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July 2008
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Cartoon Network, LP v. CSC Holdings, Inc.

Appeal from an entry of summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Denny Chin, Judge). Defendant-Appellant Cablevision Systems Corporation argues that the district court erred in holding that its proposed “Remote Storage” Digital Video Recorder system violates the Copyright Act by infringing plaintiffs’ exclusive rights of reproduction and public performance.

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E.T. Browne Drug Co. v. Cococare Products

This case involves a dispute between two manufacturers of personal care and beauty products that contain cocoa butter. E.T. Browne Drug Co., Inc. (“Browne”) claims that it has a protected trademark interest under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq., in the term “Cocoa Butter Formula,” which features prominently on its products. Cococare Products, Inc. (“Cococare”) disputes the validity of this asserted trademark. The District Court entered summary judgment in Cococare’s favor after concluding that the term is generic and thus may not receive protection from the trademark laws. We agree that Browne has not demonstrated that “Cocoa Butter Formula” is a protectable trademark, but reach that conclusion by a different path. We believe that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether “Cocoa Butter Formula” is generic. But even assuming it is descriptive, this term must have a secondary meaning to be protectable. Because Browne failed to identify sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact on that point, we affirm the grant of summary judgment in favor of Cococare. We remand, however, to allow the District Court to enter an appropriate order under 15 U.S.C. § 1119.

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Proveris Scientific Corp. v. Innovasystems

This is a patent infringement case. Innovasystems, Inc. (“Innova”) appeals from the final judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts that it infringed claims 3-10 and 13 of United States Patent No. 6,785,400 (the “’400 patent”) owned by Proveris Scientific Corporation (“Proveris”). Proveris Scientific Corp. v. Innovasystems, Inc., No. 05-12424 (D. Mass. May 11, 2007). On appeal, Innova argues that the district court erred in ruling that the so-called “safe harbor” provision of the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act of 1984, known as the “Hatch-Waxman Act,” Pub. L. No. 98-417, 98 Stat. 1585 (1984), codified at 21 U.S.C. §§ 355, 360cc (2000), and 35 U.S.C. §§ 156, 271, 282 (2000), does not immunize its accused activity from infringement of the ’400 patent. Innova also argues that the district court erred in entering judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) (i) that it infringed claims 3-10 and 13 of the ’400 patent and (ii) in favor of Proveris on Innova’s affirmative defenses that claims 1, 2, and 9 are invalid by reason of obviousness and that claims 3-8 and 10 and 13 are invalid as anticipated by a single prior art reference. Because we conclude that Innova is not entitled to the protection of the Hatch-Waxman Act safe harbor provision, and that the district court did not err in granting JMOL in favor of Proveris on infringement and on Innova’s affirmative defenses, we affirm.

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Research Corp. Techs. Inc. v. Microsoft Corp.

The United States District Court for the District of Arizona held Research Corporation Technologies' (RCT's) patents unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. The district court also granted the Microsoft Corporation summary judgment of invalidity and noninfringement. Because the trial court incorrectly held RCT's patents unenforceable due to inequitable conduct, this court reverses, and, accordingly, vacates the award of attorney fees based on the exceptional case finding. This court also vacates the trial court's summary grants of noninfringement and invalidity as well as the motions in limine orders. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2106, this court also remands with instructions to reassign the case.

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Yingbin-Nature Woood Indus. Co., Ltd. v. ITC

Unilin Beheer B.V. Flooring Industries, Ltd. and Unilin Flooring N.C. LLC (collectively “Unilin”) filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (“the Commission”) under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(1)(B), alleging that thirty-two companies imported and sold laminate floor panels which infringed certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,490,836 (“the ’836 patent”), 6,874,292 (“the ’292 patent”), and 6,928,779 (“the ’779 patent”). Three of those companies originally were parties to this appeal: Power Dekor Group Co., Ltd. (“Power Dekor Group”), Yingbin-Nature Wood Industry Co., Ltd., and Jiangsu Lodgi Wood Industry Co., Ltd. (collectively “Power Dekor”).

The presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”) conducted an investigation into infringement and validity of the asserted claims. As relevant here, the ALJ concluded (1) that each of the Power Dekor products under investigation did not infringe claims 1 and 2 of the ’836 patent or claims 3 and 4 of the ’292 patent; and (2) that claims 5 and 17 of the ’779 patent were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 1 for lack of written description support in the originally filed disclosure; and (3) that each of the Power Dekor products under investigation infringed one or more of claims 10, 18, and 23 of the ’836 patent. In re Certain Laminated Floor Panels, Inv. No. 337-TA-545 (Int’l Trade Comm’n July 3, 2006) (“ALJ Determination”). The Commission reversed with respect to the first two issues, concluding (1) that Unilin had proven that Power Dekor’s products infringed claims 1 and 2 of the ’836 patent and claims 3 and 4 of the ’292 patent; and (2) that claims 5 and 17 of the ’779 patent satisfied the written description requirement and were therefore not invalid. In re Certain Laminated Floor Panels, Inv. No. 337-TA-545 (Int’l Trade Comm’n Jan. 5, 2007) (“Commission Opinion”). Based on these conclusions and the ALJ’s finding that each of the Power Dekor products infringed one or more of claims 10, 18, and 23 of the ’836 patent, which was not reviewed, the Commission determined that there was a violation of section 337 and issued a general exclusion order under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(d)(2). Because the Commission’s conclusions are supported by substantial evidence, we affirm.

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