Slep-Tone Entertainment had a nation-wide campaign suing small bars that offered karaoke entertainment alleging violation of Slep-Tone’s trademark rights. At the time that Steve represented Canton Phoenix, a Chinese restaurant and bar located in bar Tigard, Oregon, Slep-Tone had filed some 150 lawsuits across the country. Steve recognized a fatal flaw common to all of these lawsuits. Slep-Tone purported to state a claim for trademark infringement, when the actual alleged wrong sounded in copyright. Under the Supreme Court’s opinion in Dastar Corp. v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 539 U.S. 23 (2003), the trademark law cannot be expanded to cover wrongs sounding in copyright. Steve was the first lawyer in the United States to successfully defeat Slep-Tone on these grounds and obtained a dismissal for his client that was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.
A local Portland musician created a YouTube video titled “What Pi Sounds Like.” His work assigned numbers to each note of a musical scale and constructed a melody by playing the notes in the order of the digits of pi. He was sued by Lars Erickson who had taken the same approach to create the “Pi Symphony” which Mr. Erickson copyrighted in 1992. Mr. Erickson sued Mr. Blake for copyright infringement. Steve obtained a dismissal for failure to state a claim for Mr. Blake because a copyright only protects an expression—not the idea behind the expression. Both Mr. Erickson and Mr. Blake used the same idea to create their works, but any similarity between the works was based on the idea, not the expression. CNN and the Wall Street Journal have each written stories about Mr. Blake’s case.
Dr. Frank Buckley obtained a patent for an air fairing for trucks in 1981. He asserted his patent against a dozen different defendants in six different lawsuits over 25 years. However, Steve recognized that Dr. Buckley’s patent was invalid. On behalf of Freightliner Steve filed a summary judgment motion in the District of Maryland and the court ruled that Dr. Buckley’s patent was invalid.
Erickson sued Helicopter Transport Services for infringement of a patent for a method and apparatus for a fire-fighting helicopter to pick up water. In the process of investigating the case, Steve identified major anti-trust claims against Erickson. The anti-trust claims were asserted against Erickson with a very successful result, and the patent claims were dismissed.
Boydstun Equipment Manufacturing, LLC v. Cottrell, Inc., 16-cv-790 (D. Or.). Patent non-infringement and anti-trust action concerning commercial car carriers.
Trailers Intl. v. Mastercraft Tools, 15-cv-171 (D. Or.). Trademark, copyright, and counterfeiting action concerning utility trailers.
Webb v. Marlon Recreational, 15-cv-2380 (D. Or.). Trademark and unfair competition action concerning utility trailers.
Webb v. Changzhou Nanxiashu Tool Co., 11-cv-747 (D. Or.). Contempt of court for violation of a permanent injunction related to importation of utility trailers.
Nike, Inc. v. Enter Play Sports, Inc., 14-cv-1104 (D. Or.). Breakdown of a settlement in a patent litigation concerning braiding patterns.
Slep-Tone Entertainment v. Canton Phoenix Inc., 3:14-cv-764, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159390 (D. Or.), aff’d690 Fed. Appx. 937 (9th Cir. 2017). Trademark infringement action concerning public performance of karaoke music.
Prime Factors v. Protegrity USA, 6:14-cv-476 (D. Or.). Patent infringement action concerning data security.
Carol Wilson Fine Arts v. Zifen Qian, Case No. 3:14-cv-587 (D. Or.). Copyright infringement action concerning paintings created as work made for hire.
Memory Integrity v. Amazon, Case No. 1:13-cv-1795 (D. Del.). Patent infringement involving multi-core processing.
Hawk Technology v. Universal City Dev. Partners, Case. No. 6:14-cv-137 (M.D. Fla.). Patent infringement litigation involving surveillance camera systems.
Hawk Technology v. Costco, Case No. 0:14-cv-60164 (S.D. Fla.). Patent infringement litigation involving surveillance camera systems.
Appointed Special Master, Apantac, LLC v. Avitech Int’l., Case No. 3:11-cv-1507-BR (D. Or.). Appointed to facilitate and resolve all discovery issues.
Furuno v. Garmin et al., Case No. 3:13-cv-1683 (D. Or.). Patent infringement action concerning marine navigation equipment.
Slep-Tone Entertainment v. Shea Family Corp., Case No. 3:13-cv-862 (D. Or.). Trademark infringement action concerning public performance of karaoke music.
Slep-Tone Entertainment v. Duffy’s Irish Pub., Case No. 6:13-cv-560 (D. Or.). Trademark infringement action concerning public performance of karaoke music.
e-Watch v. Avigilon Corp., Case No. 4:13-cv-347 (S.D. Tx.). Patent infringement litigation involving surveillance camera systems.
Wellogix v. SAP, Appeal 2013-5566 (PTAB). Appeal of Inter Partes Review involving workflow patents.
