From the courts to the halls of Congress, our latest special report delves deep into the latest developments in intellectual property law — including an examination of the controversial joint infringement rulings that have divided the Federal Circuit, a look at a case that could restore copyrights to foreign works and how reform legislation could shake up challenges to new patents.
 
Sharp divisions over joint infringement
What appeared to be settled law on joint infringement in patent cases has shifted dramatically in recent years. A series of Federal Circuit decisions beginning in 2007 has addressed situations when more than one person performs the steps of a patented process. In those situations, joint patent infringement exists only if one person or company controls the entire process, the court has ruled.
 
Restoring copyright to foreign public-domain works
Does Congress have the power to “restore” copyright protection to public-domain works? The U.S. Supreme Court will shortly consider the question in Golan v. Holder, the first case since Eldred v. Ashcroft to address the constitutional limits on Congress’ power to expand copyright protection.
 
Reform law would allow for quick challenges to patents
To improve the quality of patents in the United States, both houses of Congress have undertaken efforts to reform U.S. patent law, and so far one clear message emerges — companies should challenge poor-quality or potentially threatening patents and applications earlier.
 
Mixed standards for preliminary injunctions in IP cases after eBay
District courts have inconsistently applied the eBay patent standard in trademark and copyright cases.
 
ITC has become a more attractive forum for nonpracticing entities
In order to have standing, they need to show a licensing program that will likely establish a domestic industry; litigation expenses are not enough.
 
Can your camera make you an infringer?
Whether a digital photograph of an existing artwork constitutes a derivative work remains an open question.
 
International retail licensing in the digital age
Retailers should be aware that IP laws and related regulations as applied to licensing, franchising, sales and marketing are increasingly complex and divergent.

When a system is used, who is responsible for the ‘use’?
The Federal Circuit in Centillion found that “use” requires a party to exercise control over each element of the system.
 
Timing traps in European design laws
If certain filings and disclosures are not made and timed properly, potential design rights could be lost.
 
Estoppel effects of re-exams on joint defendants
If one member of a joint defense group requests inter partes re-examination, will nonrequesting members be subject to estoppel?