Archives: Intellectual Property

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Appeal Board Denies Livestock Patents, First of Its Kind

On Monday, June 13, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued its first ever post-grant review decision under the America Invents Act.  The Board invalidated two patents challenged by Husch Blackwell client American Simmental Association, a national cattle breed association representing the interests of Simmental cattle breeders in the United States. The ASA successfully … Continue Reading

Precedent Setting Decision for Husch Blackwell in Intellectual Property

Congratulations to Michael Annis, Sam DiGirolamo and Dan Cohn on a precedent setting decision for Husch Blackwell in intellectual property. This is for the American Simmental Association, which is attempting to invalidate a set of patents directed to utilizing genetic information to value feed animals. These petitions for post-grant review, filed in January and February of 2015, respectively, … Continue Reading

The Battle Against Patent Trolls Continues

As we advised in a previous post, there seems to be an all-out war against so-called patent trolls. A patent troll is, in general, a pejorative term associated with entities that do not practice their own patents but nonetheless assert those patents against others. Also known as “patent assertion entities,” patent trolls often “assert” their … Continue Reading

The Food Fight Continues: POM Wonderful’s Lanham Act Claim Not Barred by Food Labeling Regulations

Last Thursday (June 19), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”) does not preclude POM Wonderful’s deceptive labeling claims under the Lanham Act against Coca-Cola.  POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., No. 12-761, slip op. at 2 (June 12, 2014).  POM sued Coca-Cola under the Lanham Act … Continue Reading

Brand Owners Beware: Important Changes in Canadian Trademark Law are on the Horizon

The Canadian Government recently introduced Bill C-31, the Economic Action Plan Act 2014, No.1.  This omnibus bill includes changes to a wide variety of laws in Canada.  The potential amendments to Canada’s Trade-marks Act will have a significant impact on brand owners, as well as intellectual property practitioners worldwide.  The bill is intended to ensure that … Continue Reading

Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of the Patent Troll?

Over the past several years, there has been a growing cry from the business sector about a menacing plague rising in the form of patent litigation originated by non-practicing entities, more commonly referred to as “patent trolls.” Big business, academicians, practitioners and politicians alike are demanding that our patent system be reformed to address this … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Justices Seemingly Dubious Over Coca-Cola’s Assertion That FDA Label Regulations Preempt False Advertising Claims

In arguments before the Supreme Court earlier this week, Coca-Cola asserted that its label for Minute Maid “Pomegranate Blueberry” juice, which contained a “flavored blend of 5 juices” complies with FDA rules and therefore, Coca-Cola could not be sued by a competitor for using an allegedly “misleading” label under the Lanham Act.  Years ago, the … Continue Reading

DNA Composition Claim in the U.S.

From the 1980s, scientists from around the world started to search for specific genes that were associated with increased hereditary risk for breast cancer.  By 1990, two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, were discovered that if they had specific mutations/alleles would impart an increased risk for breast cancer in women. In 1994, Myriad Genetics announced that … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates Patents on DNA Markers, Beneficial to Cattle Producers

Genetic testing continues to play an increasingly important role in the selection of animals for beef cattle production. Recently, the United States Supreme Court determined that the discovery of the location of a gene on a chromosome is not eligible for patent protection. This ruling will significantly alter the playing field for cattle genomics companies … Continue Reading

High Court to Weigh In on Labeling Dispute Between Competing Beverage Companies

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari to hear an appeal filed by POM Wonderful LLC in connection with its suit against The Coca-Cola Company under the Lanham Act alleging that Coca-Cola’s  “Pomegranate  Blueberry” juice labels are misleading. POM Wonderful asserts these labels are misleading due to the fact that, despite the name, the product … Continue Reading