Intellectual Property

When a patent owner loses at the International Trade Commission (“ITC”), can it hire new counsel and try again in district court? That question will be answered in Gamevice, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd. et al, No. 3-18-cv-01942 (N.D. Cal.), where plaintiff Gamevice is asserting three patents against Nintendo despite losing on those same patents in two prior ITC proceedings.
Continue Reading Too Many Bites at the Apple?

Litigators know it is generally not easy to recover attorneys’ fees in defense of a trade secret misappropriation action. The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) permits a court to “award reasonable attorneys’  fees” to the defendant when a claim of misappropriation  is “made in bad faith,” which “may be established by circumstantial evidence.”[1] But what exactly does bad faith mean and what is the threshold?
Continue Reading A High Mountain to Climb: Filing DTSA Claims Without any Evidence is Not Enough to Meet “Bad Faith” Standard for Awarding Attorneys’ Fees to Opponent

Trade secret litigation presents a variety of procedural and practical complexities at every stage of the proceeding. One of the most important—yet often overlooked—issues in these cases can be summarized by the following question:
Continue Reading Signed, Sealed, Delivered? Fifth Circuit Finds Sealing of Sensitive Information Requires Far More Than a Protective Order

A recent decision from the Eastern District of California illustrates the sometimes fine line between the need for plaintiffs to allege a claim for trade secret misappropriation in sufficient detail, while avoiding disclosing the trade secret in so much detail as to destroy it.

In Dairy, LLC v. Milk Moovement, Inc., Dairy, LLC (“Dairy”) sued Milk Moovement, Inc. and Milk Moovement, LLC (collectively, “Defendants”), alleging trade secret misappropriation under both the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act and intentional interference with contractual relations.  No. 2:21-cv-02233, 2022 WL 1103822, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 13, 2022)
Continue Reading Dairy, LLC v. Milk Moovement, Inc.: Identifying Software Trade Secrets With Particularity to State a Claim for Trade Secret Misappropriation

Video games have come a long way. They have morphed from simulated games of ping pong to today’s fully-immersive virtual reality games that leverage biometrics and artificial intelligence (AI). While the origins of using AI in games were simple – such as to create more realistic non-player characters  – the use of AI now allows for much more. AI-based tools may be used to outsource quality assurance, gain data-driven insights into players, or to better understand player value to maximize retention and in-game revenue. Now is thus a good time for companies to keep in mind regulatory bodies’ increased focus
Continue Reading Video Games, AI, and …the Law?

When Christie’s Auction House first entered the secondary art market of mainland China in 2005, it licensed its brand to a local auction house and received a total of RMB 97,000,000 (roughly $12,100,000) for its inaugural sale.[1] With eight years of experience in this nascent market, Christie’s started its independent business by establishing a branch in Shanghai and obtaining an auction license shortly afterward. Early March this year, Christie’s realized a total of RMB 222,030,200 (roughly $35,000,000) in its inaugural sale, selling 95% by lot and 90% by value, at its new gallery, BUND ONE, a century-old historical building
Continue Reading Unroll the Scroll Painting: Inside the Chinese Art Market and Its Regulatory Landscape

In the New York County Commercial Division, Justice David B. Cohen’s ruling in B&M Kingstone, LLC v. Mega Int’l Comm. Bank Ltd., 2022 NY Slip Op. 30481(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. 2022) makes clear that New York courts can compel New York branches of non-US banks to disclose information relating to accounts or assets held by branches outside of the United States. It also demonstrates that obtaining such information through judgment enforcement procedures can prove difficult.
Continue Reading Judgment Creditors Beware: Moving For Contempt May Be Within Reach, But Difficult To Grasp

Employers faced with an apparent trade secret misappropriation by former employees must decide what jurisdiction to bring suit in.  For an employer headquartered outside of California who employs California residents  working primarily in California, choice of law and forum selection clauses favoring states other than California may be ineffective against them unless they had counsel who negotiated the provisions on their behalves.  (Cal. Lab. Code § 925.)  A recent California Court of Appeal decision highlighted this point, and found that where a California employee is sued by the employer for trade secret misappropriation in a separate state based on an
Continue Reading California Labor Code Section 925: A Word of Caution for Out-of-State Employers of California Employees

This month, the Ninth Circuit’s decision in DePuy Synthes Sales v. Howmedica Osteonics  held that a U.S. district court in California properly invalidated a foreign choice-of-law and forum selection provision under California Labor Code § 925, and denied a motion to transfer the case to a different venue.  While this might seem at first blush like a technical issue of federalism and contractual interpretation, the decision indicates that federal courts in the Ninth Circuit will also apply California’s partial prohibition on the use of foreign forum-selection and choice-of-law clauses as to employees.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Upholds Application of California Labor Code To Contractual Forum-Selection and Choice-of-Law Clause To Keep Dispute Over Non-Compete Clause in California

In Nippon Shinyaku v. Sarepta Therapeutics, the Federal Circuit held that a forum selection clause specifying that patent infringement or invalidity actions shall be filed in federal district court in Delaware made clear that any validity challenge was required to be brought in that court and that Sarepta’s IPR petitions filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal (“the Board”)  contravened the plain language of the forum selection clause.
Continue Reading Forum Selection Clause Can Preclude PTO Validity Challenges

On January 24, 2022, the Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of a preliminary injunction blocking the publication of a patent application on the basis that it contained the plaintiff, Masimo Corp.’s trade secrets. Masimo Corp. v. True Wearables, Inc., No. 2021-2146, 2022 WL 205485 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 24, 2022). The Court of Appeals did so despite evidence that a widely circulated and cited paper on statistics had disclosed an equivalent algorithm, because the defendant failed to show that others in Masimo’s particular field (or a related field) were aware of the paper.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Deems Algorithm Potentially Valid Trade Secret Notwithstanding Prior Publication

UPDATE: On Feb. 22, 2022, the Federal Circuit issued an errata to the original decision clarifying that the IPR estoppel only applies to challenged claims. The corrected language reads, in relevant part, that “estoppel applies […] to all grounds not stated in the petition but which reasonably could have been asserted against the claims included in the petition.” This errata alleviated concerns that the ruling might be interpreted to extend IPR estoppel to unchallenged claims.
Continue Reading Recent Expansion of IPR Estoppel Scope Viewed As Victory for Patent Owners

For a moment in March 2020, litigation stopped abruptly when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in New York. Within a matter of weeks, the New York State Courts shifted to online operations and, amazingly, the administration of justice continued virtually. Now, nearly two years later, the use of technology to conduct remote hearings and conferences is firmly entrenched in the legal community of New York, making it possible for judges, their support staff, attorneys and litigants to litigate from anywhere with Internet access.
Continue Reading The Changing Landscape of Electronic Service