Not everything is patentable. First, only inventions are patentable. Second, only certain inventions are patentable. Four types of inventions are patentable: articles of manufacture, machines, processes, and compositions of matter. 35 U.S.C. §101. These four types of inventions are referred to as patent-eligible subject matter. Some things, referred to as patent-ineligible subject matter, are not patentable: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas.
Continue Reading Alice is Alive and Well!

In California Costume Collections, Inc v. Pandaloon, LLC, 2-21-cv-01323 (CDCA Apr. 7, 2022) (John W. Holcomb), the Central District of California recently considered whether a plaintiff plead an inequitable conduct claim with the required particularity concerning knowledge of materiality. In the case, Plaintiff California Costume Collections (“CCC”) filed its Complaint against Defendant Pandaloon, LLC (“Pandaloon”) for declaratory judgment of non-infringement, invalidity, and unenforceability of U.S. Design Patent No. D806,325 (the “D325 Patent”) for a “Pet Costume.” In response, Pandaloon filed a Motion to dismiss Count Three of the Complaint—in which CCC alleges that the D325 Patent is unenforceable due to inequitable conduct—on the ground that it fails to state a claim for relief under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Continue Reading District Court Dismiss Inequitable Conduct Claim Alleging Inferred Knowledge of Prior Art Based on Wide Spread Availability

In Pierce Manufacturing, Inc., et. al v. E-One, Inc. et. al, 8-18-cv-00617 (MDFL Feb. 16, 2022) (Thomas P. Barber) the Court denied in part plaintiffs’ motion for pre-judgment interest that would have accrued during a stay due to COVID-19. In the case, Defendants were found liable for infringing certain claims in Plaintiffs’ asserted patent and the jury awarded Plaintiffs damages of $1,287,854 in lost profits and $170,500 in reasonable royalties. The parties did not dispute that an award of prejudgment and post-judgment interest was appropriate along with the damages award. Instead, the dispute was to the accrual time, rate, and calculation of prejudgment interest.
Continue Reading District Court Denies Prejudgment Interest Accrued During COVID-19 Delay

Business owners often ask whether they should protect their intellectual property with a trade secret or a patent. The answer is:  It depends.

What Can Be Protected? 

The first thing to consider is what it is that needs to be protected.  A trade secret protects a business’s confidential and proprietary information.  The information can be a formula, process, or customer list.

A patent protects an invention. The invention can be an article of manufacture, a machine, a process (such as software), or a composition of matter (like a chemical formula).
Continue Reading Trade Secret or Patent?