December 2015

Judge Trims Back Swiss Army Knife Maker's Award

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 12/18/2015 - 18:28

Victorinox AG, manufacturer of the real Swiss Army knife, and owner of the Swiss Army trademark, won its trademark infringement lawsuit against B&F System Inc., manufacturer of counterfeit products. Victorinox was initially awarded $8 million, and that number was based on treble damages (B&F’s infringement was obviously willful, come on) and for sales going back 30 years and reimbursement of Victorinox’s legal costs. The court also issued an injunction barring sales of the infringing products.

Abbott and Costello Lawsuit Doesn’t Get to First Base

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 12/18/2015 - 18:27

Abbott and Costello – that’s Bud and Lou to those of us old enough to remember their TV show and movies – lost out yet again. A federal judge dismissed a copyright lawsuit filed by the comic duo’s estate against the producers of a popular Broadway play that features Abbott and Costello’s famous "Who's on First?" comedy routine, ruling that its inclusion in the play falls under the fair use doctrine.

So Which Is It, Judge?

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 12/18/2015 - 18:19

Under current federal law, the losing side in a civil lawsuit is permitted to request that it be reimbursed for its legal expenses, and judges will grant such reimbursement if the judge finds that the losing side’s case is substantially without merit. I am not an attorney, but I do play one in this blog column.

TriReme Medical LLC requested $4.7 million in legal fees reimbursement after it won a patent infringement lawsuit filed by competitor AngioScore, Inc. As the judge explained it, AngioScore’s case “wasn’t particularly strong” but it “wasn’t exceptionally weak.”

Who Pays for All Those Illegal Music Downloads?

Submitted by patentadmin on Fri, 12/18/2015 - 18:18

Music publisher BMG Rights Management could not sue each of the thousands (maybe even millions) of downloaders who infringed the company’s copyrights, so it sued the company that provided the downloads. A jury in DC just ruled that Cox Communications, a regional Internet provider, must pay BMG $25 million for permitting free musical downloads by its subscribers. What really nailed it for the jury was that Cox would cancel the accounts of copyright infringing customers, then promptly reactivate their accounts.