Category: United States

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Out Of Character: Jersey Boys, Detective Stories, & The Case Of Space-Traveling Tardigrades

At heart, and still, I am a non-singing Jersey Boy, and one who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories and watching Star Trek, the Original Series (before it even needed that modifier), in reruns in the 1970s while also keeping up with the real Rocky.  And, I have been writing for ILN IP Insider for … Continue Reading

Can You Register a Copyright on a Short Work of Words and Artistic Designs?

Suppose that you have expressed your work into a tangible form such as a short expression of words and artistic designs.  Although your copyright exists upon the moment of creation, does the work contain a sufficient amount of authorship on which to base a claim for a copyright registration?  Should you register the copyright on … Continue Reading

Data Privacy and E-Commerce: Considerations for the Food and Beverage Industry

The global food and beverage e-commerce market is expected to grow to $22.4 billion in 2020, possibly reaching $36.4 billion in 2023. That’s up from $14.9 billion in 2019.  Food and beverage e-commerce revenue in the United States alone is projected to exceed $15.2 billion this year and $19 billion by 2022. It’s no surprise … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules That Willfulness Is Not Required to Recover Profits

The U.S. Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on April 23, 2020, by unanimously holding in Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil Group, Inc., et al. that a brand owner is not required to prove that a trademark infringer acted willfully in order for the owner to be awarded the infringer’s profits. Background Romag Fasteners, Inc. … Continue Reading

Queen Anne’s Revenge, Indeed!: Copyright Conundrums, Sovereign States, and IP Piracy

“One man’s legally sanctioned privateer is another man’s pirate.”           [James Wadsworth, Global Piracy: A Documentary History of Seaborne Banditry (2019), at p. 8] We live in a time of contradictions and confusion, and today we aim to explore how some such tensions have manifested themselves in the area of intellectual property law. On the one … Continue Reading

Rebranding or launching a new product in the CPG space? Don’t neglect intellectual property

The coronavirus pandemic has presented many challenges for those in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space, and beyond. Supply chain disruptions, rapid migration of point-of-sale from brick-and-mortar outlets to online retail, and overall shifts in consumer preference, eating and cooking habits, and personal safety needs has required many CPG companies to reevaluate and reinvent their … Continue Reading

Can Patent Claims be Cancelled Based on Indefiniteness by the PTAB during an IPR?

For the Patent and Trail Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the PTAB allows a petition for inter parties review (“IPR”) to request cancellation of claims in a U.S. patent.  For an inter parties review of a patent, the PTAB institutes review and determines if claims of a patent are unpatentable.  Can the PTAB cancel claims based on … Continue Reading

The Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Trademark Applications and Registrations

On March 31, 2020, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice concerning the waiver of certain trademark-related timing deadlines pursuant to Section 12004 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act). Powers Created by the CARES Act The CARES Act (which was signed into law by President Trump … Continue Reading

A Recipe for Patent Protection: Are food products patentable?

In the past several years, the food and beverage space has seen an explosion of innovation—alternative meat products, plant-based dairy and protein alternatives, CBD- and collagen-infused everything, and functional foods and beverages and containing everything from pre/pro/post-biotics to nootropic and adaptogenic herbs, just to name a few. And many of these innovations have led to … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court – Willfulness Is Not a Prerequisite for a Profit Award for Trademark Infringement

In its unanimous April 23, 2020 opinion in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, Inc., the Supreme Court made clear once and for all that a successful trademark plaintiff is not required to establish that the defendant’s infringement was willful to be entitled to an award of the infringer’s profits. In other words, profits may be disgorged … Continue Reading

Not Only Will We March Again: Committed, Resilient IP Lawyers Marching Still In Time Of COVID

A few weeks back, as remote working and social distancing were becoming the order of the day (and interesting phrase, given what quickly became the norm in many US states and cities, as executive orders abounded), my son tossed a statement in my direction that was both compliment and challenge:  “Isaac Newton developed calculus, among … Continue Reading

COVID-19 and Intellectual Property

Despite the COVID-19 closures and cancellations, some governmental intellectual property offices have not extended deadlines, so parties should remain mindful that protections for individuals and businesses should not be overlooked. Many patent and trademark offices around the world are providing relief for businesses that may have difficulty tending to their intellectual property filings due to other pressing COVID-19-related concerns; some … Continue Reading

Should You Record a Transfer or Document against a Copyright?

