SCOTUS Resolves Circuit Split: Trademark License Rejection in Bankruptcy Does Not Terminate Licensee’s Usage Rights

By Emily R. Parker* and David G. Barker The U.S. Supreme Court recently held in Mission Product Holdings v. Tempnology that a trademark licensor cannot revoke the right of a licensee to use a trademark by terminating a license agreement in bankruptcy. Mission licensed a trademark from Tempnology, which terminated the license after filing bankruptcy in 2015. The First Circuit held that Tempnology permissibly rejected the agreement in bankruptcy and terminated Mission’s right to use the mark. Mission appealed because the First Circuit’s decision conflicted with the Seventh Circuit decision in Sunbeam Products v. Chicago American Manufacturing, which held that a   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Trademark Litigation | Tagged , , , ,

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Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument on “Immoral or Scandalous” Trademark Prohibition

By: Anne M. Bolamperti and David G. Barker Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in Iancu v. Brunetti (see previous discussion here) regarding the constitutionality of the portion of Lanham Act, Section 2(a) (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)) that prohibits the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s registration of trademarks comprising “immoral . . . or scandalous matter.”  Previously, in June 2017, the Court unanimously affirmed in Matal v. Tam that the same statute’s bar on disparaging marks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. The PTO refused to register Erik Brunetti’s trademark application for   Read More »

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Section 101 in 2019

Snell & Wilmer Lawyers presented their article, Section 101 in 2019, at the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, as part of a program, “101 ‘301’: Advanced Subject Matter Eligibility.”  The article summarizes the existing patent eligibility test, discusses recent Federal Circuit decisions, and provides practical strategies for practitioners navigating the Section 101 landscape.

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , , , , , , ,

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Federal Circuit Broadens Personal Jurisdiction Based on Patent Infringement Letters

By Daniel S. Ivie and David G. Barker A recent decision by the Federal Circuit has broadened the potential for declaratory judgment personal jurisdiction to exist based on letters sent to accused patent infringers in a foreign forum. In Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. v. Plano Encryption Technologies, LLC, the Federal Circuit appears to now require that a patentee make a “compelling case” that the exercise of jurisdiction in the foreign forum “would be unreasonable and unfair.” For years, the Federal Circuit has held that infringement letters, without more, “are not sufficient to satisfy the requirements of Due Process in   Read More »

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SCOTUS to Consider USPTO’s Attorneys’ Fees Policy

By Tyler J. Fortner and David G. Barker On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest to resolve a circuit split concerning “expenses” a patent applicant must pay when challenging the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO’s”) refusal to issue a patent.  Under 35 U.S.C. § 145, the USPTO requests attorneys’ fees as expenses when applicants seek review of a denied patent application in district court, regardless of whether the applicant wins or loses. The en banc Federal Circuit held here that applicants seeking review in district court are not required to   Read More »

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