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Timely updates and interesting insight on patent, trademark, and copyright law.

Viewing posts in "Intellectual Property".

USPTO Announces New Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched a new “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” on July 2, 2020. The Program allows for expedited resolution of ex parte appeals in US patent application prosecutions. The Program serves as an extension of the “Track One” prioritized examination program and is intended to provide applicants with another opportunity to expedite US patent prosecution.

USPTO Again Extends CARES Act Relief for Small and Micro Entities

Prior USPTO CARES Act extensions waived certain fees and deadlines up until July 1, 2020. With the July 1, 2020 date looming and the need for relief remaining at a high level, today (June 29, 2020) the USPTO further extended the time for small and micro entities to pay certain patent-related fees that would otherwise have been due on or after March 27, 2020.

New USPTO IP Marketplace for COVID-19 Technologies

Yesterday, May 4, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) took a surprising leap into commercialization of patented and patent pending technologies, unveiling a web-based marketplace platform for intellectual property (IP).

Update to the Extension of Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines Due to COVID-19

Yesterday, April 28, 2020, pursuant to the temporary authority provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced further extensions to the time allowed for filing certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. This new Notice supersedes the prior Notice published on March 31, 2020.

Drone Wrangling: FAA rules regulating robots in the wild blue are in effect!

Drones have cruised their way into our everyday lives. Real estate, law enforcement, photographers, and hobbyists have all found the unmanned aerial vehicles to be useful and interesting. However, some have found drones to be a bit of a nuisance: airport control operators in particular. In June, the FAA issued a set of rules for regulation of small unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and their operation/flight. These rules became effective on August 29, 2016.

Will Spirit Earn Its “Stairway to Heaven”?

A debate has raged for years as to whether the infamous English rock band Led Zeppelin in its guitar intro to “Stairway to Heaven” infringed the copyright of the song “Taurus” by the American rock band Spirit. It has been alleged that Jimmy Page borrowed the descending guitar line from “Taurus” for Led Zeppelin’s signature song “Stairway to Heaven”.

Trademark Madness

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is full of well-known trademarks. The NCAA hits its viewers over and over with “March Madness,” “Sweet 16,” “Elite 8,” “Final Four,” and “Big Dance,” like a skilled point guard dropping dimes.

A Tribute to Metallica

The members of a Metallica tribute band, Sandman, received an unusual surprise when they showed up recently to play a show at FitzRays, in London, Ontario. A 41-page cease-and-desist letter was waiting for them the moment they arrived. The letter, sent by a Metallica attorney, demanded that the band, which bills itself as “Canada’s Number One Tribute to Metallica,” stop using the Metallica name and the following logo:

This Date in Patent History

On a cold winter day it’s interesting to learn that on January 14, 1918, T.J. La Cras of Toronto, Canada filed a patent application for an “Antislip Device for Crutch-Tips.” From a review of the patent, it appears to be snow-chains for the rubber element on the bottom of a crutch.

What Town will Santa Visit in 2016?

Due to the numerous changes in copyright law over the years since the song was written in November of 1934, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” has taken quite the winding path “to town.”

Do Fee-Based Daily Fantasy-Sports Pay Off?

Daily fantasy sports operators have been on the offensive recently, aggressively growing the popularity of their services. But they have also been defending their turf against potential regulation and a growing number of intellectual property lawsuits. So, what is the scoreboard ultimately showing for these companies?

WARF v. Apple

WARF won a major battle last week when a Wisconsin federal jury found that technology in Apple’s iPhones and iPads infringes a WARF computer processor patent. However, the war may not be over.

Copyright Not Flexible Enough to Protect Bikram Yoga

Last week, the Ninth Circuit decided that the sequence of poses that make up Bikram yoga is not copyrightable. Among other implications, this shows that each intellectual property protection has its boundaries, and creators need to be careful to know which sandbox they are playing in and act (and register) accordingly.

Cuba Libre?

President Obama recently called on Congress to lift the U.S. embargo on Cuba. While many estimate that the embargo will likely continue for more than a year, anyone preparing to do business in Cuba should include Cuban trademark applications and registrations in its preparations.

International Protection of Designs

United States applicants are now able to file international design applications either directly through the World Intellectual Property Organization or indirectly through the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

Incentivizing Patent Examination

Have you ever wondered why your pending U.S. patent application(s) see quarterly increases in activity? Or why certain activities during patent examination take longer than others?

The Emperor Has Little Protection For His Clothes

Over the past few weeks, New York, London, Milan and Paris have been showing off the fashions that will be “it” for the fall. In Europe, fashion designs may be eligible for industrial design protection. However, in the United States, there is no such specific protection.

Taylor Swift’s Lyrics May Equal Trademarks

The Trademark Manual of Examining Procedures makes it clear that a title, or a portion of a title, of a single creative work must be refused registration. However, Ms. Swift is not registering these lyrics for her song or album.