Trademark Modernization Act of 2020 Provides New Tools for Removing Deadwood Trademark Registrations from the Trademark Register

Under US law, to obtain a trademark registration, an Applicant must demonstrate a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in trademark applications that falsely claim a bona fide use in trade. As a result, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has been issuing and maintaining registrations for trademarks that should never have issued. When such fraudulent registrations remain on the Trademark Register, they block the legitimate efforts of businesses to launch new trademarks into the ... Read More ›

Advice from Ben Franklin on Choosing Patent Terms

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is a catch phrase well known and of ancient origin. Benjamin Franklin even had a wry turn at it in Poor Richard's Almanack, 1741: “Beauty, like supreme dominion is but supported by opinion.”  As it turns out, however, in the opinion of the District Court of Delaware, “beauty,” or in this case, enhancement of the skin is not a term one ought to have in their patent claims, because that which relies on opinion is indefinite in the eyes of the court. Univ. of Mass. and Carmel Labs., LLC v. L’Oréal Inc., D.Del. (April 21, 2021).

University of ... Read More ›

Posted in: Patents

EagleView Techs., Inc. v. Xactware Solutions: A Cautionary Tale

A recent opinion issued by a federal court in the District of New Jersey provides a cautionary tale regarding patent infringement cases. In EagleView Techs., Inc. v. Xactware Solutions, Inc., plaintiff, EagleView filed a motion for enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees. The Court granted enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees, excluding those associated with the pretrial phase. The basis for this judgement follows.

Enhanced Damages

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284, the court may increase damages up to three times the amount found. Enhanced damages serve as a punitive sanction for ... Read More ›

Posted in: Patents

Using Opinions of Counsel as a Budgeting Tool

The ongoing pandemic has wreaked uncertainty for many businesses. Forecasting expenses and costs, especially in the research and development areas, has become more difficult. In the intellectual property world, opinions of counsel on patentability, infringement, clearance, and validity are often overlooked as tools to control budgets and forecast spending. While each of these opinions will necessarily require upfront costs, the information they provide often yields tangible cost savings resulting from a more focused research and development effort. This article ... Read More ›

Posted in: Patents

In Celebration of Earth Day: How Trademark Law Helps The Environment

IOn Earth Day, environmentalists all over the world encourage society to reduce its collective carbon footprint. A popular way of generating less waste is “upcycling,” or the practice of taking something no longer being used and giving it new life. Upcycling often increases the value of the object; take, for example, Stuart Haygarth’s chandeliers made entirely from spectacles found on beaches - one sold at auction in 2008 for £36,500.

Upcycling is also at the heart of a recent decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In Hamilton International v ... Read More ›

Uniswap v3 Employs a ‘New’ License Agreement to Stake Copycat Vampire Attacks

There are an ever increasing number of developments being made on the Ethereum blockchain. Those closely following these developments may be aware of Uniswap’s announcement about its upcoming release of its V3 protocol on the Ethereum mainnet in May.

Uniswap is a DEX or decentralized exchange application for cryptocurrencies and tokens. Like most decentralized financial (DeFi) protocols, Uniswap runs on fully open-source software which utilize smart contracts on Ethereum’s blockchain. Being decentralized, Uniswap protocols are voted on by users of the platform, and ... Read More ›

Posted in: Copyrights

Are You Maintaining Privilege When Using Zoom?

Generally, many U.S. jurisdictions protect confidential communications between attorneys and their clients—attorneys and their clients cannot be forced to testify to these confidential communications and only the client can waive this privilege, unless the privilege is broken by some other event. Attorney-client privilege is broken when the confidential communication is shared with a third party, unless the third party is indispensable to the lawyer giving legal advice or facilitates in the lawyer giving legal advice (e.g., a client’s accountant present when the ... Read More ›

Supreme Court Google-Oracle Ruling: The Highlights

After more than a decade of litigation, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded that Google’s use of Oracle’s software code was fair use.

The dispute centered on use of Oracle’s Java programming language’s application programming interfaces (APIs) and source code, which was used in early versions of Google’s Android operating system. Oracle sued Google, arguing that the APIs were copyrightable. In response, Google asserted a defense of fair use.

Below we share the highlights from the Court’s long-awaited opinion.

A Victory for Fair Use

The Court found in ... Read More ›

Posted in: IP Litigation

Federal Circuit Invalidates Means-Plus-Function Claims for Computer-Implemented Inventions

Functional claim language—which defines an invention by what it does rather than what it is—can be a powerful claim drafting tool when used carefully. For example, functional language may be advantageous for computer-implemented inventions that are characterized with reference to logical components instead of physical hardware. 35 U.S.C. § 112(f) (formerly § 112¶ 6) expressly permits the use of functional claiming and is traditionally invoked by the phrase “means for” followed by a functional modifier. But even when the term “means” is not used, other terms that ... Read More ›

Posted in: Patents

Protection By Design: An Often Under-Utilized Tool

Design patent protection is an under-utilized tool that can provide fifteen (15) or more years of protection at a fairly reasonable cost for the new and non-obvious ornamental appearance of different Articles, which can vary from consumer and industrial products to computer icons.  Once a design patent is issued, one study has shown that design patents provide a higher probability for obtaining an infringement verdict and a substantially lower chance of being found invalid than utility patents.  Accordingly, where appearance distinguishes a product from others in the ... Read More ›

Posted in: Patents

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