Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:
The bipartisan “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” is intended to give owners of trade secrets the same legal protections as other intellectual-property owners, establishing for the first time a uniform, national trade-secret-protection standard. The DTSA largely parallels the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which has been passed in some form in nearly all states.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently issued recommendations for amendments to U.S. Copyright law. The recommendations call for providing courts with better guidance and greater flexibility in awarding copyright damages and address song remixes.
The amendments affect inter partes review, post-grant review, and covered-business-method proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Major revisions include confirmation that PTAB proceedings will continue to use the “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard for claim construction, permitting declarant testimony in preliminary responses, Rule-11 type certifications, and clarification on motions to amend. The new rules go into effect May 1.
The 12-year battle over the trademark rights to Stolichnaya (“Stoli”) vodka post Soviet-Union collapse may be heading for the U.S. Supreme Court. A request for a stay of the litigation pending a planned petition for a writ was filed in response to a Second Circuit ruling that a Russian state-owned company had standing to sue over the brand in U.S. court.
The trial court determined in its discretion it could impose a total ban on social-media and internet searches, but gave Google and Oracle the choice between agreeing to such a ban or to disclose the details of the scope of their proposed research. The parties agreed to rely on traditional voir dire to vet potential jurors.