The big three of intellectual property disputes in federal courts – the Copyright Act, the Patent Act, and the Lanham (Trademark) Act – drew the focus of the U.S. Supreme Court today. The justices granted review in three IP cases and one IP-ish one. The cases present these questions:
Whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a defendant may be held liable for inducing patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) even though no one has committed direct infringement under Section 271(a). Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., No. 12-786 (U.S.).
(1) Whether the Federal Circuit’s acceptance of ambiguous patent claims with multiple reasonable interpretations – so long as the ambiguity is not “insoluble” by a court – defeats the statutory requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming; and (2) whether the presumption of validity dilutes the requirement of particular and distinct patent claiming. Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369 (U.S.).
Whether a company “publicly performs” a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet. Am. Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., No. 13-461 (U.S.).
Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that a private party cannot bring a Lanham Act claim challenging a product label regulated under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca-Cola Co., No. 12-761 (U.S.).