By David W. Carstens
A patent provides its owner with the right to exclude others from making, using or selling a patented product. These rights may be enforced by filing an infringement lawsuit. In such a lawsuit, the Patent Act empowers the court to issue an injunction against an infringer “in accordance with the principles of equity.” So how is it possible to acknowledge and honor the right to exclude the making of an infringing product without always granting an injunction against the infringer of those rights? One Texas court is trying carefully to balance these principles of equity to determine when a permanent injunction is appropriate.
By Vincent J. Allen
On the day before the new continuation rules discussed in our previous newsletter were to go into effect, a federal judge in Virginia issued an injunction against the Patent Office that prevented the Patent Office from changing the rules on November 1, 2007 as scheduled. GlaxoSmithKline filed suit in Virginia claiming that the new regulations are vague, arbitrary, and capricious.
By Colin P. Cahoon
Years ago a non-patent lawyer colleague of mine told me that he had been asked by one of his clients if it was possible to obtain patent protection on the client’s new stuffed animal design. “There was nothing special about what the stuffed animal did or how it was made. It just looked like, you know, a variation on a teddy bear. The client wanted to know if we could get a patent on the look of this fluffy creation, and I said ‘No.’” I informed my colleague that he needed to call the client back and revise his answer, because he had just given bad advice.