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Recent Blog Posts

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 »

Short-Term Product Design Protection

As anyone in the design world can tell you, any successful product will be copied the instant it hits the market, and there isn’t much if anything you can do to stop it. The Seventh-Avenue high fashion trade sees this every time a new fashion line is released, but it isn’t limited to that and Read More »

Shigeru Ban – Architect/Patent Holder

A week or so ago I learned that Shigeru Ban, a Japanese architect that I happened to represent in the late Nineties on a couple of US patent applications, had been awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The award was given to Mr. Ban’s based on his innovative use of materials and his dedication to humanitarian Read More »

Glossary Pilot Program

The USPTO is intiating a “Glossary Pilot Study” program to see whether including a glossary section in the patent application helps in clarifying just what a patent’s claimed invention is. The Glossary Pilot Program offers expedited handling (without requiring a petition fee). The participating patent applicants would be required to use a special petition form Read More »

Patent Claim Construction – Words and Phrases – “Adapted to”

Words and phrases used in patent claims are supposed to have an accepted, predictable meaning unless the inventor provides some special meaning. Occasionally a patent examiner will try to import a much broader meaning so that he or she can apply a reference patent that may actually be a bit too distant from the invention’s Read More »

Copyright Fair Use and Information Diclosure Statements

Copying scientific articles for the purpose of submitting them to the USPTO as background prior art would be a non-commercial fair use, and not copyright infringement, according to a recent decision of the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, in Am. Inst. of Physics v. Winstead P.C. This seems to hold even for Read More »

USPTO Extends its After Consideration Pilot Project

The patents commissioner has announced that the After Consideration Pilot Project 2.0 (AFCP 2.0), which had been scheduled to expire December 14, 2013, is being extended through September 30, 2014. The same procedures and requirements will apply during the extension. I have found this procedure useful in obtaining allowance in several cases where there was Read More »

Patentablity – KSR v Teleflex Revisited

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has taken the opportunity to remind the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (now the Patent Trial and Appeal Board), as well as the district courts, that they are to give a holistic, rather than narrowly-focused view of the prior art when evaluating patentablity. In Randall Mfg. v. Rea Read More »

Patent Legislation Introduced in Congress

Pending Patent legislation that has been recently introduced in the 113th Congress includes two notable bills: the “Innovation Protection Act” — HR 3349 (Conyers), and the “Innovation Act” — HR 3309 (Goodlatte). The Innovation Protection Act is intended to fully fund the USPTO, establishing an “Enterprise Fund” that would let the USPTO keep the funds Read More »

2014 Patent Fee Schedule to Reduce Some Fees

The new patent office fee schedule that goes into effect in January 2014 will reduce (or eliminate) some fees, while raising some other fees to be paid later on. This impacts the issue fee(s) that the applicants have to pay before the USPTO will grant a patent on an allowed patent application. The issue fees, Read More »