Suppose that you have an assignment of a copyright or a security agreement for a copyright.  Are you required to record this assignment or security agreement against the copyright registration?  Should you record this assignment or security agreement with the U.S. Copyright Office?  The answer is YES! In the United States, 37 C.F.R. § 205 … Continue Reading

States Are Proposing Their Own CCPA-Like Privacy Laws

Businesses that have just about come to terms with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) may have more privacy rules and regulations to deal with going forward. Legislators in a number of other states across the country have recently proposed their own privacy bills. In many instances, these bills are similar to the CCPA, but … Continue Reading

Selling Your Products on US Online Marketplaces

Before you begin selling your products on a U.S. online marketplace like Amazon, Etsy or Rakuten, there are three intellectual property considerations to make: clearance, acquisition and enforcement. This article provides a summary of all three considerations and includes steps to take to help mitigate risk, decrease instances of infringers and position your product for … Continue Reading

Can Appointment of Administrative Patent Judges be Unconstitutional?

For the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (“PTAB”), the Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce in consultation with the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  For an inter parties review of a patent, three APJs conduct the instituted review and determine if claims of a patent are … Continue Reading

California Clears the Way for College Athletes to Get Their “Fair” Share of Licensing Pie

Sending shockwaves across the collegiate landscape, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 206, the Fair Pay to Play Act (the Act) on September 30, 2019. The Act takes aim squarely at the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) amateurism rules which prohibit student athletes from profiting from their athletic skill while in college and threatens to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split on When a Plaintiff May Sue

The Supreme Court handed down a unanimous copyright decision in March 2019 with implications for anyone involved in a copyright dispute, as well as for marketers and brands that create and use copyrighted materials. In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporationv. Wall Street.com, LLC (Fourth Estate), the Court resolved a long-standing split among the circuits over the requirement … Continue Reading

Th-Inking About The Law: Tattoos Leaving Indelible Marks On Black-Letter Principles & Coloring Our Perspectives

Tattoos, one of the oldest art forms in the world, are all over the legal news in recent years.  The news runs the gamut from a tattooist suing a movie studio over replication of Mike Tyson’s facial tattoo in The Hangover II to artists looking to gaming companies for compensation for reproduction of tattoos appearing … Continue Reading

Stop the Insanity! Sports Trademarks Run Amok

Sports and sports teams have a long history with intellectual property law and, more specifically, trademarks.  Sports teams, colleges, and universities have long trademarked their names and logos, and have routinely and aggressively enforced those rights.  In 1988 Pat Riley, then the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers, applied for a … Continue Reading

Can Design Patents Be Limiting in Enforcement?

Suppose that you have an invention disclosure for a design of an article that you want to protect?  When you review the invention disclosure, you notice that the design is ornamental, for example a pattern, on an article such as a chair.  You draft and file a design patent application on the pattern described as … Continue Reading

Was Missguided Misguided? Kim Kardashian West Obtains $2.7 Million Judgment in Right of Publicity and Trademark Suit

A federal district court in California has awarded a $2.7-million default judgment to Kim Kardashian West in her lawsuit against a fast fashion online retailer that allegedly used her persona and likeness to sell its clothing, in part by repeatedly tagging her on Instagram and linking to the retailer’s e-commerce site. Kardashian West’s suit is … Continue Reading

The District of Delaware Holds Patent Description for Bacon Product Indefinite

An indefinite patent description will pass muster when pigs fly.  In HIP, Inc. v. Hormel Foods Corporation et al., C.A. 18-615-CFC (D. Del. June 24, 2019), the United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that a patent failed to meet the requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112 that a patent’s description must … Continue Reading
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