By Alex Shank
Last Tuesday, the Federal Circuit held that evidence of a good-faith belief in the invalidity of a patent may negate the intent to induce infringement of that patent. Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 2012-1042 (Fed. Cir. June 25, 2013), opinion hosted by patentlyo.com. To induce infringement, a party must know that a patent exists and know that its actions will cause a third party to infringe that patent. Commil owns a patent over a method of transmitting mobile device information over wireless networks. Cisco wished to present evidence of its good-faith belief in the invalidity of the Commil patent to show that it lacked knowledge that a third party was infringing the patent. Although previous courts had allowed evidence of a good-faith belief in non-infringement, no court had allowed evidence of a good-faith belief in invalidity to show lack of intent. The trial jury found Cisco liable for induced infringement. On appeal, the Federal Circuit held that evidence of a good-faith belief in invalidity should be allowed to rebut a showing of intent. Bloomberg provides background on the case, as well as comments from Commil’s counsel.
Pandora Contends that Michigan Privacy Law Does Not Apply to Streamed Music
Pandora, an online music provider, requested that that Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit uphold an earlier ruling that its sharing of users’ music histories does not violate a Michigan state privacy law. The District Court for the Northern District of California previously granted Pandora’s motion to dismiss, finding that the Michigan law — which prohibits companies that lend or rent music from disclosing their customers’ preferences — did not apply to companies that stream music. Deacon v. Pandora Media, Inc. No. 11-04674 (Dist. Ct. N.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2012), order hosted by docs.justia.com. Peter Deacon, a plaintiff in the case, alleges on appeal that the district court misconstrued the plain meaning of the Michigan law. In rebuttal, Pandora contends that its users lack sufficient control over the choice of music streamed for Pandora to be classified as a “lender” or “renter” of music. MediaPost provides a history of the case.
Chinese Wind Turbine Company Indicted on Misappropriation of U.S. Company’s Trade Secrets
The United States indicted the Chinese wind-turbine company Sinovel, as well as two of its executives, for criminal misappropriation of the trade secrets of its former U.S. supplier, American Superconductor, Corp. (“American”). Dejan Karabasevic, a former American employee, pled guilty to stealing American’s secret source code for wind-turbine computers and supplying it to Sinovel. Bloomberg discusses the Chinese courts’ inaction on American’s four suits filed against Sinovel in China, as well as the case’s relationship to U.S. concerns about cyber espionage more generally. Forbes details how American identified Karabasevic and the disgruntled former employee’s reasons for misappropriating the code.