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The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court judgment in favor of firm client X/Open Company Limited, a non-profit computer-industry consortium responsible for setting and managing the specifications for UNIX-based products. The decision caps a decade-long dispute which began as an administrative proceeding at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and later escalated into a federal court lawsuit when the plaintiff Wayne Gray alleged violations of federal and state RICO statutes, the Florida Communications Fraud Act, and the Lanham Act. The crux of plaintiff’s claim was that X/Open fraudulently asserted ownership in the UNIX mark against Gray in the earlier administrative action and then “conspired” with co-defendants Novell, Inc. and The SCO Group, Inc. to conceal the true ownership of that mark. The lower court had granted summary judgment in favor of X/Open, finding that various prior agreements and dealings between X/Open and the co-defendants indisputably established that X/Open owned the UNIX mark. The appeals court panel unequivocally affirmed, holding that Gray was simply “mistaken” about the legal effect of each agreement at issue. Because X/Open owned the UNIX mark and had lawfully asserted its rights in that mark against Gray, the Court held that all of Gray’s claims must fail.

In an important victory for firm client, Eli Lilly and Company, the Southern District of Indiana rejected claims by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. alleging that all of Lilly’s patents covering Lilly’s blockbuster drug for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, Evista®, are invalid.  The court granted a permanent injunction preventing Teva from marketing its generic version of Evista® before the expiration of four of Lilly’s patents covering Evista®, the last of which expires in 2014.  Teva appealed the decision, and in September 2010, the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Lilly, affirming the validity of Lilly’s patents for Evista®. Chief Judge Rader, writing for a unanimous panel, held that there was no evidence that "would teach, suggest or motivate or supply any common sense reason" for a person to arrive at Lilly’s invention.  The Federal Circuit further affirmed that the patents were enabled, observing that the initiation of a human clinical trial presumptively establishes the credibility of the asserted utility.

Finnegan successfully overturned a ruling against two of Bridgestone’s top-selling tire brands POTENZA and TURANZA. Bridgestone appealed a TTAB decision dismissing its opposition against Federal Corporation’s application to register the mark MILANZA for tires. In that decision, the TTAB refused to find Bridgestone’s POTENZA and TURANZA marks commercially strong because they frequently appear with the BRIDGESTONE house mark. On appeal, the Federal Circuit issued a unanimous precedential decision reversing the TTAB and finding that MILANZA is likely to be confused with POTENZA and TURANZA based on, among other things, the independent strength achieved by the POTENZA and TURANZA marks through massive sales and advertising and the similarities between POTENZA, TURANZA, and MILANZA. The Federal Circuit also held that the simultaneous use of BRIDGESTONE with POTENZA and TURANZA does not denigrate the fame and strength of those product marks.

Finnegan handles ATP’s worldwide trademark portfolio and ensures that its marks and logos are properly protected in the various jurisdictions where its tournaments are hosted, publicized, and broadcasted. We also handle ATP’s worldwide enforcement efforts and have opposed trademark applications and uses of ATP-formative marks around the world. Recently, we filed a U.S. opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) against an application for the mark ATPI for entertainment and travel services (including those related to sports). We have also handled “ambush advertising” issues for ATP, including during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

We provide in-depth patent prosecution and counseling services for one of the world's leading solar companies. Our service includes preparing patent applications directed to novel silicon materials and processing technologies, specifically geared toward photovoltaic applications.

We provide in-depth patent prosecution and counseling services for one of the world's leading information management companies. Our service includes preparing patent applications directed to novel methods and systems for storing, protecting, and managing information with a particular focus on records management and data protection and recovery. In addition, we have provided due diligence for our client’s mergers and acquisitions, to assist it in achieving its strategic growth goals.

The firm provides Phillips 66 in-depth patent prosecution and counseling services, including filing applications, and reviewing and responding to office actions and observations filed by third parties at the European Patent Office. Formerly part of ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 produces natural gas liquids and petrochemicals.

On behalf of a third-party requester, Finnegan initiated ex parte reexamination proceedings against a patent owned by Ablaise Ltd. The patent had been asserted against numerous companies including several of our clients. The firm’s representation in the reexamination resulted in the PTO finally rejecting claims 1-6 of the patent. The pending reexamination allowed the firm to successfully obtain a stay of the litigation proceedings by Ablaise against Financial Fusion. After reexamination had been granted, the District Court of the District of Columbia also found the same claims invalid, and that decision was affirmed on appeal to the Federal Circuit.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reversed a rejection of all patent claims in a patent application related to important neurodiagnostic device features for concussion and other brain abnormality assessments. Finnegan argued throughout the examination that the examiner had interpreted a claim limitation too broadly, and failed to appreciate the advance that the application claimed. After oral argument, the PTAB judges agreed and reversed the examiner's rejection on all grounds.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in an en banc opinion, confirmed the existence of a separate written description requirement that ensures that inventors have actually invented and described the subject matter claimed in their patents. The decision reversed a jury verdict against Finnegan client Eli Lilly and Company.  Lilly had previously been found liable for infringing Ariad’s ’516 patent, and the jury had awarded Ariad a multi-million dollar verdict.  The en banc opinion held that the asserted claims of the ’516 patent failed to satisfy the written description requirement of section 112 and were thus invalid. 


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