Justia U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Patents
Wreal, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc.
Plaintiff, Wreal, LLC, a pornography company, has been using the mark “FyreTV” in commerce since 2008. Defendant, Amazon.com, Inc., has been using the mark “Fire TV” (or “fireTV”) in commerce since 2012. Wreal contended that Amazon’s allegedly similar mark is causing consumers to associate its mark—“FyreTV”—with Amazon. After the close of discovery, the district court granted summary judgment to Amazon. The Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded the district court’s ruling. The court explained that the case addresses the application of the seven likelihood-of-confusion factors to a reverse-confusion trademark infringement case. Although some of those factors are analyzed and applied in the same way in both reverse-confusion cases and the more familiar forward-confusion cases, there are important differences in how other factors are analyzed and applied that stem from the fact that the harm and the theory of infringement differ between forward and reverse confusion. Here, the record evidence establishes that Amazon acquired actual knowledge of Wreal’s registered trademark and still launched a product line. The two marks at issue are nearly identical, the commercial strength of Amazon’s mark is consistent with Wreal’s theory of recovery. Furthermore, Wreal has identified two consumers who a reasonable juror could conclude were confused by Amazon’s chosen mark. The court wrote, that there is no mechanical formula for applying the seven factors relating to the likelihood of confusion. But when considering all seven factors as they apply to a theory of reverse confusion and taking all the circumstances of this case into account on the record, it concluded that they weigh heavily in favor of Wreal. View "Wreal, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc." on Justia Law
MDS (Canada) Inc., et al. v. Rad Source Technologies, Inc.
This case involved disputes over licensing agreements for, inter alia, the RS 3400 blood irradiation device. At issue was whether the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction to hear an appeal of a breach of contract claim that would require the resolution of a claim of patent infringement for the complainant to succeed. The court concluded that it did not have appellate jurisdiction and resolved dispositive issues in favor of Rad Source, leaving a single dispositive issue for certification: When a licensee enters into a contract to transfer all of its interests in a license agreement for an entire term of a license agreement, save one day, but remains liable to the licensor under the license agreement, is the contract an assignment of the license agreement, or is the contract a sublicense? View "MDS (Canada) Inc., et al. v. Rad Source Technologies, Inc." on Justia Law
Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Products LLC
This case involved a confidential document called the Project Tulip Financial Analysis (Tulip FA), which projected profits, as well as discussed the appropriate terms and benefits from a settlement, involving Solvay's highly lucrative patent on AndroGel, a topical testosterone gel. Solvay subsequently appealed the district court's decision to modify an earlier protective order and unseal the Tulip FA. The court affirmed the district court's judgment, concluding that the district court did not abuse its considerable discretion to modify its own protective order. The district court found that the passage of time had altered the balance enough so that the value of public access to the Tulip FA exceeded the value of confidentiality to Solvay. The court also vacated the stay entered by a panel of the court. View "Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Products LLC" on Justia Law
FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.
This case involved a type of patent litigation settlement known as a "pay for delay" or "reverse payment" agreement. In this type of settlement, a patent holder paid the allegedly infringing generic drug company to delay entering the market until a specified date, thereby protecting the patent monopoly against a judgment that the patent was invalid or would not be infringed by the generic competitor. This case began when the FTC filed a complaint in district court alleging that the reverse payment settlements between the holder of a drug patent and two generic manufacturers of the drug were unfair restraints on trade that violated federal antitrust laws. The court's precedent established the rule that, absent sham litigation or fraud in obtaining the patent, a reverse payment settlement was immune from antitrust attack so long as its anticompetitive effects fell within the scope of the exclusionary potential of the patent. The court rejected the FTC's claims to the contrary and affirmed the judgment. View "FTC v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al." on Justia Law