Several stories and updates that are worth a mention, but do not warrant a separate post:
I was going to write a post explaining new Federal Rule of Evidence 502, but Beck & Herrmann at Drug & Device Law beat me to it and did an excellent job (actually, they did not, but their colleague David B. Alden of Jones Day did) — click here to read the post. Every litigator should read FRE 502 for themselves and then read the Drug & Device Law post or some other guide. It is a significant rule, even though it codifies much of what was already the standard practice.
Anne Reed at Deliberations provides a series of links to the most recent edition of The Jury Expert — click here for Reed’s post. If you do not already subscribe to The Jury Expert, do it now. This is a fabulous publication. My favorite article is by Oklahoma State’s Edward Burkley and Darshon Anderson, discussing translating the science of persuasion into the courtroom. Anyone who makes it their business to persuade judges, juries, colleagues or even their spouse should read this article. Much of the article will not be new to anyone who studies the art of persuasion. But at a minimum it is an excellent distilling of important persuasion techniques and everyone will learn or rethink a few things.
Patent Reform is back, or at least Minority Whip Senator Kyl (R-AR) has introduced a new patent reform bill. It is hard to imagine there is much traction in the midst of a presidential election and all of the economic unrest swirling around Washington. But you can read more about the bill at Patent Docs and the 271 Patent Blog.

Continue Reading Northern District & IP Legal News

Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., No. 06-937, 553 U.S. ___ (2008).
The Supreme Court concluded its latest review of the patent laws Monday when Justice Thomas delivered the Court’s succinct, unanimous decision in Quanta v. LG. Client obligations this week prevent me from providing a detailed analysis today. But, no surprise, there is plenty of commentary out there already. For more about decision, check out:
* 271 Patent Blog
* Agricultural Law
* FileWrapper
* IP Thinktank
* Patent Docs
* Patently-O
* WSJ Law Blog

Continue Reading Quanta v. LG: Patent Exhaustion

Tomorrow I will be back to case analysis, but there is some Northern District news and some excellent IP and litigation blog posts worth reading, here they are:
Ninth Annual Pro Bono and Public Interest Awards — The Northern District and the Federal Bar Association are seeking nominations for excellence in pro bono and public interest work. Nominations should be based upon work performed in civil cases before the Northern District which are no longer pending. Send nominations by March 28 to:
Amy Rettberg, Executive Law Clerk
Chambers of the Chief Judge James F. Holderman
219 South Dearborn Street, Suite 2548
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Patent Reform is Moving Forward — The Senate is preparing to vote on the Patent Reform Act after its spring recess (yes, it is spring already in DC). Here is some additional coverage of the Act’s status:
271 Patent Blog — looking at the latest amendments to the Act.
Maryland Intellectual Property Blog — looking at the latest amendments and questioning whether proponents have the sixty votes necessary for cloture, thereby avoiding a filibuster.
Patent Docs — taking sides, but asking you to call your Senators regardless of which side you take.
Check out the newest entry to Chicago’s law blog scene, the Lean & Mean Litigation Blog. It is not IP-focused, but it is an interesting read for any commercial litigator or litigant.
William Patry at Patry on Copyright has an interesting post about the difficulties of serving corporate entities based upon a District of the District of Columbia case involving a pro se plaintiff. The best advice, of course, is to hire counsel because if you do not get the party served properly, you have no case.
The Seventh Circuit affirmed Judge St. Eve’s ground breaking opinion in the CLC v. Craigslist case. The Seventh Circuit held that an ISP is exempt from cases based upon user content when the case attempts to treat the ISP as a publisher of the content. This is considerably narrower than most of the other circuits, which have held that Section 230 exempts ISPs from essentially all suits based upon user content. For more coverage, check out the WSJ Law Blog (which erroneously elevates Judge St. Eve to the Seventh Circuit), Internet Cases, and the Technology & Marketing Law Blog (very detailed analysis of Judge Easterbrook’s opinion).

Continue Reading Northern District & IP News: Pro Bono & Patent Reform

My recent story about Ebert’s use of his “Two Thumbs Up” has been receiving a lot of attention (and I even scooped the Sun-Times):
Likelihood of Confusion — Ron Coleman agrees with E. Leonard Rubin, interviewed in the Chicago Tribune today, who says that the written “Two Thumbs Up” mark is pretty strong.
Robert Feder of the Chicago Sun-Times — Feder says that the “Two Thumbs Up” mark is “the most powerful and influential symbol in movie marketing.”
The fact that the Patent Reform Act has stalled in Congress, which I discussed earlier this week, has been picked up by several blogs:
Maryland IP Law Blog — Citing my post.
Patently-O — Dennis Crouch says that the Patent Reform Act is not just stalled, it is dead.
271 Patent Blog — Leads with a great Simpsons’ quote in saying the Act is on hold.

Continue Reading Chicago IP Blog in the News

Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee began marking up the Patent Reform Act. At the beginning of the Committee’s public markup session, Committee Chairman Leahy (D-Vt.) stated that he wanted to finish the markup Thursday, vote on the bill and send it to the full Senate. The Committee, however, only got through two amendments, one of which was a “manager’s amendment” which just includes technical/clerical revisions.” And Leahy, prodded by several Republican senators and Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), agreed to provide the Committee additional time to consider the Act further. The one substantive amendment (which you can read here) further limited venue in patent cases. The amendment was strongly worded stating that in any patent case:
. . . a party shall not manufacture venue by assignment, incorporation, or otherwise to invoke the venue of a specific district court.
This preamble language is very interesting. It has the potential to lead to a big increase in initial motion practice in which defendants argue that whatever entity sues them was created to create venue in the jurisdiction. But this problem is seemingly resolved because in almost all cases plaintiff’s principal place of business or state of incorporation will not create venue, it will almost always be based upon defendant’s footprint and infringing activities. The amendment goes on to specify that venue would be proper:
1. where defendant has a principal place of business or is incorporated;
2. where defendant has committed “substantial” infringing acts and maintains a physical facility constituting a “substantial portion” of defendant’s operations; or
3. where plaintiff resides, if plaintiff is a university or an individual inventor.
The 271 Patent Blog also has a good post on the markup.

Continue Reading Patent Reform Act: Senators Limit Venue

Peter Zura has an excellent post at his 271 Patent Blog about the latest statistical analysis of patent litigations by Professor Paul Janicke of The University of Houston Law Center — you can read Prof. Janicke’s study here or get a copy of his related PowerPoint slides here. Of particular note to readers of the Blog, the Northern District remains in the top five districts based upon the number of patent filings, with almost 5% of the nation’s patent cases filed here. Zura also notes that the median verdict was $4.2M, which is almost the median cost litigants pay to take a $25M+ patent case to trial ($4.5M according to the 2005 AIPLA survey). Finally, post-eBay permanent injunction are denied 25% of the time, as opposed to 16% pre-eBay.

Continue Reading Northern District of Illinois is a Top Five Patent District

KSR v. Teleflex, 550 U.S. __ (2007).

A unanimous Supreme Court rolled back the Federal Circuit’s teaching, suggestion or motivation obviousness test in favor of the Court’s prior, and substantially broader, test as set forth in Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City, 383 U.S. 1 (1966).  Justice Kennedy delivered the Court’s