The Latest From Kinney and Lange


■ Andrew R. Swanson In Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, 135 S.Ct. 907 (2015), a unanimous Supreme Court held that the determination of whether two trademarks may be “tacked” for the purpose of determining priority is a question for the jury.   Prior to Hana, circuit courts were split as to whether tacking was a question of law for the judge, or a question of fact for the jury. While the Court determined that the jury is in the best position to determine if the tacking doctrine applies, the Court did leave open the judge’s ability to determine the tacking...


■ Andrew W. Werner On March 24, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court decided in B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., 575 U.S. ___ (2015); holding that when trademark usages adjudicated by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) are materially the same as those before a district court, issue preclusion should apply so long as the other ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met. B&B Hardware stems from a 1996 trademark registration by Hargis Industries, Inc. (“Hargis”) for the SEALTITE mark for “self-piercing and self-drilling metal screws for use in the manufacture of metal and post-frame buildings.” B&B Hardware,...

Kinney & Lange Named as a Top Patent Firm

Kinney & Lange was named as a top patent firm in 2015 by Intellectual Property Today. The rankings were based on the number of US utility applications issued in 2014 where the law firm was listed as the legal representative on the issued patent.

K&L Associates Support Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

Kinney & Lange is proud to announce over 90% participation in the Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid “One Hour of Sharing Associates’ Campaign for The Fund for Legal Aid.” The campaign encourages members of the legal community to make a donation equal to one billable hour. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is an organization that provides free legal services to people with low income and seniors in our twenty-county service area and people with disabilities statewide.

Kinney & Lange Announces New Shareholder

Kinney & Lange congratulates Matt DeRuyter on becoming a new shareholder. Matt has been an associate with Kinney & Lange since 2007.

Recent Patents | Newsletter Vol 7, Issue 1

Kinney & Lange P.A. files hundreds of new patent applications each year in a wide variety of technology areas. Below are a few recently issued U.S. patents for which the firm is listed as the legal representative.   8,856,708 “Multi-tier Field-Programmable Gate Array Hardware Requirements Assessment and Verification for Airborne Electronic Systems” 8,852,233 “Apparatus for the Correction of Skeletal Deformities” 8,812,253 “Fluid Flow Measurement with Phase-based Diagnostics” 8,884,606 “Inverted Magnetic Isolator” 8,843,348 “Engine Noise Monitoring as Engine Health Management Tool” 8,872,522 “Frequency Based Fault Detection”

SEMINAR RECAP | Newsletter Vol 7, Issue 1

Kinney & Lange held its annual Seminar on June 13, 2014 in Minneapolis, entitled “Intellectual Property: Advanced Topics for Businesses in a Changing Legal Landscape”. The Seminar covered a wide range of topics, including various intellectual property law developments at the U.S. Supreme Court, a contemporary discussion of patent trolls, and a guest panel discussion on the topics of post grant proceedings in the U.S. and opposition proceedings in Europe. A special thank you to our in-house counsel panel, pictured above from left to right, Carolyn Eckart, IP Counsel at St. Jude Medical; Andrew DeMaster, IP Counsel at The Valspar Corporation;...


■ Nicholas J. Peterka On November 6, the Federal Trade Commission and MPHJ Technology Investments LLC agreed to settle FTC charges alleging MPHJ used deceptive practices and phony legal threats. The settlement prevents MPHJ and its law firm, Farney Daniels, P.C., from making deceptive representations when asserting its patent rights, with further deceptive conduct bringing with it a penalty of up to $16,000 per misrepresentation. The settlement comes on the heels of a September ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss a suit filed by MPHJ against the FTC. The suit, which was...


■ Wendy M. Bratten In a September decision out of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, music group The Turtles triumphed over Sirius XM Radio, Inc., the largest radio broadcaster in America. Flo & Eddie, Inc., owned by founding members of The Turtles, filed a class action suit against Sirius alleging $100 million dollars in unpaid royalties for performance of pre-1972 recordings, including The Turtles’ chart-topping song “Happy Together.” At issue in the case was whether ownership of pre-1972 sound recordings includes the exclusive right to publicly perform the recording. The court granted...


■ Thea E. Reilkoff On June 19, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International, No. 13-2988 (U.S., June 19, 2014), holding all claims in patents for a computer-implemented scheme for mitigating settlement risk invalid as drawn to an abstract idea, ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. §101. The Court revisited prior case law to reaffirm that a generic computer and generic instructions are insufficient to transform an abstract idea into a patent eligible invention, but declined to further define the contours of what constitutes an abstract idea. Notably, the Court solidified...