Volume 20, Issue 1 Surveys

Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC 135 S. Ct. 2401 (2015)

By Brittany Curtis

Plaintiff Stephen Kimble obtained a patent for a toy that allowed a
child or an adult to shoot pressurized foam string from their hand.
Defendant Marvel Entertainment created and sold products featuring various superheroes including Spiderman. Kimble tried to sell his patent to Marvel. After the meeting, Marvel began marketing a “Web Blaster” toy, the features of which were covered by Kimble’s patent. Kimble sued Marvel in 1997 primarily alleging patent infringement. The parties settled and within their settlement agreement, Marvel agreed to purchase Kimble’s patent for a sum of about $500,000 with a three percent royalty on future sales of that product or any other similar Marvel product. No end date was
set for the royalties, presumably to continue “for as long as kids want to imitate Spider-man (by doing whatever a spider can).”‘

View PDF – Curtis – Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC

Cambridge Univ. Press v. Patton 769 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2014

By Victor Ng

On August l1th and 12th, 2010, the district court ordered the
plaintiffs to provide a list of alleged infringements by the defendants after the enforcement of the 2009 Policy. On August 20, 2010, plaintiffs provided a list of 126 instances of alleged copyright infringement. The court however, denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the claims of contributory infringement, but granted summary judgment for the claims of direct and vicarious infringement. The plaintiffs then filed for a motion for partial reconsideration. The defendants filed for dismissal of
the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint due to lack of subject matter

View PDF – Ng – Cambridge Univ. Press v. Patton

Petrela v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. 134 S. Ct. 1962 (2014)

By Brandon Welch

In 1980, MGM registered for copyright protection for the film, Raging Bull. However, upon Frank Petrella’s death during the initial copyright term in 1981, renewal rights passed to his heir, Petitioner Paula Petrella. In 1991, the petitioner renewed her copyrights in the 1963 screenplay, becoming its sole owner. In 1998, petitioner warned MGM that the exploitation of any derivative work, including Raging Bull, infringed on her copyright in the 1963 screenplay.

Starkey v. G Adventures, Inc. 796 F.3d 193 (2d Cir. 2015)

By Andrea Lovrincevic

Plaintiff Elizabeth Starkey brought a civil action against defendant G Adventures Inc., alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a crewmember while on vacation in the Galapagos Islands.1 Starkey filed a negligence suit when she returned to the United States and claimed that G Adventures was liable for damages.2 G Adventures moved for dismissal of the suit, contending that Starkey brought suit in the wrong forum. Thus, the issue for that court was whether Starkey was bound to the forum selection clause in the terms and conditions of her contract with G Adventures, sent to Starkey before the trip.

View PDF- Lovrincevic – Starkey v. G Adventures, Inc.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc. 153 S. Ct. 831 (2015)

By Rahul Devnani

The case debated the validity of a patent application submitted by Teva, regarding the scientific meaning of “molecular weight.” Teva submitted a patent application for Copaxone stating that the active ingredient in Copaxone had a molecular weight between five and nine kilodaltons. Following the successful sale of Copaxone, Sandoz attempted to produce and market a generic version of the drug. In response, Teva brought suit against Sandoz alleging patent infringement. Sandoz argued that it did not infringe on Teva’s Copaxone patent rights, because the patent was invalid for not meeting the appropriate specifications set out by the Patent Act. Sandoz argued that the term “molecular weight” was ambiguous due to the fact that there are various methods of calculating the molecular weight of an atom; therefore, the patent did not satisfy the requirement to clearly state the exact methodology that distinguishes this invention from others. Sandoz explained that there are three different methods of calculating molecular weight: (1) peak average molecular weight, (2) number average molecular weight, and (3) weight average molecular weight. Experts explained the methodology behind each measurement approach. Sandoz concluded that since Teva did not identify the specific methodology used to calculate the molecular weight of Copaxone, the patent should be considered invalid.

View PDF – Devnani – Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.