Tag Archives: intellectual property

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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U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statutory Provision against Offensive Trademarks

alice-moore-192521Although 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.

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ILN Today Post

The Days of Patent Plaintiff Forum Shopping May be Over

For the past 30 years, it has been established patent practice for a patent holder to bring suit in any district where infringing sales were made. This has led to the Eastern District of Texas being one of the preferred venues of choice for many patent plaintiffs. However, the days of such forum shopping may be over. In a recent unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court significantly tightened the requirements for venue in patent infringement lawsuits.

The decision, TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, requires that patent holders now must file suit in districts where the defendant is incorporated or where they have a regular and established place of business, a far more restrictive standard than in any district where infringing sales were made. The decision, which was cheered by technology industry groups, spells trouble for patent trolls, who have long used the specter of suit in unfavorable jurisdictions to threaten defendants.

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Picking: A Few IP Collectibles Since My Last Post

ross-sokolovski-123930There is a popular television show in the United States called American Pickers, which follow the adventures of antique and collectible “pickers” Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz.  Wolfe and Fritz travel around in a van with the logo Antique Archeology to buy, or “pick,” various items for resale, for clients, or for their own personal collections—sometimes with a plan based on background research where destinations and items are predetermined and others by chance when they are “free-styling.”  One of the beauties and challenges of an intellectual property practice is how many interesting issues, cases and developments are out there for one to explore.  And so, in a legal sense, we “pick” as well, sometimes for clients and sometimes for one’s own personal collections, sometimes while looking for specific items and sometimes while free-styling. 

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Davis Malm Hosts Springboard Enterprises Health Innovation Hub Program

On April 20, 2017, Davis Malm hosted and participated in a three-day bootcamp for Springboard Enterprises’ Health Innovation Hub: Life Science Program. Davis Malm shareholders, Sam A. Mawn-Mahlau and Richard L. Sampson, took part in the event, providing opening remarks and participating in the bootcamp’s Intellectual Property roundtable, respectively. Fifteen women-led healthcare and life science companies were chosen to participate in this highly selective program, which included interactive coaching sessions and roundtable discussions.

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ILN Today Post

Howard & Howard expands intellectual property practice

Royal Oak, Michigan, April 25, 2017: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Marcus A. Smetka has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

Mr. Smetka concentrates his practice in intellectual property with an emphasis on patent and trademark prosecution. In the area of patent prosecution, his focus is primarily in the electromechanical arts. He has experience preparing utility and design applications patent applications, as well as responding to Office Actions and preparing patentability opinions.

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IP Court has clarified that the use of a “plot generating object” in a movie may constitute copyright infringement

In mid-February, the Russian Intellectual Property Court issued an interesting decision, in which it indicated when filmmakers have to obtain a copyright owner’s consent for use of a movie prop.

Under the auspices of the case, Pan Press Publisher filed a lawsuit against Ren-TV TV Channel and AN-film Production Company claiming that its book cover design was illegally used in an episode of a comic TV series.

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Lidings Wins Over RUR 20 mln. IP Infringement Case on Behalf of Major German Manufacturing Company in FAS

Lidings intellectual property practice’s experts have successfully represented a large German company, one of the world’s leaders in the industrial and FMCG sectors, in a case over infringement of its intellectual property rights by Russian competitor with claim over RUR 20 mln.

One of the Russian regional enterprises imitated trade dress, design elements and corporate colors of well-known adhesives, the intellectual property rights of which belong to the Lidings’ client. The counterfeit products manufactured by the competitor were sold in retail chains throughout the country.

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ILN Today Post

Now register Trademark as ‘Well Known’​

In a significant development to improve India’s intellectual property regime, rules for registering trademarks have been simplified. This is a step in the right direction as it would boost the ease of doing business.

Now you can register trade mark as “Well Known” and Save potential litigation cost. The registration fee of Rs 1 lakh is insignificant if compared to the savings in potential litigation costs.

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