ILN IP Insider

Will It Be Known As “Michelin Star Athletica”?: Why The US Supreme Court May Have Given American Chefs A Reason To Cheer

Recent years have witnessed a surge in the United States in the appreciation for fine food and those who create it.  Indeed, the concept of the “celebrity chef” has taken such hold in the United States that there are entire television networks and countless magazines (on-line and in print) to cooking, recipes, chefs and the like, not to mention a wide variety of restaurants at all price points trading on the name and reputation of such chefs.  Indeed, in much the same way that sports fans snap pictures of star athletes or look for Top Ten highlights, diners now post from well-known (or even not so well known) eateries on-line reviews and uploaded photographs of each course served to memorialize their memorable food encounters; would-be diners and others take it all in as they try to decide what and where to eat.

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Win or lose, you pay PTO attorneys’ fees for challenging decisions in District Court

When the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) rejects a patent application, the applicant has two options for judicial review. It can either appeal directly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under 35 U.S.C. §141, or file a new (“de novo”) civil action against the Director of the PTO in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia under §145. Unlike an appeal, a de novo proceeding entitles a rejected applicant to some procedural advantages, such as the ability to conduct discovery and to introduce new evidence, rather than relying solely on the record made before the PTO in prosecuting the patent application.

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Russian Supreme Court recognized that non-profit organizations are eligible to protect name

On July 11, 2017 the Civil Disputes Judicial Board of Russian Supreme Court published a long-awaited Ruling in case No. 53-KG17-12.

Under the merits of the case, in 2016 the charity fund for helping children with oncohematological and other serious diseases “Podari Jizn” (CF “Podari Jizn”) filed a lawsuit against a copycat, non-profit charity fund «Podari Jizn» (NP CF “Podari Jizn”), seeking to prohibit the same word combination in the naming.

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CABBAGE WILL GET UK PORRIDGE – BUT IS IT GREY ENOUGH?

Readers of this blog may well be familiar with the regional exhaustion rule which applies to IP rights in the EU, including (for the time being) the UK.  Under this rule, IP rights can be exhausted where they are put on the market with the consent of the proprietor in one part of the EU, even if they are parallel imported to another Member State and sold there as ‘grey’ product.  But there is no international exhaustion, which would allow the sale of grey goods from countries outside the European Economic Area[i], even where they have been sold on those markets with the brand owner’s consent.  All of this is now fairly well established.

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“…as best as your interests don’t conflict with mine”: Lawyers Fighting Over Intellectual Property

When one thinks about lawyers and Shakespeare, many recall the oft-quoted and misunderstood statement “the first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”  ‘Henry VI,” Part II, Act IV, Scene II, Line 73.  But my favorite, as a better reflection of the best of our lot, is:

Sir, I shall not be slack; in sign whereof,

Please ye we may contrive this afternoon

And quaff carouses to our mistress’ health

And do as adversaries do in law,

Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends

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CHANGING CANADIAN TRADEMARK LAWS – THE NEXT STEPS

As part of the implementation of various changes to Canadian Trademark Laws, the Federal Government of Canada released in June, 2017 the new proposed Trademark Regulations for public consultation. Canada has been modernizing its trademark law, including by moving to join three International Treaties administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) dealing with trademarks.  These include the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty and the Nice Agreement.  Canada has amended the Trade-marks Act to comply with the requirements of the treaties.  It is now taking other steps toward implementation of the changes.  One of these steps is these new proposed Trademark Regulations.

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EXHAUSTION OF PATENT RIGHTS & DIRECT INFRINGEMENT RE-EVALUATED:THE MPEG LA / DPH CASE

The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) with its decision X 2r 33/10, announced on August 21, 2012, rejects claims for infringement of MPEG-2 video coding patents by a Greek DVD manufacturer: The DVD, as such, is NOT a means of infringement of the patent claim in dispute.

On August 21, 2012 the German Federal Court of Justice heard the appeal by the defendant, a Greek DVD manufacturer, in a patent infringement proceeding, and decided that the case in hand was part of a series of actions encompassing several proceedings (indeed nine actions with the same contents were filed against the defendant by nine members of the MPEG Patent pool).

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Amendments to the pre-trial procedure for IP disputes

On June 1, 2016, the mandatory pre-trial procedure came into force. On May 26, 2017 the State Duma approved in the second reading amendments to the current pre-trial procedure.

Under the amendments, the pre-trial procedure extends only to the monetary disputes. The amendments (art. 1252 of the Russian Civil Code) also directly prescribe that the pre-trial procedure doesn`t apply to nonpecuniary claims for infringement of IP rights (for example, suppression of acts that infringe or endanger the IP rights; seizure and destruction of counterfeit goods; official publication of the court decision rendered against an infringer).

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Can Trademarks Violate Free Speech?

Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business.  What if the trademark may be scandalous or disparage a particular group of people?  Should you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  Can you obtain a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?  The answer is YES!

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Matal v. Tam – Disparaging Trademarks are Registrable

It is well known that the trademark laws of the United States differ substantially from the trademark laws of countries around the world.  The United States Supreme Court recently clarified that ‘offensive’ trademarks are registrable, further differentiating the United States from the majority the world.

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