Patterson Thuente News


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Watch out for these trademark scams

Shortly after filing a trademark application, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or with another non-US, government trademark agency, a growing number of our clients inevitably receive one or more official-looking letters or invoices seeking payment related to the trademark registration. You may have received one of these notices in the mail or via email yourself—a solicitation, formatted to look like an official government document, that lists data about your trademark application and even an image of your trademark (all of which is publicly available information). Many of these companies use terms that resemble an official agency name including one or more of the terms “United States,” “U.S.,” “Trademark,” “Patent,” “Registration,” “Office,” or “Agency.” The truth is, these solicitations have absolutely no legal or other significance to your trademark registration.

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Federal Circuit clarifies surname test for trademarks

What’s in a name? The answer to that question might determine whether a mark that includes someone’s surname is eligible for trademark registration. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has shed some light on when a mark with a surname is—and isn’t— egistrable as a trademark.

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The Supreme Court and IPRs – a Mixed and Messy Bag of Results

In the Oil States decision handed down today, Justice Thomas authored the 7-2 majority decision affirming the constitutionality of IPR proceedings over challenges based on Article III separation of powers and the 7th Amendment Right to Trial by Jury.  Depending upon which camp you are in, this will be seen as either generally favorable (petitioners) or generally unfavorable (patent owners).

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Enforcing Your Core IP Rights to Further Your Business Goals

Not all intellectual property is created equal. Typically, only some of a company’s IP actually relates to core products or promising future technologies. This fraction of a company’s IP portfolio is where its priorities should lie from an enforcement standpoint, especially in more competitive industries. The rights afforded by these core patents, trademarks and trade secrets protect the backbone of the company.

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Proving infringement of system patents: Court rejects jury’s infringement finding in phone case

You might think it would be easier to prove infringement of a patented system having multiple components. The more parts, the more opportunity to prove infringement. Not so. As one patentee learned the hard way, more parts means more to prove.

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Who owns the copyright of stock photos?

Thanks in part to the proliferation of websites over the past couple of decades, the use of stock photography is more widespread than ever. And the posting of photos online—as well as in print—has created a copyright infringement bonanza. But who has the right to enforce copyright claims involving use of stock photographs? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently tackled this question.

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Train in vain: Patents for mass transit fare systems struck down

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the court that hears all appeals of patent-related cases, continues to engage in abstract thinking — thinking about the patent-eligibility of abstract ideas, that is. In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly reviewed whether patents are invalid because they covered patent-ineligible inventions. In this case, for example, the plaintiff ended up having four patents wiped out as invalid on this basis.

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Ideas on Intellectual Property Law – April/May 2018

Patterson Thuente IP is pleased to present the April/May 2018 issue of Ideas on Intellectual Property Law. We encourage you to read through it for ideas on how to best protect your intellectual property.

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Why facts matter when using the fair use in trademark cases

The fair use defense can prove to be the bane of a trademark holder’s infringement claim. The good news for trademark holders, though, is that the defense is difficult to establish before trial, giving them the opportunity to prove their cases to juries. That’s what happened in one recent case.

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Beat it! Heart disease diagnostic isn’t patent-eligible

Inventors in the pursuit of “personalized medicine” patents were likely discouraged by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in The Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, which involved a diagnostic method. The court’s ruling highlights the difficulty of obtaining patents for such methods.

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