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July 2013

Intellectual Property Newsletter

Welcome to Gordon & Rees's Intellectual Property Newsletter. On a periodic basis we will provide important information about the latest legal developments in the ever-changing realm of intellectual property.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. Alice in Patent Wonderland: The Federal Circuit Falls Down the Rabbit Hole of Software Patents

  2. Drug Patent Owners Beware: Settlement May Expose You to Antitrust Scrutiny

  3. Trade Secret Claims Gone Bad: U.S. District Court Awards $12.4 Million In Fees

  4. About Gordon & Rees's Intellectual Property Practice

I. Alice in Patent Wonderland: The Federal Circuit Falls Down the Rabbit Hole of Software Patents

David Heckadon

By David Heckadon

The recently decided Federal Circuit case of CLS v. Alice Corp. was supposed to clarify what constitutes patentable subject matter in the world of software. Unfortunately, clarity here is in short supply. Alice went to court and was given a confusing trip through “Patent Wonderland.” Ten judges heard the case, and in 135 pages they gave seven separate opinions, concurring, dissenting and reflecting on one another’s statements. In some of the claims, there was even a 5-5 split as to whether they were patentable.

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II. Drug Patent Owners Beware: Settlement May Expose You to Antitrust Scrutiny

Justin Aida

By Justin Aida

“Reverse payment” or “pay-to-delay” deals between brand-name drug companies and their generic rivals may be a thing of the past given the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 17 ruling in Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc. “Reverse payment” settlement agreements, or in other words, agreements that require the patentee to pay the alleged infringer to delay entrance into the patentee’s market, will be under increasing antitrust scrutiny as a result of the court’s ruling. 

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III. Trade Secret Claims Gone Bad: U.S. District Court Awards $12.4 Million In Fees

Louis Dorny

By Louis Dorny

The Southern District of California awarded $12.4 million in fees on Feb. 1, to be paid by Gabriel Technologies Inc. for bringing objectively baseless claims of trade secret misappropriation against San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. The decision in Gabriel Technologies Inc., et al. v. Qualcomm Inc., et al. evidences a growing trend to apply the statutory penalties of California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act against infirm claims. Only last year, the decision of SASCO v. Rosendin Elec., Inc., 207 Cal.App.4th 837, 834 (Cal.Ct.App.2012) similarly upheld a $484,000 award of reasonable attorneys’ fees, where the evidentiary support for the claimed misappropriation was lacking, and based only on suspicion that former employees must have taken trade secrets when hired away by a competitor.

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IV. About Gordon & Rees's Intellectual Property Practice

The IP Group assists clients in identifying, securing, asserting and defending all aspects of IP rights at home and abroad. Our attorneys can also conduct IP audits and provide advice and counseling for strategies to maximize IP assets. In addition to the traditional IP components of patents, trademark and trade dress, and copyright, Gordon & Rees's Intellectual Property Group is expert in trade secrets, Internet-related issues, rights of privacy, and issues of unfair competition and antitrust as well as regulatory compliance. Our attorneys are also highly experienced at negotiating and drafting development agreements, licenses, distribution, joint venture, strategic alliance, and vendor services agreements, and have extensive experience crafting and implementing cost-efficient enforcement programs to protect IP rights including seizures, injunctions, anti-counterfeiting and gray market enforcement. Meet our lawyers.

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Intellectual Property


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