Intellectual Property

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The USPTO’s Proposed Terminal Disclaimer Rule Change: It’s Radical, But Is It Legal?

In a May 10, 2024, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the USPTO proposed sweeping changes in the rules governing the filing of terminal disclaimers. If the USPTO implements the proposed changes, entire patent families could be wiped out if just one claim of one patent in the family is found invalid over prior art. Patent … Continue Reading

Intelligent AI Guidance from the USPTO Identifies Potential Perils

Much like word processing with spell check and other now commonplace digital tools were once only the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming widespread in knowledge work including law practice. IP law is no exception. The use of AI in IP law practice has practical benefits, including the potential for enhanced … Continue Reading

Are the USPTO’s Proposed Terminal Disclaimer Fees the End of Continuing Applications?

As discussed in our previous blog (here), the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) has proposed substantial surcharges for filing continuing applications, depending on the timing of filing. The USPTO is also proposing substantial increases for an applicant to file a terminal disclaimer. As we discuss below, these increases are likely to affect strategies … Continue Reading

Why the Taylor Swift AI Scandal is Pushing Lawmakers to Address Pornographic Deepfakes

Last month, viral AI-generated pornographic pictures of Taylor Swift circulated on X (formerly Twitter), with one post remaining for 17 hours and receiving more than 45 million views, 24,000 reposts, and hundreds of thousands of likes before the verified account was suspended for violating platform policy. The images, allegedly created using a company’s text-to-image tool … Continue Reading

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 USPTO Re-Explains What “Means” Means

On March 18, 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Memorandum containing guidance to help patent examiners analyze claim language that may be interpreted as “means-plus-function” or “step-plus-function” language under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). The USPTO said that the Memorandum was not a change in practice for examiners. Sometimes, however, how something … Continue Reading

Apple v. Rivos: Lessons for Companies Facing Claims of Trade Secret Theft (US)

Our colleagues at Employment Law World recently blogged about a recent trade secrets decision from the Northern District of California, Apple v. Rivos. The case involved a common fact pattern: numerous employees were hired away from Apple by Rivos and Apple brought claims for trade secret misappropriation (among others). The court dismissed the claims against … Continue Reading

Japan’s Flexible Approach to AI and Copyright Supports AI Development

SPB’s Joe Grasser and Scott Warren recently examined the current state of Japan’s copyright laws as they relate to Artificial Intelligence (AI). As they explain, Japan has taken a very flexible approach to help “jump start” AI development in the country. Given the potential impact that this law could have on AI development, we wanted … Continue Reading

Don’t Fall for These Ubiquitous Trademark Scammers

Over the past several months, we have seen an increase in notices from alleged trademark firms. The emails are identical or substantially similar to the following: Hi [recipient], I hope this email finds you in good health. I am writing to you on behalf of the legal department of [Trademark Firm]. We have received an … 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

Securing EU trademarks: because EUIPO publication ≠ enforceability

First, some context Like any other intellectual property asset, EU trade marks can be and are often used as collateral in financial transactions. However, reconciling the EU trade mark regulation (the “EU TM Regulation”) with the applicable national laws on “rights in rem” is not always straightforward, especially when the EU trade mark owner is … Continue Reading

The USPTO Speaks on Obviousness – Do Patent Practitioners Have an Answer?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently published updated guidance emphasizing a very flexible approach to determining obviousness under 35 U.S.C. § 103, consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in KSR v. Teleflex. The guidelines are written for USPTO personnel but combined with the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), they provide … Continue Reading

Who Invented This? The Continuing Importance of Human Ingenuity in Patenting AI Related Inventions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are becoming an increasingly important part of our lives and are affecting almost every industry. In compliance with section 5.2(c)(i) of the President’s October 30, 2023 Executive Order (EO) 14110, titled “Safe, Secure, And Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)”, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued … Continue Reading

In TTAB Proceedings, Subpoenas Must be Issued by the Clerk of the Court

In Waterdrop Microdrink GmbH v. Qingdao Ecopure Filter Co., Ltd., the District Court for the Central District of California denied a motion to compel compliance with a subpoena relating to a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) proceeding, because the subpoena was never signed by the Clerk of the Court — despite the fact that … Continue Reading

