Ramey & Browning filed a patent infringement case against the Microsoft Corporation on May 22, 2014 on behalf of the firm client BioControl, LLC alleging infringement of claims of US Pat. No. 5,647,834 encompassing technology related to video games that are able to recognize emotions of the game player. The lawsuit accuses the Xbox One of infringement.
Ramey & Browning client Texas Children’s Hospital prevailed on Friday against U.T. Physicians and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in its bid to prevent the trademark registration of Texas Fetal Center citing confusion with its trademark on Texas Children’s Fetal Center in Opposition No. 91/207,428. U.T. Physicians et al voluntarily abandoned their attempted registration of Texas Fetal Center terminating the Opposition in favor of Texas Children’s hospital. William Ramey of Ramey & Browning was lead counsel for Texas Children’s Hospital and quoted as saying, “The Opposition terminating in favor of Texas Children’s Hospital is a good result as it will prevent any patient confusion between the names.”
Ramey & Browning, PLLC is a full-service Intellectual Property and trial law firm located in the Museum District, just outside of downtown Houston.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has revised its patent-related fees. The USPTO’s fees can be viewed online.
Patent litigation often includes the presenting to the presiding judge from each party a technology tutorial. A technology tutorial should be non-argumentative and is used to explain the relevant technology. Sometimes a judge will only want a CD of the tutorials, other times a judge may also have each party orally present the tutorial in court and answer questions the judge may have regarding the technology.
On May 5, 2014, Judge Peca of the 205th Judicial District of Texas, Culberson County, in case no. 5049, denied Defendant Gerard Pallotta’s Special Appearance, thereby ordering him to appear and answer the allegations made against him by Grand River Capital and Thomas Dans concerning theft of trade secrets,breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, and quantum meruit related to certain pecan investments and pecan orchards in West Texas. Bill Ramey was “pleased for his client and hopeful that justice can be obtained in the near future. Defendants are not shielded for the wrongful acts they commit simply because they purportedly acted on a corporation’s behalf or as an officer of the corporation.” The case is currently in discovery.
On April 17, 2014, the team at Ramey & Browning successfully defeated Scottsdale Insurance Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment seeking to be dismissed on policy coverage grounds in Lozano et al. v. Bank of America et al., Cause No. 2013-45238, pending in the 80th Judicial District Court of Harris County. The issue related to whether a purported policy exclusion applied to a water leak from an adjoining property. The language in the purported exclusion included the phrase “accidental discharge, leakage or overflow” of water. The case is currently set for trial on June 2, 2014.
Texas has a statute that describes property rights in an individual’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness after that person’s death. The statute is Property Code Chapter 26 and is also known as “the Buddy Holly Bill.” The chapter includes sections on unauthorized uses (§ 26.011) and permitted uses (§ 26.012).
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court in Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health and Fitness, Inc., reversed the Federal Circuit as to the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in patent cases and defined what makes an exceptional case. The Court held “that an ‘exceptional’ case is simply one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position (considering both the governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated.
It is unlikely this change will result in a watershed of awards of attorneys fees as the case must still be exceptional. Aside from the presently pending House legislation, US courts have been reluctant to find cases exceptional and thereby award attorneys’ fees. The Supreme Court’s decision simply refocused patent cases on the totality of the circumstances and gave broader discretion to the District Court.
That same day, in Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Mgmt. Sys., Inc., the Supreme Court held “that an appellate court should apply an abuse-of-discretion standard in reviewing all aspects of a district court’s attorneys’ fee decision, i.e., its § 285 determination. Therefore, district court’s will be judged on an application of the facts to the law and therefore, except in cases where the litigant was unreasonable in its litigation conduct, the award of attorneys’ fees is still unlikely.
In the U.S., the most significant source of copyright law is the federal Copyright Act, which is available online.