Draft Patent Eligibility Bill

Draft legislation addressing patent eligibility is expected sometime this fall.  The hope is that the bill will clarify patent eligibility issues and tackle inventions classified as abstract ideas, laws of nature and natural phenomena. Proposed changes to section 101 are expected to broaden patentability for “any invention or discovery that provides specific and practical utilityContinue reading “Draft Patent Eligibility Bill”

“Scandalous” Trademarks on the Heels of Matal v. Tam

Proctor & Gamble has recently filed two trademark applications for  “WTF” and “FML” – two colorful acronyms containing the word “F*CK”.  These marks would have formerly been rejected on the basis that they are “scandalous” or “immoral;”  however, recent decisions validating registration of THE SLANTS (a band with Asian members) and REDSKINS (an NFL team)Continue reading ““Scandalous” Trademarks on the Heels of Matal v. Tam”

New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content

New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content New EU legislation known as Article 11 and Article 13 was recently passed, requiring companies such as Facebook, YouTube and Google to take more responsibility and provide compensation for copyrighted material posted on their respective sites.  The law also limits how copyrighted material mayContinue reading “New EU Copyright Law Requires Tech Giants to Pay for Content”

Walmart Ordered to pay $95.5M for Trademark Infringement

Walmart was recently ordered to pay Variety Stores after a jury found that the company infringed Variety’s registered trademark BACKYARD. The jury concluded that Walmart’s use of the mark in a line of grilling products constituted willful infringement, resulting in a $95.5M treble damage award. Click here for back story

Levi Throws its Weight in Trademark Suit and Loses

Since 1936, Levi has been placing a small fabric tag with the name LEVI on the pockets of its denim products.  The company recently filed a trademark suit against Barbour, an English clothier that has been in business since 1894.  Levi claimed that the blue fabric tags placed in the pockets of Barbour clothing createdContinue reading “Levi Throws its Weight in Trademark Suit and Loses”

Chinese Telecom Company Indicted for Theft of Trade Secrets

The United States has charged tech company Huawei with trade secret theft,  wire fraud, and obstruction of justice.  The DOJ alleges that the company took photos and measurements of a phone-testing robot and used that information to build a similar device. Huawei denied the theft, claiming it was the work of miscreants; however, recent emailsContinue reading “Chinese Telecom Company Indicted for Theft of Trade Secrets”

USPTO Suggests New Effort to Clarify Patent Eligibility

USPTO Director Iancu recently proposed new patent eligibility guidelines at the quarterly meeting of the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC).  Iancu noted that clarity is needed both by examiners and applicants asking, “how can a claim be novel enough to pass 102 and nonobvious enough to pass 103, yet lack an “inventive concept” and thereforeContinue reading “USPTO Suggests New Effort to Clarify Patent Eligibility”

Supreme Court Holds that Tribal Sovereign Immunity Cannot Be Used to Shield Against USPTO Proceedings

Drug company Allergan transferred its Restasis drug patents to a Mohawk tribe in upstate NY.  Under the deal, Allergan paid the Indian tribe $13.75 million and agreed to further payment of $15 million in annual royalties while the patents were in force. In exchange, the tribe agreed to lease the patents back to Allergan andContinue reading “Supreme Court Holds that Tribal Sovereign Immunity Cannot Be Used to Shield Against USPTO Proceedings”

Supreme Court to Hear On-Sale Bar Case

The Supreme Court recently granted a petition for writ of certiori in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharm. USA, Inc.  The court will be asked to determine whether the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) bars an inventor from selling to a third party when that third party has a duty of confidentiality to the seller. Continue reading “Supreme Court to Hear On-Sale Bar Case”