According to the Intellectual Property Litigation Risk Report, companies with a multinational presence may be overlooking key intellectual property issues. Firms based in New Jersey may face risks because intellectual property has become more mobile. Mergers between companies as well as the creation of new fields such as health tech have also factored in the increase of intellectual property disputes.
As companies in New Jersey and across the country struggle to protect their intellectual property rights in an era of easy digital information-sharing, many are turning to trade secrets litigation when confidential information is disclosed. After the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, it became easier for wronged parties to bring a claim under federal law for disclosure of trade secrets. At a time when intellectual property is key to the success of technology and other businesses, these claims are a powerful tool.
Many New Jersey residents own devices made by Samsung. The world's leading cellphone manufacturer lost a lengthy court battle with its rival Apple over patent infringement, and now a Korean university has been awarded damages to be paid by Samsung as well. Once again, the claim against Samsung was patent infringement.
The clever names that craft brewers give their drinks might attract beer enthusiasts in New Jersey, but the labels that often draw upon regional traits have become a source of trademark disputes. Stony Creek Brewery, located on the East Coast, has filed a federal lawsuit against Peak Organic Brewing and Shipyard Brewing on the West Coast.
Moviegoers in New Jersey and around the country will continue to see trailers for R-rated film featuring puppet characters similar to those created by Jim Henson. Sesame Workshop filed a lawsuit on May 21 claiming that the trailers, which feature the tagline 'NO SESAME. ALL STREET," are tarnishing valuable intellectual property by depicting beloved children's characters taking drugs, using foul language and behaving violently. However, a New York federal judge was unconvinced by these arguments and ruled that the trailers could continue to be used to promote Melissa McCarthy's upcoming film.
New Jersey residents who have been following the long court battle between Samsung and Apple might be interested in learning that the two companies will again head to court for a retrial on damages in Apple's patent lawsuit win. The original patent infringement lawsuit was filed by Apple against Samsung in 2011, and a jury awarded a verdict in Apple's favor in 2012 in the amount of $1.02 billion.
New Jersey shoppers may have long been fans of two brands that have been locked in a trademark dispute for nine years. Gucci and Guess reached an agreement in April 2018 to end their lengthy legal issues over Guess' logo and diamond pattern. Gucci alleged that the logos were knockoffs of its own distinctive, trademarked pattern. In their settlement, the two companies announced that they had concluded all international property law and trademark matters.
To battle so-called patent trolls, Congress passed the America Invents Act to create a process known as inter partes review. Proponents of the law were dealt a victory in April when the United States Supreme Court upheld the process as constitutional. This rule change has significant implications for New Jersey inventors as the process is a helpful tool in fighting bogus patent lawsuits.
Trade secrets represent important assets to companies in New Jersey. Legal cases often reflect the value of intellectual property, like the battle between Dicerna Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc. The companies just announced a settlement involving allegations of unfair business practices and misappropriation of trade secrets. Dicerna has agreed to pay Alnylam $15 million plus stock.
A trademark of one of America's most beloved sitcoms is currently the subject of a federal lawsuit. The term 'Desilu" is currently the basis of a federal lawsuit against a network, more than a half-century after the run of the TV show. As the case has a number of issues involved, it should be an interesting case to watch in the Intellectual Property Law field.