Appeals courts kept churning out rulings in the commercial sphere last week, but even more than usual dealt with IP issues—10 of 12 by my count, with one oil and gas and one class action rounding out the dozen.

The Supreme Court Itself spoke up, ruling in a trademark death-match that the end of previous phase of the feud didn’t preclude the Hatfields from upholstering a new defensive weapon. That trickle will turn into a flood, as the 2019 Term nears its June end.

Stay safe, keep doing good, and be well.

Federal Drug & Cosmetic Act preempted state-law claims about liquid products you can’t fully dispense.

Copyright owner had burden to show terms of license didn’t allow licensee to use works as it did.

Any case that turns on copyright validity and infringement can trigger award of fees to winner.

Post-suit reformation of patent assignment applied retroactively, giving plaintiff right to sue at time of filing.

Terms of firm’s winning bid for lead class counsel spot sets starting point for fee award.

A jury could find “Engineered Tax Services” service mark inherently distinctive.

Patent claimed abstract idea of giving advance notice of delivering something.
Patent claimed abstract idea of giving advance notice of delivering something.
Chalk holder that looks like chubby pencil loses design patent, copyright, trade dress, and unfair competition claims.
Patent on hearing aid that uses head bone to conduct sound to non-deaf ear survives preamble-as-limiting and some obviousness attacks.
Doctrine of ”defense preclusion” might not be a thing, but if it is, it doesn’t bar defense in second suit against new claim.
Note for readers

Because my practice focuses on complex commercial disputes–especially antitrust, energy, and intellectual property–I keep daily track of important decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the highest appeals courts in Delaware, New York, and Texas.

You can follow along during the week on Twitter (@contingencyblog) or here at The Contingency each Monday with this Commercial Appeals Roundup.

Check out my profile on the Susman Godfrey website.