Intellectual Property Law & Consumer Class Actions
Abington Cole's patent lawyers serve Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding areas, and Wichita, Kansas and surrounding areas. The patent attorneys at Abington Cole can help you perform patent searches, prepare and file patent applications, prepare and file trademark applications, submit copyrighted materials to the Library of Congress Copyright Office, and protect trade secrets.
Whether you are an individual inventor, a small business, or a company with an established intellectual property portfolio, we will work to tailor a relationship that fits your particular needs.
Abington Cole's class action lawyers continuously investigate and prosecute various companies on behalf of consumers throughout the United States by attacking practices that defraud or take advantage of consumers. Recent class action successes include lawsuits against Sony Corporation and Samsung Electronics that resulted in settlements and recoveries for consumers valued at between $15-30 million and $10-20 million respectively.
Monday, May 13, 2013
In BOWMAN v. MONSANTO CO. ET AL., the Supreme Court found that patent exhaustion does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission. Under the patent exhaustion doctrine, “the initial authorized sale of a patented article terminates all patent rights to that item,” Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., 553 U. S. 617, 625, and confers on the purchaser, or any subsequent owner, “the right to use [or] sell” the thing as he sees fit, United States v. Univis Lens Co., 316 U. S. 241, 249–250. However, the doctrine restricts the patentee’s rights only as to the “particular article” sold, id., at 251; it leaves untouched the patentee’s ability to prevent a buyer from making new copies of the patented item. By planting and harvesting Monsanto’s patented seeds, Bowman made additional copies of Monsanto’s pa- tented invention, and his conduct thus falls outside the protections of patent exhaustion.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
In IN RE: TIMOTHY OWENS, the Federal Circuit found that in a design application, unclaimed boundary lines typically should satisfy the written description requirement only if they make explicit a boundary that already exists, but was unclaimed, in the original disclosure.
Monday, February 11, 2013
In SEMICONDUCTOR ENERGY LABORATORY CO. v. NAGATA, the Federal Circuit ruled that Federal jurisprudence does not recognize an affirmative cause of action based on violation of the assignor estoppel doctrine, and district court did not err in dismissing complaint alleging violation of federal patent law against co-inventor who assigned rights to plaintiff for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, or in declining supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
In INTERDIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS V. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION, the Federal Circuit ruled that under the clear intent of Congress and the most natural reading of the 1988 amendment, section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 makes relief available to a party that has a substantial investment in exploitation of a patent through either engineering, research and development, or licensing. It is not necessary that the party manufacture the product that is protected by the patent, and it is not necessary that any other domestic party manufacture the protected article. As long as the patent covers the article that is the subject of the exclusion proceeding, and as long as the party seeking relief can show that it has a sufficiently substantial investment in the exploitation of the intellectual property to satisfy the domestic industry requirement of the statute, that party is entitled to seek relief under section 337.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
In EPLUS, INC., v. LAWSON SOFTWARE, INC., a suit for infringement of a patent directed to a method for a system that enables businesses and organizations to use computer networks to purchase goods online, the Federal Circuit found that, even though not addressed at trial (addressed in a motion for summary judgment), when arguments with respect to indefiniteness are not being raised for the first time on appeal, there is no waiver.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
In FLO HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS v. UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE, the Federal Circuit found that the generic term "mechanism" standing alone may connote no more structure than the term "means." However, the court held that "height adjustment mechanism" in common parlance, reasonably imparts sufficient structure so that the presumption against means-plus-function treatment is not overcome.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Ninth Circuit, in CIOLINO v. FRANK, the district court's orders granting final approval to a class action settlement between Hewlett-Packard Company and a nationwide class of consumers who purchased certain HP inkjet printers, and awarding attorneys' fees, was reversed and remanded, where: 1) the attorneys' fee award to class counsel violated the section 1712 of the Class Action Fairness Act because when a settlement provides for coupon relief, either in whole or in part, any attorneys' fee that is "attributable to the award of coupons" must be calculated using the redemption value of the coupons; and here, 2) the district court awarded fees that were attributable to the coupon relief, but failed to first calculate the redemption value of those coupons.
Monday, April 15, 2013
The Ninth Circuit, in SAMS V. YAHOO! INC., affirmed the dismissal of putative class claims that Yahoo! Inc., a network service provider, violated the Stored Communications Act when it disclosed subscriber information to the government pursuant to allegedly invalid subpoenas. The panel held that Yahoo! was immune from suit under 18 U.S.C. § 2707(e) because it produced the requested documents in good faith reliance on grand jury subpoenas. The panel held that the good faith defense is met when the defendant complies with a subpoena that appears valid on its face, in the absence of any indication of irregularity sufficient to put the defendant on notice that the subpoena may be invalid or contrary to applicable law. A defendant may not benefit from the defense, however, if the defendant actually knew that the subpoena was invalid under the applicable law.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The Supreme Court, in STANDARD FIRE INSURANCE CO. v. KNOWLES, found that Plaintiff's stipulation that he and the class would seek less than $5 million in damages does not defeat federal jurisdiction under CAFA. The precertification stipulation can tie Plaintiff’s hands because stipulations are binding on the party who makes them, but the stipulation does not speak for those that Plaintiff purports to represent, for a plaintiff who files a proposed class action cannot legally bind members of the proposed class before the class is certified.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
To recover damages in a private securities-fraud action under §10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b–5, a plaintiff must prove, among other things, reliance on a material misrepresentation or omission made by the defendant. The Supreme Court, in AMGEN INC. ET AL. v. CONNECTICUT RETIREMENT PLANS AND TRUST FUNDS, held that although required to prevail on the merits, proof of materiality is not a prerequisite to certification of a securities-fraud class action seeking money damages for alleged violations of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b–5. The Court rejected defendant's argument that plaintiff was required to prove the materiality of defendant's alleged misrepresentations and omissions before class certification in order to satisfy Rule 23(b)(3)’s requirement that “questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.”
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The Second Circuit, in PURDUE PHARMA L.P. v. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, held in a petition for leave to appeal the district court's remand order in case by Kentucky Attorney General against defendant for misleading health care providers, consumers, and government officials regarding the risks of addiction associated with the prescription drug OxyContin, petition is denied, where: 1) parens patriae suits brought by state attorneys are not removable as "class actions" under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005; thus, 2) federal jurisdiction does not exist to hear this case; and 3) the case was properly remanded.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Supreme Court, in UNITED STATES v. BORMES, found an attorney's putative class action against the United States seeking damages under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as under the Little Tucker Act, alleging that the electronic receipt he received when paying his client's federal-court filing fee on Pay.gov included the last four digits of his credit card number and the card's expiration date, in willful violation of the FCRA, the judgment of the Federal Circuit reversing the district court's dismissal of the suit, is vacated and remanded where: 1) the Little Tucker Act does not waive the government's sovereign immunity with respect to FCRA damages actions; and 2) where, as in FCRA, a statute contains its own self-executing remedial scheme, only its own text can determine whether Congress unequivocally intended to impose the statute's damages liability on the Federal Government.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
The Ninth Circuit, in CHESBRO v. BEST BUY, reversed the dismissal of a class action against Best Buy that alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and the Washington Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Act. The Ninth Circuit found Best Buy's calls, although informational in nature, were aimed at encouraging listeners to engage in future commercial transactions with Best Buy to purchase its goods. The calls constituted unsolicited advertisements, telephone solicitations, and telemarketing, and were prohibited by the TCPA and the WADAD.
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