Top Tens in 2013: Patent, Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secret Cases
38 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2013
Date Written: December 10, 2013
This paper discusses notable intellectual property law caselaw in the United States in 2013. The Supreme Court decided four patent cases, holding that isolated human DNA is not patentable; that lawsuits alleging legal malpractice in patent cases are to be litigated in state, not federal, court; that seeds grown from genetically modified patented seeds cannot be resold; and that reverse-payment settlements between brand name and generic pharmaceutical companies are subject to scrutiny under the anti-trust laws. The one trademark case the Court decided addressed an issue with more impact in the patent area: whether a rights holder can destroy jurisdiction in a declaratory judgment case, by promising not to sue.
On cross-border issues, the Supreme Court held that, in effect, a copyright holder does not have the right to create separate foreign and domestic markets. In patent law, the Federal Circuit held that International Trade Commission procedures may be not be used to exclude infringing products, where no real domestic production or patent licensing program exists to protect, as opposed to simply putting leverage for settlement of a dispute.
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