Life Techs. Corp. v. Promega Corp.
137 S. Ct. 734 (2017)
By Jo-ie Atchison-Dangerfield
Respondent Promega Corp. (“Promega”) was the exclusive licensee of the Tautz patent (U.S. Reissue Patent No. RE 37,984) and sublicensed it to petitioner Life Technologies Corp. and its subsidiaries (“Life Techs.”). Life Techs. was permitted to manufacture and sell the kits in the Tautz patent for use in specific “licensed law enforcement fields.”
The Tautz patent included a toolkit for genetic testing: it took samples of genetic material, specifically nucleotide sequences that make up the molecule deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and synthesized multiple copies of that specific nucleotide sequence through a process of copying (known as amplification), which generates DNA profiles to be used by law enforcement agencies for forensic identification. The parties stipulated that the kit covered in the Tautz patent contained five components” “(1) a mixture of primers that mare the part the DNA strand to be copied; (2) nucleotides for forming replicated strands of DNA; (3) an enzyme known as Taq polymerase; (4) a buffer solution for the amplification; and (5) control DNA.”
Matal v. Tam
137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017)
By Hilal Haider
Today, more than two million trademarks have active federal certificates of regulation. To establish a national uniformity of trademark regulation, Congress enacted The Lanham Act in 1946, which is the foundation of current federal trademark law. Trademarks that are “used in commerce” may be placed on the principal register to be federally registered as a trademark. The system of federal registration helps to ensure that trademarks are fully protected and support the free flow of commerce. Furthermore, the Lanham Act provides national protection of trademarks to secure the goodwill of the owners, and to protect the ability of consumers to differentiate among competing marks.
TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands, LLC
137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017)
By Henry Huang
Petitioner, TC Heartland LLC (“TC Heartland”), is a manufacturer of flavored drink mixes. TC Heartland holds its headquarters in Indiana and is organized under Indiana law. Respondent, Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC (“Kraft”), is a competitor to TC Heartland in the flavored drink mixes market. Kraft holds its headquarters in Delaware and has its principal place of business in Illinois. Kraft sued TC Heartland in the District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging that TC Heartland’s flavored drink mixes were infringing upon at least one patent owned by Kraft.
Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc.
137 S. Ct. 1002 (2017)
By Christopher Ogbuehi
Varsity Brands, Inc., Varsity Spirit Corporation, and Varsity Spirit Fashions & Supplies, Inc. (“Respondents”) are designers, manufacturers, and sellers of cheerleading uniforms. They have over 200 copyright registrations for two-dimensional designs that have appeared on their uniforms. Star Athletica, LLC (“Petitioner”) also markets uniforms. Respondents filed suit against petitioner alleging copyright infringement with respect to five designs.
Impression Prods., Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l Inc.
137 S. Ct. 1523 (2017)
By Linda Szabados
Respondent Lexmark International, Inc (“Lexmark”) makes and sells toner cartridges to purchasers in the United States and globally. Lexmark owns several patents that encompass cartridge parts and the way the parts are used.