In 2011, Congress enacted the America Invents Act to simplify the process of contesting a patent. The law allows residents in New Jersey and other states to challenge the validity of a patent through the federal government's Patent Office procedures rather than at a jury trial.
New Jersey residents are most likely aware that the smartphone market is highly competitive and driven by innovation. Electronics companies tend to be fiercely protective of features that separate their products from those of their competitors, and intellectual property disputes are not uncommon when a new phone or device uses a feature that is suspiciously similar to one protected under the nation's patent laws.
Redbox is often the go-to solution for quick movie rentals in New Jersey, but Disney is now claiming that Redbox is pulling a fast one. Disney has accused Redbox of what amounts to illegal sales of its digital content. Attorneys for Disney say that Redbox is opening combo packs that contain a DVD, Blu-Ray and code for a digital copy of some films and then selling the digital redemption codes.
Although Disney's 'Frozen" came out in 2013, a 2017 court case may have some people in California feeling a bit frigid. In the movie, the song 'Let It Go" became a breakout hit and was lauded by critics. Unfortunately, a musician who believes that 'Let It Go" is too similar to his own 2008 song, 'Volar", is suing Disney and the two singers who performed 'Let It Go" for both the movie and radio versions.
As New Jersey residents gear up for Halloween, they may head to local stores to purchase costumes. Halloween costumes are big business, and because of the money involved, they may be the subject of intellectual property lawsuits.
It seems self-driving cars are on their way to New Jersey and the rest of the nation. However, there's a lot of debate and conflict regarding which companies will lead the way. While tech giant Google has spun off its own self-driving vehicle company, called Waymo, the ride sharing service Uber has thrown itself into the fray as well. However, Waymo is claiming that Uber's technology was not developed or acquired legally. It has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming trade secret violations.
Intellectual property plays a significant role in the economy of New Jersey, and patent holders have a financial interest in defending their ideas. The Inter Partes Review system developed five years ago by the America Invents Act was intended to be an alternative to lengthy litigation when someone challenged the validity of a patent. The process gave the Patent Trial and Appeals Board the ability to settle a patent question. Critics, including many patent holders, have concerns about the fairness and consistency of the process.
The song "We Shall Overcome" associated with the civil rights movement is known to many New Jersey residents. Although based upon an old African-American spiritual, people claiming copyright to the more recent version asserted their rights by declining to license the song for use in a movie. The resulting legal case pitted plaintiffs who argued that the modern version should be in the public domain against those insisting that the modern authors made enough changes to the original to qualify for copyright protection.
New Jersey residents will likely associate light blue jewelry boxes with Tiffany & Co. It can take decades to nurture and develop this kind of consumer awareness, and major companies generally act quickly when their intellectual property is used without their permission. Tiffany sued the Costco Wholesale Corporation in 2013 after learning that engagement rings made by other jewelry makers were being marketed as Tiffany rings. Costco attorneys denied any wrongdoing, but their arguments failed to impress the judge hearing the case.
New Jersey business owners may be interested to learn that, on July 7, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA filed a lawsuit against a former executive who it said divulged trade secrets and other information of a confidential nature with her boyfriend. It alleged that the boyfriend is the president and CEO of Apotex Inc., a rival drug company.