Manatt Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Partner Irah Donner’s recent case summaries were featured in AnyLaw’s February 2022 newsletter.
In “Google’s Copying of APIs Held Transformative and Fair Use,” Donner addressed Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc., where the court concluded that Google’s copying of Oracle’s Java application programming interface naming convention was a fair use as a matter of law. “The Court continues to limit or erode the reach of intellectual property protections for inventions,” Donner commented, “seeming to be overly biased in favor of competition at the potential cost of discouraging or limiting innovation.”
Donner explained the Supreme Court's holding in Allen v. Cooper in “Supreme Court: States Generally Immune From Copyright Infringement,” which stated that the copyright clause in the U.S. Constitution—as well as Congress’ authority to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause—did not authorize Congress to abrogate states’ Eleventh Amendment immunity from copyright infringement. “Keep in mind, however, that while states may currently be immune from copyright infringement, third parties that may be working for states are not immune from suit,” Donner noted.
In “Supreme Court: PTAB Judges Unconstitutionally Appointed; Court Gives Director Supervisory Authority” Donner analyzed the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., which stated in that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board administrative patent judges are unconstitutionally appointed. He added, however, that the Court resolved this issue by making PTAB determinations reviewable by the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “The Court essentially redrafted the statute to require that a party have the opportunity to petition the Director to reconsider, modify or set aside a PTAB Final Written Decision at the conclusion of each inter partes review,” he concluded.