STLR Link Roundup – Nov. 1, 2015

Supreme Court to revisit patent damage

The Supreme Court announced that they intend to consider the issue of “enhance damages” in patent cases, a process allowing for treble damages in face of deliberate patent infringement. (http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/halo-electronics-inc-v-pulse-electronics-inc/) One issue addresses whether the Federal Circuit erred in applying a two-part test pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §284 to enhanced patent infringement damages. A second focuses on a district court’s right to discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 284 to award enhanced damages in cases of willful infringement. (http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/101915zor_p8k0.pdf) The Supreme Court’s decision to take up the case may be reflective of on-going broader issues in the nation’s patent system. (http://fortune.com/2015/10/19/scotus-patent-damages/)

9th Circuit holds Amazon’s display of competing brands does not constitute a violation of trademark rights

The 9th circuit reverses an earlier ruling, now holding that Amazon when responding to shoppers’ request for the plaintiff’s watches did not violate trademark rights by showing competing brands. The plaintiff, Multi Time Machine, alleged that Amazon did not carry its products and when a consumer attempts to search for their watches the results page displays competitor’s products. A panel held that since Amazon’s result page clearly demarked the name and manufacturer of each item as well as clear photographs, it was not likely that the reasonable shopper would be confused. (https://d3bsvxk93brmko.cloudfront.net/datastore/opinions/2015/10/21/13-55575.pdf) Moreover, lacking actual confusion by anyone, trademark infringement does not exist in the current case. (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/amazons_display_of_competitor_brands_doesnt_violate_trademark_9th_circuit_s)

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