by
VersaTop and Georgia Expo are competitors in the “drape and rod” industry. Both produce and sell systems of modular rod and pole structures, for assembly to form sectional spaces such as trade show booths and other drape-separated structures, as well as temporary barricades. VersaTop’s system for coupling structural components is the subject of the 027 patent and is called the “‘ball and crown’ coupler.” VersaTop alleged that since 2011 it has sold these systems with the trademarks PIPE & DRAPE 2.0™ and 2.0™ and that Georgia Expo distributed advertising and brochures that contained these VersaTop trademarks as well as pictures of the VersaTop coupler. The district court held that Georgia Expo did not infringe VersaTop’s patent, copyright, or trademark rights. Only the trademark issue was appealed. The Federal Circuit reversed. The district court incorrectly applied the definition of “use in commerce” and concluded that Georgia Expo’s use of the marks was not in commerce so that there was no infringement. Under the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1127, a trademark owner is entitled to summary judgment on a claim of likelihood of confusion where the marks were identical, the goods were related, and the marketing channels overlapped. View "VersaTop Support Systems, LLC v. Georgia Expo, Inc." on Justia Law

by
TT’s patents relate to a graphical user interface for electronic trading. The 056 and 999 patents, which share a specification, disclose “a user interface for an electronic trading system that allows a remote trader to view trends in the orders for an item, and provides the trading information in an easy to see and interpret graphical format.” The 374 patent, which is from a different patent family, discloses “a display and trading method to ensure fast and accurate execution of trades by displaying market depth on a vertical or horizontal plane, which fluctuates logically up or down, left or right across the plane as the market prices fluctuate.” IBG sought review under the Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents (CBM review), Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, 125 Stat. 284, 329–31. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board held, and the Federal Circuit affirmed, that the patents meet the criteria to be eligible for CBM review and the claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The claims are directed to a covered business method, so CBM review was appropriate. Th claims are directed to a financial trading method used by a computer; there is no technological invention in this software method for trading. View "Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. IBG LLC" on Justia Law

by
DuPont’s 926 patent, entitled “Composite Flame Barrier Laminate for a Thermal and Acoustic Insulation Blanket,” issued in December 2013 and claims composite laminates that are incorporated into thermal-acoustic blankets installed on the interior of the fuselage in aircraft to shield passengers from flames and reduce noise. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s construction of the term “100% by weight” to mean “[t]here is no carrier material such as resin, adhesive, cloth, or paper in addition to the inorganic platelets. The court also upheld findings that the patent was not invalid and that Unifrax’s flame barrier product infringed the patent. Substantial evidence supported a finding that the patent was not anticipated by prior art. View "E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Unifrax I LLC" on Justia Law

by
While serving in the Navy, Scott developed a bilateral foot disability caused by prolonged standing. In 1973, the VA Regional Office (RO) awarded Scott service connection for bilateral pes planus (flatfoot) and granted him a 0% disability rating under DC (diagnostic code) 5276. In 1990, the RO added to Scott’s service connection hallux valgus deformity (angulation of the big toe toward the other toes) without altering his rating. In 2007, a VA medical examiner diagnosed Scott with plantar fibromas (masses of fibrous tissue in the arch of the foot) in addition to his prior diagnosis. The RO continued Scott’s 0% disability rating. In 2014, the RO increased Scott’s disability rating to 30%; the decision did not mention Scott’s plantar fibromas. In 2016, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals increased Scott’s disability rating to 50%, but did not address the effect of Scott’s plantar fibromas on his rating, finding that Scott was entitled to the rating “under DC 5276 . . . for [his] bilateral pes planus” under the benefit of the doubt rule, 38 U.S.C. 5107(b). The Board concluded that DC 5284, which broadly covers “Foot injuries, other,” without identifying any specific condition, was inapplicable because the service-connected condition, pes planus, is specifically listed. The Veterans Court affirmed. The Federal Circuit vacated. The Veterans Court improperly affirmed based on rationales the Board never provided; the Board erred by failing to consider DC 5284. Foot conditions not specifically listed in the rating schedule may be rated by analogy under DC 5284. View "Scott v. Wilkie" on Justia Law

by
On inter partes review of ATI’s “Unified Shader Patents,” LGE cited multiple prior references. A “shader” as used in this field is a computer-implemented system that specifies how a computer-graphics three-dimensional image is generated and presented on a two-dimensional screen. ATI argued that the invention in each of the three patents preceded the primary reference dates for that patent. In conformity with 37 C.F.R. 1.131, ATI presented evidence of conception, reduction to practice, and diligence for each patent. the Patent Trial and Appeal Board held all but one of the challenged claims unpatentable as anticipated or obvious, The Board held that ATI had not established actual reduction to practice and had not established diligence to constructive reduction to practice, for all three patents. The Federal Circuit reversed, concluding that the Board erred in its application of the law of diligence and that on the correct law, diligence was shown, thereby antedating the relevant references. The undisputed rulings established conception and constructive reduction to practice. View "ATI Technologies ULC v. Iancu" on Justia Law

