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The Potential Mushroom Effect of the USPTO’s Mushrooming Patent Application Fees

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) recently proposed patent fee increases could have far-ranging consequences for applicants looking to build a patent family from a single patent application. In this first of a series of blogs, we will discuss the potential consequences of the USPTO’s proposed fee increases for continuing applications, including continuation, … Continue Reading

The California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Enjoined

On September 18, 2023, NetChoice, LLC — a national trade association with members from the tech and social media industry — obtained a preliminary injunction from the District Court for the Northern District of California preventing the State of California from enforcing the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (“AADC” or the “Act”). The reason? The … Continue Reading

Podcast: SPB’s Joe Grasser Covers Art Appropriation with INDICAM

 Blog editor and partner in our IP group, Joe Grasser, covers one of the year’s most intriguing IP cases, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith et al, Case No. 21-869, as part of INDICAM’s podcast series “IPxSUMMER 2023 around the world”.  As many will recall, SCOTUS recently upheld a ruling that an … Continue Reading

Generative AI Is Changing How We Do Business and How We Practice Law

The news about Steven Schwartz, the attorney who asked ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot, to find cases relevant to his client’s lawsuit only to submit a brief full of bogus caselaw, spread gleefully fast, as embarrassing news does. And although we shook our heads in disapproval, I suspect many attorneys were grateful to Mr. Schwartz. … Continue Reading

No First Amendment Right to Confuse Consumers, High Court Holds

Today, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment will not protect an infringers’ use of a confusingly similar trademark for its goods – even if it is a humorous parody. Justice Kagan writing for the Court held that the First Amendment does not give infringers license to trade on the … Continue Reading

China: Design Patents and the Metaverse

The concept of Metaverse as an online framework for economic interoperability was born in and around 2020. Since then, giant companies all over the world ― especially in the IT, entertainment and fashion businesses ― have begun to launch products and solutions related to the ever developing Metaverse. Fashion brands, artists and entertainers, among others, … Continue Reading

China: Recycled Packaging and Trademark Infringement, a Questionable Decision in the Tsingtao Beer Case

Back in 2020, the famous Chinese brew company Tsingtao Beer filed an administrative complaint for trademark infringement against a smaller Chinese competitor for the use of recycled Tsingtao beer bottles. The smaller brewery was filling legitimately recycled Tsingtao bottles with their own beer. The recycled bottles did not bear the Tsingtao labels and marks, which … Continue Reading

Light Administrative Injunctions for Designs in China: Status-check on the 2021 Shenzhen AMR Reform

  In June 2021 the Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation (Shenzhen AMR) issued the first ever provisions on administrative injunctions against the infringement of a design patents, including online infringements. It was a revolutionary provision. Without need to prove irreparable damage, a right holder could seek quick relief by filing a simple administrative complaint. Now … Continue Reading

China Accedes to the Hague Convention and Now Allows for International Design Filings

On February 5, 2022, China acceded to Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The Hague provisions will become effective in China on May 5, 2022. China has been negotiating such accession for a few years, and it was partly anticipated by certain measures of harmonization introduced with the latest amendment to the patent law in … Continue Reading

New from China: Light Administrative Injunctions Now Available for Patents, Designs, and Copyrights

On June 21, 2021, the Shenzhen Administration for Market Regulation (Shenzhen AMR) issued the first ever administrative injunction against the alleged infringement of a design patent. The decision was based on a set of local IP regulations implemented in 2019 to increase protection of intellectual property (IP) rights associated with the booming local innovation in … Continue Reading

Understanding IP in China: Design Patents

In the last of his recent series of blogs on IP in China, Dr. Paolo Beconcini discusses amendments expanding the scope of design protection in China and predicts a new flood of “junk” design applications. He discusses the basis and requirements for Chinese design patents, including issues relating to functionality. He also discusses some structural issues … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Says Logos Must Be Taken Seriously in Evaluating Infringement of Design Patents

In its November 13, 2019 decision in Columbia Sportswear v. Seirus, the Federal Circuit addressed the issue of whether the presence of a logo in the accused design should be considered when assessing  infringement of a design patent and found that the district court erred in granting summary judgement without considering the impact of a … Continue Reading

Fluid Trademarks: Will Companies Go With the Flow?

Consistency and repetition are important in building a brand.  Or are they?  The digital economy is evolving so quickly that it has pushed brand owners to challenge trademark fundamentals by adopting trademarks that evolve as well.  Proponents of such shifting trademarks, called “fluid” marks, believe that they attract the attention of potential consumers, increase brand … Continue Reading

Multi-National Design Enforcement

We are pleased to announce that Paolo Beconcini, Consultant and IP expert in our Hong Kong office, will be speaking at the International Trademark Association’s conference in London on Tuesday 27 February 2018 on the topic of multi-national design enforcement. Paolo, along with other keynote speakers, will be considering the remedies available in several key … Continue Reading

An easier route to pan-European relief for online design infringement?

Half of the world’s population is now online. That’s around 4 billion people worldwide with access to the internet.  Little wonder then that intellectual property rights holders are having to take active steps to respond to the infringement challenges that this multi-territorial digital marketplace presents. Occasionally, governments respond directly to curb infringement online. For example, … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Threats Reforms – Will IP Owners Benefit?

The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 (the “Act”) comes into force on 1 October. It will reform UK law on unjustified threats in intellectual property infringement disputes. What will change and will this benefit IP owners? Currently, UK legislation provides that a person (typically the rightsholder) must not threaten another person with proceedings in … Continue Reading

Brexit – how will my IP rights be affected?

The two year countdown to Brexit has begun. With the clock ticking, there is now a more urgent need for businesses to plan for the impact that Brexit will have on their operations. We have produced an updated briefing for intellectual property owners explaining the likely implications for their EU-wide IP protection, particularly where there … Continue Reading

Reduced design fees in effect from 1 October 2016

Further to our earlier posts here and here, we can now report that the reduced fees for UK registered design protection will come into force on 1 October 2016. As we previously reported, businesses looking for registered design protection in the UK will make significant savings under the new fees regime. The fee reductions will … Continue Reading

Brexit – What could happen to my IP rights?

The UK electorate has decided that the UK should leave the European Union (EU).  The referendum does not take immediate effect.  Current EU law and EU-wide rights, for example, the EU trade mark and the registered Community design, will continue to apply until the withdrawal from the EU actually happens.  The process of leaving the … Continue Reading
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