September 12, 2019
An indefinite patent description will pass muster when pigs fly. In HIP, Inc. v. Hormel Foods Corporation et al., C.A. 18-615-CFC (D. Del. June 24, 2019), the United States District Court for the District of Delaware held that a patent failed to meet the requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112 that a patent’s description must not be indefinite. As a result, the Court held that U.S. Patent Number 9,510,610 (the “#610 patent”) was invalid.
September 5, 2019
In the framework of its efforts against online copyright piracy, the Hellenic Copyright Organization (“HCO”, Greek Acronym “OPI”) launched, on August 1st 2019, a new web portal, under the domain name “theLegalBay.gr”. The new website aims to be the place where online users can easily find web platforms available either solely in Greece or worldwide (including in Greece), which provide copyright protected content legally.
July 12, 2019
When TV format creator Mark Duffy struck upon the tongue-in-cheek name “The Pets Factor” for what was (presumably) a talent competition for domestic animals, he might well have smiled at his own ingenuity. Conversely, when Simon Cowell heard about the name (via Mr Duffy’s application to register it as a UK trade mark in classes 9 (software) and 41 (entertainment services)) we can guess he probably wasn’t smiling (or if he was, it was probably more of a grimace). Instead, and acting via his company Simco Limited (in conjunction with Freemantle Media) (Simco), Mr Cowell wasted no time in instructing his lawyers to oppose Mr Duffy’s application, which he had made via his company Duf Ltd.
May 22, 2019
What distinguishes public art is the unique association of how it is made, where it is, and what it means.” —The Association for Public Art
To many, the names “Rocky Balboa” and the “Italian Stallion” are as universal and front of mind as the names “Chuck Wepner” and the “Bayonne Bleeder” are regional and tucked into (or have already fallen out of or never made it into) the recesses of memory. But this writer is not most people. Though aspiring to be a child of the universe, I am at heart still a ten-year-old kid from Bayonne, New Jersey, at the south end of Hudson County who (in 1975) thought a guy from our neighborhood was about to pull off the greatest upset in sports history (at least in the pre-Miracle-on-Ice/before-Jimmy-V era).
May 8, 2019
2018 saw a number of important trademark cases decided across the United States. Two cases illustrated the similarities between genericness analysis and one of the likelihood of confusion factors considered by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”). Royal Crown Co., Inc. v. The Coca-Cola Co., 892 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and Omaha Steaks Int’l, Inc. v. Greater Omaha Packing Co., 908 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2018) showed that there is overlap in the analysis to be conducted under these two different legal theories and provides important lessons for practitioners to remember.
April 24, 2019
Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business. What if the trademark is immoral or scandalous? Should you register your scandalous trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? The answer may be YES!
April 9, 2019
Are apples different from pears? Or are they both just fruit? Or, as cockney rhyming slang would have it, are they stairs? These are the questions (excepting the last one) that the distinguished judges of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) have been gr-apple-ing with in the recent case of Pear Technologies v EUIPO – Apple  EUECJ T-215/17. Aside from offering opportunities for highly amusing wordplay, this recent decision includes some useful guidance on the CJEU’s approach to the visual and conceptual comparison of signs in trade mark disputes.
March 13, 2019
There is a popular vintage Harley Davidson t-shirt that says “Tough Guys Finish First.” That may be true. But, sometimes, to finish first, one does not need more tough guys; one needs more lawyers, as a crime-related matter involving the Mongols Motor Cycle Club has recently shown. So today we thought that we would use Michael Corleone’s observation as the title of our discussion of how creative intellectual property lawyering has impacted that recent Mongols’ matter in a California federal court. [Not only is the Corleone quote apt here, but it is often useful in any context to start with a quote from The Godfather, which has been described as the “sum of all wisdoms” and “the source of all knowledge.” So it is probably fitting that we lead this piece (or any piece) with a Godfather quote or reference, especially since it has worked for us before.]
December 19, 2018
I don’t care what you say anymore this is my life
Go ahead with your own life leave me alone.
—Billy Joel, My Life
People often do quite well financially selling their life story. But stop and think for a minute what that statement means — “selling their life story.” The complex personal investment each writer makes in his/her craft and the further psychological dynamic of autobiography have each seen repeated comment and exploration. See Calvin D. Peeler, From The Providence Of Kings To Copyrighted Things (And French Moral Rights), 9 Ind. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 423, 426 (1999)(authors’ moral rights “evolved from a societal concern about individual author’s and artist’s personality and reputation investments as they are exhibited through their creative work”); C. R. Romiţan, The Right Of Authorship On A Work, 1 AGORA International Journal of Juridical Sciences 155, 158 (2014) (“The authorship of a work belongs only to individuals, because only they have the specific qualities of the creator, namely: intelligence, personality, sensibility, faculty to create, to think, to formulate ideas and also to expose them in an original and personally form. In order to recognize the authorship of a work, the law does not require any condition because it arises from the mere fact of creating the work”); see also Livingston, P. (2016). “Authorship.” In N. Carroll & J. Gibson (Eds.), The Routledge companion to philosophy of literature (pp.173-183). New York: Routledge, at 14 (autobiographies convey perspectives beyond what is “manifested in the texts alone”); Burke, P., “Representations of the Self from Petrarch to Descartes,” pp. 17-28 in Porter, R., (1997) Rewriting the self: histories from the Renaissance to the present, London: Routledge, at 17 (“‘man became a spiritual individual and recognized him- self as such’. The rise of self-awareness or subjectivity was reflected by the rise of autobiographies”). Does a life story sold cease to be one’s own life? Is it no longer an individual’s personal history? Does it become someone else’s life? When I remember and describe my own history in my own language and way, has not my history somehow merged with my expression of it? While one might ask if I can get it back, is it not just as natural for me to say why should I have to do that, as my story has never left me? I mean, it is mine, isn’t it?
December 12, 2018
Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business. What if the trademark describes a geographical area such as eastern? 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! if the mark is not primarily geographically descriptive.