by
Siny sought to register the mark CASALANA in standard characters for “Knit pile fabric made with wool for use as a textile in the manufacture of outerwear, gloves, apparel, and accessories” based on use in commerce under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1051(a). Siny submitted a specimen consisting of a webpage printout. The examining attorney refused registration because the specimen “appear[ed] to be mere advertising material,” that did not include a means for ordering the goods. Siny submitted the same webpage with additional text stating, “For sales information:” followed by a phone number and email address. The examining attorney found that the text alone was insufficient for consumers to make a purchase, noting the absence of necessary ordering information, such as minimum quantities, cost, payment options, or shipping information. The Trademark Board and Federal Circuit affirmed. For a mark to be in use in commerce on goods, it may be “placed in any manner on the goods or their containers or the displays associated therewith or on the tags or labels affixed thereto.” The Webpage Specimen was not placed on the goods or their containers, tags, or labels and did not cross the line from mere advertising to an acceptable display associated with the goods. While some details must be worked out by telephone, if virtually all important aspects of the transaction must be determined from information extraneous to the webpage, the webpage is not a point of sale. View "In re: Siny Corp." on Justia Law

by
Irwin imported several styles of hand tools, including straight jaw locking pliers, large jaw locking pliers, curved jaw locking pliers with and without wire cutters, and long nose locking pliers with wire cutters. U.S. Customs and Border Protection classified Irwin’s tools as “wrenches” under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 8204.12.00 and denied each of Irwin’s protests to classify them as “pliers” under 8203.20.6030. The Trade Court granted Irwin summary judgment that the tools are properly classified as pliers. The Federal Circuit affirmed. The term pliers is not defined by use; it refers to a versatile hand tool with two handles and two jaws that are flat or serrated and are on a pivot, which must be squeezed together to enable the tool to grasp an object. The Irwin tools “1) are versatile hand tools, 2) have two handles, and 3) have two jaws, that are flat or serrated and are on a pivot, which can be squeezed together to enable the tools to grasp an object.” View "Irwin Industrial Tool Co. v. United States" on Justia Law

by
Omega sued CalAmp for infringement of patents that generally relate to multi-vehicle compatible systems that can remotely control various vehicle functions (for example, remote vehicle starting), and read the status of various vehicle devices (for example, battery health). The systems can also be used to notify the driver, or the driver’s employer, if certain conditions occur (for example, speeding). CalAmp operates in the telematics industry, assisting businesses and government entities monitor and collect data for their assets (for example, a fleet of vehicles). CalAmp sells its Location Messaging Unit products, which are multi-vehicle compatible devices that include a GPS receiver for vehicle tracking. The Federal Circuit upheld a finding that the patents are not invalid; reversed-in-part, vacated-in-part, and remanded as to direct infringement; and vacated and remanded for a new trial on indirect infringement, compensatory damages, willful infringement, enhanced damages, and attorney’s fees. View "Omega Patents, LLC v. CalAmp Corp." on Justia Law

by
The Court of International Trade sustained the remand determination of the Department of Commerce in the first administrative review of the antidumping duty order on large power transformers from Korea. The Federal Circuit affirmed, upholding Commerce’s determination to not make a circumstances of sale adjustment to normal value under 19 U.S.C. 1677b(a)(6)(C)(iii) in the form of a commission offset. Hyundai, the party seeking the adjustment, incurred no commission expenses on home market sales and no commission expenses outside the United States on U.S. sales but did incur commission expenses inside the United States on constructed export price sales in the United States. View "ABB, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law

by
Montano, a service-disabled veteran, owns 51% of VCG, which qualified as a service-disabled-veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) under the VA system, 38 U.S.C. 8127(e)–(f), and appeared on the VetBiz database as eligible for set-aside contracts. VCG was the lowest bidder on an SDVOSB set-aside contract for an agency working with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another bidder challenged VCG’s eligibility. The SBA determined that, because of the limitations on Montano's ownership in case of his death or incapacity, Montano did not “unconditionally” own his interest, and VCG did not qualify as an SDVOSB under 15 U.S.C. 657f. VA regulations required the removal from VetBiz of any business found ineligible in an SBA proceeding. Before VCG’s removal from VetBiz, the VA solicited bids for SDVOSB set-aside contracts for a roof replacement and for relocation. Hours before the deadline on the roof solicitation, VCG filed a bid protest in the Court of Federal Claims. Because VCG was not listed on VetBiz on the day bidding closed, the contracting officer could not consider VCG’s roofing bid and recommended cancellation and reposting. VCG sought a preliminary injunction. The VA finalized cancellation; hours later, the Claims Court entered a preliminary injunction restoring VCG to VetBiz, noting that the VA and SBA differ in defining unconditional ownership, but specifically declined to address relief related to the roofing solicitation. The Federal Circuit affirmed, finding that the contracting officer acted rationally in requesting cancellation based on the record. View "Veterans Contracting Group, Inc. v. United States" on Justia Law