For our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, August 21, 2017, we will discuss the following cases:
Tiffany & Co. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., (Federal Circuit August 14, 2017) (available here). Costco sold non Tiffany rings next to signs that said “Tiffany.” Tiffany sued under the Lanham act for Costco’s profits as well as punitive damages. The court decided to award punitive damages, treble damages, and injunctive relief to Tiffany. Although Costco argued that such an award violated due process, the court found “the Jury’s punitive damages award of $8.25 million is neither unconstitutional nor otherwise excessive.”
Visual Memory v. NVIDIA, (Federal Circuit August 15, 2017) (available here). Visual Memory sued NVIDIA for patent infringement under the ‘740 patent. The patent covered “[a] computer memory system connectable to a processor and having programmable operational characteristics based on characteristics of the processor.” The district court granted NVIDIA’s 12(b)(6) motion reasoning that the patent was directed towards ineligible subject matter (an abstract idea) and therefore failed to state a claim. The CAFC reversed, finding that the patent was not directed towards an abstract idea but an improvement to computer memory systems. Judge Hughes wrote a dissent.
All are invited to join us on August 21, 2017, at noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Elisha Manzur by 9 am Monday morning.