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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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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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!
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.
Although U.S. common law trademark rights are gained through use of the mark in commerce (without registration), registration of a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) provides the owner with additional rights and benefits. These include nationwide enforcement of the mark against infringers; constructive notice of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark; evidentiary presumptions of the validity of the mark, the registrant’s ownership of the mark, and the registrant’s exclusive right to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with the goods or services in the registration; the status of “incontestability” once the mark has used in commerce for five years after registration; and the ability to stop importation of infringing goods into the U.S.