Our Latest Industry Insights

GOP Tax Bill Approved By Congress. What Does This Mean For Taxpayers?

On December 20, 2017, the final version of the GOP tax reform bill (the “Act”) was approved by both houses of Congress and sent to the President for signature. The provisions of the new legislation will generally become effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Many of the provisions of the Act applicable to individuals will sunset after 2025 unless extended by Congress.

Supreme Court Kills Laches Defense for Patent Infringement

On March 21, 2017 the Supreme Court issued an opinion that abrogated the equitable defense of laches, for unreasonable and prejudicial delay in filing suit, in patent cases. SCA Hygiene Prod. Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Prod., LLC, No. 15-927, 2017 WL 1050978 (U.S. Mar. 21, 2017). In that case, Appellant SCA Hygiene argued that the Supreme Court’s 2014 Petrella decision, which conclusively eliminated laches as a defense in copyright cases, also mandated the elimination of laches as a defense to patent infringement. The Supreme Court agreed, reversing the Federal Circuit’s holding of unenforceability due to laches, and remanding for trial on infringement and Appellee First Quality’s equitable estoppel defense.

Supreme Court Cuts Through the Noise to Clarify Copyrightability of Designs in Useful Articles

On October 20, 2016, we published an article discussing the Supreme Court’s decision to grant review of the Sixth Circuit’s August 2011 ruling in Varsity Brands, Inc. v. Star Athletica, LLC. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on October 31, 2016, and, on March 22, 2017, issued its highly anticipated decision. As discussed below, the Supreme Court has clarified the test to determine whether a design feature on a useful article is subject to protection under the Copyright Act of 1976.

Life Technologies v. Promega: Supreme Court Limits Infringement Liability under Section 271(f)(1)

On February 22, 2017, the Supreme Court in Life Technologies v. Promega ruled that “a single component does not constitute a substantial portion of the components that can give rise to liability under §271(f)(1).”[1] This ruling limits the reach of §271(f)(1) and will benefit U.S. manufacturers across the board.

Strategies Against Nuisance Patent Suits Part II – Cases on California Civil Procedure Code 1030

This is the next part of our series of posts on utilizing California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1030, in patent cases, particularly as a strategy against nuisance suits. Section 1030 provides that a defendant may move the court to require an out-of-state plaintiff to file an undertaking to secure an award of costs and attorneys' fees upon showing a reasonable possibility of success on the merits. Part one of our series, discussing the requirements of Section 1030, can be found here.

The Impact of President Trump’s Proposed Tax Reforms on Your Bottom Line

President Trump has proposed a number of tax reforms that would significantly change the taxation of both personal and business income. In particular, the proposals would broaden the income base and create significant nominal rate reductions on the income of businesses and high-income individuals. 

Strategies Against Nuisance Patent Suits – Utilizing California Civil Procedure Code 1030

Much is lamented about the burden and costs that nuisance patent litigation imposes. Recently, with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a case on restricting patent litigation venue, the problems of forum shopping by NPEs have come back into the spotlight. Limiting venue is one way that might reduce or discourage nuisance litigation by NPEs. But as some defendants quickly realize, even after successfully transferring venue out of so-called patent friendly jurisdictions, the fundamental problem of the lawsuit remains. You may now be in a court you think is favorable to you, but you still have to litigate what you may believe is a frivolous case.