Dismissal of Trademark Registration Opposition Affirmed Despite Pronunciation Error
In StonCor Group, Inc. v. Specialty Coatings, Inc., No. 13-1448 (Fed. Cir. July 16, 2014), slip op. at 1, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (“Board”) dismissal of StonCor’s opposition to the registration of a trademark by Specialty Coatings. StonCor previously registered the mark STONSHIELD for use in relation to epoxy coatings for concrete floors. Id. at 2. Specialty Coatings subsequently applied to register the mark ARMORSTONE, also for use with epoxy coatings. Id. StonCor opposed Specialty Coatings’ registration based on the likelihood of confusion between STONSHIELD and ARMORSTONE and because ARMORSTONE was merely descriptive of the epoxy products. Id. at 3. The Federal Circuit found that while the Board erred regarding the pronunciation of STONSHIELD, the error did not impact the legal merit of the Board’s decision. Id. at 7. John L. Welch of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association provides additional analysis of the decision.
Non-Infringement of Cellular Network Patents Affirmed
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the United States District Court for the District of Delaware’s decision that Apple did not infringe cellular network patents held by Golden Bridge Technology in Golden Bridge Technology, Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 13-1496 (Fed. Cir. July 14, 2014), slip op. at 2. Golden Bridge Technology filed suit against Apple alleging that Apple had infringed upon two patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,574,267 and 7,359,427, both of which described improvements to communications between mobile and base stations for a Code Multiple Access wireless cellular network. Id. The Federal Circuit found that the district court did not err in using the claim construction of “preamble” from a previous Golden Bridge Technology patent litigation. Id. at 5-6. For further commentary, see Law360 and Bloomberg BNA.
Federal Circuit Finds it Lacks Subject-Matter Appellate Jurisdiction Over Patent Infringement Case
In U.S. Water Services, Inc. v. ChemTreat, Inc., No. 13-1236 (Fed. Cir. July 8, 2014), slip op. at 1-2, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that it lacked subject-matter appellate jurisdiction over a patent infringement appeal from the Minnesota District Court and transferred the case to the Eighth Circuit. U.S. Water Services brought suit against ChemTreat alleging misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Minnesota law. Id. at 2. After the initial complaint was filed, the Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent covering technology related to the allegedly misappropriated trade secrets to U.S. Water Services (U.S. Patent No. 8,039,244), and ChemTreat amended its answer to include counterclaims for declaratory judgment of noninfringement and invalidity. The district court dismissed the trade secret misappropriation claims and granted ChemTreat’s motion for summary judgment of non-infringement. Id. U.S. Water Services subsequently appealed to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit found that it did not have subject-matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) because, applying the well-pleaded complaint rule, the action did not arise under federal patent law. Id. at 3-4. See PatentlyO for more discussion of the Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction analysis.