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“Hague” Filing for Overseas Design Protection — Available May 13

Americans can file international industrial design applications on WIPO’s* on-line filing system, starting May 13, 2015. The US has taken the final step to join the Hague Agreement, which allows a US applicant to file to register up to 30 related product designs at once in up to 62 participating territories. The fee depends on Read More »

Radio Shack and the Value of Trademarks

Radio Shack, the 97-year veteran electronics retailer now in bankruptcy, is going to be auctioning off its brands and trademarks, apart from their business, so the buyers would not have to buy any of the stores — just the trademarks. The Radio Shack name itself is to be auctioned with an initial minimum bid of Read More »

Patent Box Tax Regime – An economic accelerator for America?

In their recent short article in the BNA Patent Trademark and Copyright Journal, Bernard J. Knight, Jr., and Goud Maragani, who are attorneys with both tax and IP backgrounds, advocate that Congress ought to enact a “Patent Box Regime” to bolster America’s competitiveness and to increase job opportunities in the US. A “patent box regime” Read More »

Building a Strong Brand Presence with your Trademarks

Trademarks are the names and phrases and logos that identify your products as originating from you or as being the real McCoy products that will work as promised. But that is just the start of branding. Brands also reflect your company’s values, and many customers, not just the idealistic Millennials, base their purchasing decisions on Read More »

Trademark Parody Defense

Parody in trademark parlance means using the name of something in a way that is somehow humorous and relevant to the target of the parody: a “take-off” on the name or on product that is subject of the trademark. It can’t be used in a way the simply trades on the customer recognition of the Read More »

More Perpetual Motion Patents

This is an update to my earlier post, Patented Improvements in Perpetual Motion. There have been several more patents issuing on inventions that are or seem to be impossible machines that promise to harness the “magical” lifting power of buoyancy so that the output energy exceeds the input energy. Here are three more: Tran U.S. Read More »

Short-Term Product Design Protection – Part III — Modifying the Vessel Hull protection law

Previously we have identified a European-Community style of Unregistered Design Right as a possible vehicle for short-term protection of original product designs. Another possibility, one which already exists in a very limited fashion, is right in front of us in the Copyright Code (Title 17, United States Code), Chapter 13, protection of designs of useful Read More »

Short-Term Design Protection, Part II Automatic Unregistered Design Protection

My earlier post pointed out a need to provide some sort of exclusive rights for original designs for marketable useful articles, at least until some other form of protection can be obtained, such as a design patent or product configuration trademark or trade-dress protection. These forms of intellectual property can require two to three years Read More »

Alice – An Obvious Looking-Glass?

Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 573 U.S. _____ (2014) This June the Supreme Court decided the patent case Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, holding that an unpatentable method of accounting for financial risk can’t be converted to a patentable piece of intellectual property just by using a computer to carry it out. This shouldn’t be Read More »

Redskins Registration Cancelled

On Wednesday, June 18, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruled two-to-one that the Washington Professional Football team name, The Redskins, was an offensive or pejorative term to a substantial composite of persons, and that six of the team’s trademark registrations should be canceled. (Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation 92/046,185). This was obviously not Read More »