Harmful gender stereotypes or a double standard? Calvin Klein and GIRLvsCANCER ads banned in the UK

The authors thank Zarah Bhatti for her contributions to this post. The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned two ads for breach of the rule prohibiting the use of gender stereotypes in advertising, which was introduced in 2019. We commented at the time that these restrictions were likely to see a rise in number … Continue Reading

Why You May Have to Comply with California’s New Noncompete Laws – With a February 14 Deadline

While the enforcement of non-compete clauses (“noncompetes”) varies in jurisdictions across the country, California has a longstanding history of disfavoring them and championing a pro-employee-mobility work environment. Two laws were recently passed – Assembly Bill 1076 and Senate Bill 699 – expanding the scope of California’s prohibition on noncompetes and exposing companies to a heightened … Continue Reading

Global Brand Protection – How to Manage an Anti-Counterfeiting Program

For every successful brand, it is critical to properly protect and to productively develop and use the underlying intellectual property (IP) in that brand to ensure its long-term growth.… Continue Reading

AI Art Registration Denied – The Copyright Review Board Tells Applicant To Gogh Home

Last Fall in this space, we discussed the U.S. Copyright Office’s AI Initiative launched in early 2023. Among other things, the Initiative’s portal compiles registration decisions for AI-generated materials. Particularly instructive is a December 11, 2023 decision by the Copyright Review Board affirming the denial of registration to an AI-generated artwork. As detailed below, when … Continue Reading

A Win for Skinny Labels; Insights for Enforcing Use Patents

Most drugs are covered by multiple patents, with initial patents directed broadly to the compound and later patents directed to increasingly narrower uses of the compound. This provides opportunities for the compound to be approved as a generic drug before expiration of all of the patents, based on a “skinny” label – i.e., a label … Continue Reading

People Don’t Come to See the Tattoo, They Come to See the Show

In Cramer v. Netflix, Inc., 3:22-cv-131 (W.D. Pa. Sep. 18, 2023), the plaintiff brought a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement because a photograph flashed on the screen during the “Tiger King 2” documentary depicted a tattoo of the now famous “Tiger King” (a/k/a “Joe Exotic”), that the plaintiff tattoo artist had inked. Because ownership of original … Continue Reading

Proactive Strategies in IPRs after Allgenesis

A recent Federal Circuit decision, Allgenesis Biotherapeutics Inc. v. Cloudbreak Therapeutics, LLC, provides some interesting insights into patent challenge strategies, and their consequences, when a potentially infringing product is not yet on the market. Allgenesis, which has been developing a pterygium treatment product using nintedanib, filed an inter partes review (IPR) petition to try to … Continue Reading

Federal Policymakers: Chasing the Runaway AI Train

The U.S. is generally viewed as “behind” in its regulation of AI compared to the European Union and Asian countries. Yet ChatGPT’s release triggered a tsunami of U.S. legislation in 2023 from federal and state legislators seeking to address perceived concerns with the emerging and fast evolving technology. State legislatures have introduced nearly 200 AI … Continue Reading

Did the Supreme Court Rule that the Copyright Act Bars Damages for Old Infringement – Or Was It Just Sloppy Drafting? 

It seems the Supreme Court will decide (again) whether a claim for copyright infringement can extend to infringement that occurred more than three years before filing suit. In Warner Chappell Music, Inc. v. Nealy, the Supreme Court will resolve a classic circuit split – the Second Circuit holding that no damages can be obtained for … Continue Reading

Podcast: SPB’s Paolo Beconcini Covers Global Counterfeiting and the Importance of Protecting Your Brand in China

Counterfeiting is a global problem that affects a wide variety of entrepreneurs and innovators – from small businesses to global corporations.  Action in China can be an important tool for combating these problems.  Head of the firm’s China Intellectual Property team, Paolo Beconcini covers the complex challenges of fighting global counterfeiting for INDICAM (Italian Association … Continue Reading
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