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

Viewing posts in "Patent".

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.

A Private Sale Can be a Bar to Obtaining a Patent

The U.S. Patent Statute, 35 U.S.C. 102(a), states that “A person shall be entitled to a patent unless – (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention….”  (emphasis added).  One exception to this rule is:  “A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if – (A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor….” 35 U.S.C. 102(b). 

Patent Data Analytics Tool

For those who haven’t looked lately, the USPTO has added some great new features to its PatentsView tool. PatentsView is a patent data tool that provides patent data and analysis in a visual form. The new interface allows users to investigate and evaluate relations, locations, and comparisons of US patents. 

Trump and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

As David Letterman once said, “Trump is a big man, I think 230 pounds — 235 with cologne.” 

In the wake of the recent election, many are trying to predict how President Elect Trump will view the current US Patent and Trademark Office. Will he dub it “Tremendous,” or a “Disaster?” David Letterman’s quote may hold a key to this prognostication.

Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” Not so Funky Right Now

On October 28, 2016, Bruno Mars and record producer Mark Ronson, among others, were named in a copyright infringement lawsuit by Larry White, and the estates of Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters (among others). In the suit, White and the estates of Wilkins and Peters argue that the song “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson infringe their copyright.

To Disclose or Not to Disclose

A recent lawsuit by Palantir Technologies Inc. against some of its investors, including an investor named Marc Abramowitz, calls to mind a common question we receive from inventors and early stage companies: namely, “if I disclose my ‘secret sauce’ to this investor, will he or she steal it?”   

What Are Those???

“What are THOSE?”… is the reaction I get from my children every time I wear my fashionable foam rubber shoes. This question now has another meaning.  Are they Crocs? Or are they Koala Kids?

On Tuesday, July 19, 2016, Crocs Inc. filed suit against Toys R Us Inc. alleging patent infringement based upon Toys R Us’ sale of foam footwear products, seeking both a preliminary injunction and treble damages.

Patent Exhaustion

On Friday (February 12, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit retained its long-standing rule that overseas sales of a product don’t exhaust a patent owner’s right to sue in the U.S. The case is Lexmark International, Inc. v. Impression Products, Inc., 2014-1617, 2014-1619 (Decided Feb. 12, 2016) and can currently be found here.

This Date in Patent History

As we move into Super Bowl weekend and are likely to encounter one or two of these inventions, we reflect back nearly 125 years to February 2, 1892, when an Irish immigrant, William Painter, then of Baltimore, Maryland was granted U.S. Patent No. 468,226 for a “Bottle Sealing Device,” or what we more commonly refer to today as the bottle cap. Not one to sit still for long, Mr. Painter kept inventing and, almost two years later to the very day, went to receive  U.S. Patent No. 514,200 on the newly important “Capped Bottle Opener.” Sláinte!

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.

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.

Public Disclosure: a Global Conundrum

A public disclosure is communication of an idea or invention to someone who is not under any obligation to keep the idea or invention secret–and it can legally bar an inventor from receiving a patent.

USPTO Issues Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

Many patent practitioners, inventors, and investors (especially in the software realm) since last year’s Supreme Court decision of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l have found the concept of patentable subject matter eligibility to be a bit… murky. Recently, the USPTO issued new guidelines to hopefully help clear things up a bit.

Google and Patents for Startups

Google has a number of patent initiatives. One that I was not aware of until recently is the Google Patent Starter Program. This program provides a unique opportunity for a limited number of startup companies or developers.

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.

The SAWS Program…

Did you know that the United States Patent and Trademark Office operates a secret program not mentioned in any USPTO published rule or any law called the Sensitive Application Warning System or SAWS?