripple effects for cases in active litigation, and the ripples might take some time to work their way out of the system.

Essentially, SCOTUS ruled in TC Heartland to limit patent infringement venue to the location of the infringement or the infringer's principal place of business. Because of that ruling, scores of patent cases became eligible for dismissal on grounds of improper venue. But there's a catch, and the Federal Circuit has made it a little easier for those on the receiving end of an infringement case.

In a recent case out of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal applying the Alice v. CLS standard, the appellant unsuccessfully sought to overturn a district court's dismissal. The case, Two-Way Media LTD. v. Comcast Cable Communications, was dismissed as the district court found the patent claims ineligible for protection under section 101.

In short, the court relied on the rational in Alice to determine that Two-Way Media's patent claims were directed at abstract ideas and did not contain the necessary additional elements required to transform the nature of the claims into ones that are patent eligible.