Wellogix v. SAP, Appeal No. 2013-5115 (PTAB). Appeal of Inter Partes Review involving workflow patents.
Avigilon Corp. v. Hawk Technology, Case No. 1:12-cv-23009 (S.D. Fla.). Patent infringement litigation involving surveillance camera systems.
Canatelo v. Avigilon Corp., Case No. 3:12-cv-1431 (D. P.R.). Patent infringement litigation involving surveillance camera systems.
Positive Technologies v. Amazon, Case No. 3:11-cv-02226 (N.D. Cal.). Patent infringement litigation involving liquid crystal and electrophoretic display technology.
Proxyconn v. Microsoft, Dell, Acer, and Hewlett Packard, Case No. 8:11-cv-01681 (C.D. Cal). Patent infringement litigation concerning file synchronization technology.
Erickson v. Blake, 839 F. Supp. 2d 1132 (D. Or.). Copyright infringement action concerning musical works based on the mathematical constant Pi.
Raute v. Ventek, Case No. 2:11-cv-02158 (W.D. Wash.). Patent infringement litigation regarding wood veneer sorters.
Whitewater v. Iplayco, Case No. 3:11-cv-00349 (D. Or.). Patent infringement litigation concerning indoor playground equipment.
RB Rubber v. ECORE, Case No. 3:11-cv-00319 (D. Or.). Patent infringement litigation concerning flooring.
DSF Advanced Staffing v. Advantage Staffing, Case No. 1:11-cv-0087 (E.D. Tex). Trademark litigation.
In re Sharp, No. 2009-010968 (B.P.A.I. May 14, 2010). BPAI appeal concerning a patent application regarding audio file downloads.
SAP America, Inc. v. Wellogix, Inc., Case No. 4:10-cv-01224 (S.D. Tex.). Patent infringement litigation involving project management software.
UFA Holdings v. The Performance Acquisition Group, Case No. 3:10-cv-00639 (D. Or.). Trademark infringement litigation concerning the G.I. Joe’s marks.
Adjustacam v. Amazon, Case No. 6:10-cv-00329 (E.D. Tex.). Patent infringement litigation.
Digimarc Corp. v. Shazam Entertainment, Ltd., Case No. 3:09-cv-01355 (D. Or.). Patent infringement litigation involving digital content identification technology.
Arbitron Inc. v. Digimarc Corp., Case No. 1:09-cv-00604 (D. Del.). Patent infringement litigation involving digital watermarking.
Autoland, Inc. v. Sponsler, Case No. 3:09-cv-01069 (D. Or.). Trade secret litigation.
CollegeNET v. MarketLinx, Case No. 1:09-cv-00544 (W.D. Tex.). Patent infringement litigation concerning automated messaging in response to newly received information.
Crimson Trace v. LaserMax, Case No. 3:09-cv-00057 (D. Or.). Patent infringement litigation involving laser aiming guides for handguns.
Modular Foods v. Applied Nutrition, private arbitration. A patent license dispute concerning medical foods.
State of Oregon v. Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, Interference No. 105,557 (BPAI). Patent interference concerning trans 9,10-dehydroepothilone D.
Mag Instrument, Inc. v. Wilmar Corp., Case No. 2:08-cv-02779 (C.D. Cal.). Trademark infringement litigation concerning flashlights.
Nautilus, Inc. v. Yongkang Star Fitness Equipment Co., Case No. 2:08-cv-00755 (D. Nev.). Design patent litigation concerning Nautilus’ SelectTech® dumbbells.
Anascape v. Microsoft, Case No. 9:06-cv-00158 (E.D. Tex.). Patent litigation involving video game hand controllers.
Taylor v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 4:07-cv-00200 (E.D. Tex.). Patent litigation concerning techniques for compiling software.
Boydstun Metal Works, Inc. v. Cottrel, Inc., Case Nos. 3:06-cv-00500, 3:06-cv-01406 (D. Or.). Patent litigation involving screw actuators and tie-down straps for automobile transporters.
Erickson Air-Crane v. Helicopter Transport Services, Case No. 3:06-cv-00473 (D. Or.). Patent litigation regarding helicopter fire fighting equipment.
CollegeNET v. XAP, Case No. 3:03-cv-01229 (D. Or.). Patent and unfair litigation competition.
Research Corporation Technologies, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., Case No. 4:01-cv-00658 (D. Ariz.); 536 F.3d 1247; 627 F.3d 859. Patent litigation concerning halftoning technology.
Buckley v. Freightliner LLC, Case No. 8:97-cv-03425 (D. Md.). Patent litigation involving air fairings for trucks.
Wenner v. Texas Lottery Comm’n, 123 F.3d 321 (5th Cir. 1997). Breach of contract action involving a $10,000,000 winning lottery ticket that Texas refused to pay.