Archive:May 2024

1
Federal Circuit Relaxes Standard for Design Patent Obviousness Challenges
2
Design Series – Episode 1: M&S v Aldi: Guidance on Enforcement of Registered Designs in the UK
3
US Supreme Court Rules No Three-Year Limit for Copyright Damages
4
USPTO Considering Changes to Enforceability of Patents Subject to a Terminal Disclaimer
5
Levi Strauss Settles Trademark Dispute Over Pocket Tab on Jeans
6
Federal Circuit Finds Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction Over Patent Owner Through Amazon APEX Agreement

Federal Circuit Relaxes Standard for Design Patent Obviousness Challenges

On 21 May 2024, the Federal Circuit overturned the Rosen-Durling test used to assess non-obviousness of design patents. In LKQ Corporation v. GM Global Technology Operations LLC, the Court en banc ruled the same conditions for patentability that apply to utility patents apply to design patents, specifically holding the obviousness rationale articulated in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc., 550 U.S. 398 (2007), will now apply to design patents. LKQ Corp. v. GM Glob. Tech. Operations LLC, No. 2021-2348, 2024 WL 2280728, at 1 (Fed. Cir. May 21, 2024) (en banc).

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Design Series – Episode 1: M&S v Aldi: Guidance on Enforcement of Registered Designs in the UK

Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Aldi were at loggerheads again over an alleged IP infringement. Having already publicly contested their dual production of caterpillar cakes, their latest dispute concerned festively decorated gin bottles. 

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US Supreme Court Rules No Three-Year Limit for Copyright Damages

On 9 May 2024, the US Supreme Court (the Court) held that there is no three-year limit on monetary damages for timely filed copyright infringement claims. The 6–3 decision resolves a circuit split, opens the doors to larger potential damages awards for plaintiffs, is likely to lead to increased litigation over older infringements, and leaves open the question of whether the “discovery rule” applies to copyright infringement claims. Warner Chappell Music, Inc. v. Nealy, No. 22-1078, 601 U.S. – (2024).

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USPTO Considering Changes to Enforceability of Patents Subject to a Terminal Disclaimer

On 10 May 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at changing the current practices surrounding terminal disclaimers. The proposed change could have substantial effects on the enforceability of patents that are subject to a terminal disclaimer.

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Levi Strauss Settles Trademark Dispute Over Pocket Tab on Jeans

Levi Strauss continues enforcement of its Tab trademark against other fashion companies. On May 7, 2024, just a couple months after filing suit against Brunello Cucinelli, Levi Strauss voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit. Levi’s filed suit against the Italian luxury fashion brand in the Northern District of California in January 2024 alleging infringement of Levi’s rectangular pocket tab trademark. Levi’s dismissed the suit after reaching a confidential settlement.

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Federal Circuit Finds Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction Over Patent Owner Through Amazon APEX Agreement

On 2 May 2024, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the Federal Circuit) entered its decision in SnapRays, dba SnapPower v. Lighting Defense Group,1 holding the submission of an Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) Agreement against infringing third-party product listings is a “purposefully directed extra-judicial patent enforcement activit[y]” subjecting the patent owner to personal jurisdiction in the alleged infringer’s home state.2

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