Copyright Protection for Software

By Beverly A. Marsh, Partner, Patent Attorney, Standley Law Group LLP

Clients often want to know how they can best protect their software. The answer usually lies in a combination of different forms of intellectual property, including copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Whereas patents protect inventions (how it works, what it does) and trademarks protect brands, copyrights protect original works of authorship. Works of authorship, often referred to as just “works”, are forms of expression and by definition do not include any ideas, processes, concepts that underly those works. For example, in the art world an idea might be a bowl of peaches on a table, and a work of authorship an artist’s painting of the bowl of peaches. In the software world an idea might be a phone app that displays the weather. A related work of authorship is how a developer creates their version of an app that displays the weather, including their original source code, design layouts, textual content, images, and graphics.

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Trademark Squatting – Is It A Thing?

By Eric M. Gayan, Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

Perhaps “trademark squatting” is not yet a commonly used term in trademark law, as is “cybersquatting” in the realm of domain name registrations. But maybe it should be. Because some trademark applicants have substantially the same unscrupulous goals as a cybersquatter – to obtain a registration solely for the purpose of holding it ransom to others.

This article addresses difficulties that can be created by such activities, various protections of U.S. trademark law that are supposed to guard against such activities, and some related considerations for potential trademark applicants.

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The Importance of Reviewing Court Local Rules and Judges' Rules

By DeAnna Barnett, Litigation Paralegal Manager, Standley Law Group LLP, And
F. Michael Speed, Jr., Ph.D., Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

The Court’s local rules and local patent rules are as important to civil litigants as the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure themselves because they address particularities that are not addressed in the Federal Rules. Each United States District Court has its own set of local rules. These rules are generally available on a court’s website. One such example is that of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio available at: https://www.ohsd.uscourts.gov/sites/ohsd/files//Local%20Rules%20Effective%202020-08-01.pdf

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Who is an Inventor in the Eyes of the Law? A Recent Case Decision Provides Guidance.

By Ken W. Pung, Associate Attorney, Standley Law Group LLP

Dana-Farber Cancer Inst., Inc., v. Ono Pharm. Co.

2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 21704; 2020 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 10775
Opinion by: Circuit Judge Alan Lourie

Patents at Issue

U.S. Patent Nos.: 7,595,048, 8,168,179, 8,728,474, 9,067,999, 9,073,994, and 9,402,899.

Background

The facts of this case concern an inventorship dispute over methods of treating cancer by administering antibodies targeting PD-1 (receptor) and PD-L1 (ligand) interactions on T cells (a type of lymphocyte that develops in the thymus gland). The three scientists involved in this inventorship dispute are: Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Honjo (of Ono Pharm., herein “Ono”), Dr. Wood (of the Genetics Institute, now owned by Pfizer), and Dr. Freeman (of Dana-Farber).

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Recent Developments on Disgorgement Damages

By F. Michael Speed, Jr., Ph.D., Partner, Standley Law Group LLP

Disgorgement, a remedy available in some intellectual property cases, was recently highlighted in two cases from the United States Supreme Court, Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., 590 U.S.___, 206 L.Ed. 2d 672 (2020) and from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Tex. Advanced Optoelectronic Sols., Inc. v. Renesas Elecs. Am., Inc., 895 F.3d 1304 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Those cases affirmed that disgorgement damages are to be decided, not by a jury, but rather the judge. The Romag case further resolved a split in the Circuits that disgorgement in trademark cases may be awarded even in the absence of willful infringement.

This article will address the ramifications of those two decisions and how clients should view cases where disgorgement is a potential remedy.

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