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Federal Appointments in the coming presidential term

Presidential Election year considerations deserve attention of those of us practicing in the patent field. The person elected president is expected to have the opportunity to appoint people to fill vacancies, in our case, leadership at the Patent and Trademark Office and members of the US Appellate Courts that decide patent matters, i.e., the US Read More »

Trademarks for Wines and Wineries

Brands and trademarks can be very important for wineries, especially in places where there are a lot of them, like in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Trademarks are the brand names that buyers use to identify the wines that originate from you or your winery. These brand names directly connect with the goodwill you have Read More »

New proposed USPTO changes to patent and trademark practice

The USPTO has announced proposed changes to their rules for (a) terminal disclaimers for obviousness-type double patenting and  (b) trademark renewals where the mark is registered for more than one type of goods in a class. If the patent examiner is requiring you to file a terminal disclaimer (so a closely related patent does not Read More »

IT Inventors??

Monkey photographers are not “authors” and the images or frames they happen to take cannot be copyrighted. Machines (e.g. Artificial Intelligence or AI) are not “inventors” and cannot obtain a patent. Only the original expression and the inventions and discoveries of actual humans can be legally protected, according to recent judicial rulings. However, non-human tools, Read More »

Perpetual Motion Patents — updated

I have posted a couple of times earlier, on this blog, about perpetual motion patents, how everybody knows they can’t be patented and even so there are always patents being issued on such inventions. Typically, they use the energy of gravity and buoyancy to provide unlimited energy from their power source. The fact that the Read More »

Trademark Financial Risk (and Rewards0

For any business, it is important to both police and protect your own trademarks and also to avoid adopting a trademark or trade dress that might come to close to a competitor’s protected mark. Considering the financial costs and risks in bringing (or defending) a trademark infringement claim in federal court, you need some awareness Read More »

“Common Sense” in Patent Obviousness

Fifteen years the Supreme Court in KSR v, Teleflex changed the straight-forward approach that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the PTO had been taking, called TSM (for teaching-suggestion-motivation). ‘This fairly mechanical approach of interpreting and applying two or more prior art references, according to the Supreme Court, was too stringent, and Read More »

Attorney’s fees for Winning? Not so Fast!

The Federal Appeals Court in Munchkin v Luv ‘N Care this month tightened up the rules for when a prevailing party in a patent or trademark infringement suit is entitled to enhanced damages and attorney’s fees. Their ruling sets a high bar for meeting the Supreme Court’s standard for attorney fees set out in Octane Read More »

Mexico and US Agree to Patent Office Cooperation

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) have announced that they are launching a worksharing initiative designed to make it easier and faster to obtain a patent in Mexico. This was the subject of a January 28, 2020 Press Release that can be found at Ideally, this Read More »

Hague (International) Design Applications can be filed in USPTO as of May 13, 2015

Beginning Wednesday, May 13, the USPTO is going to start accepting International Design Applications, as an office of indirect filing on behalf of the International Office, i.e., the World Intellectual Property Office or WIPO.  Any new applications for designs from American companies or design inventors should be filed this way, rather than directly to WIPO, Read More »