Paul D. Swanson

Paul D. Swanson

Lane Powell PC

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Back to the ‘Useful Arts’ — Supreme Court Reins in the Expansive Interpretation of Patent Eligibility

Section 8 of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to “promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings...more

5/5/2015 - CLS Bank v Alice Corp Computer-Related Inventions Covered Business Method Patents Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Patents SCOTUS Software

Hiding in Plain Sight: The Delano Farms Plant Patent Case

Mysterious to even many patent practitioners, plant patent issues create their own peculiar body of controlling case law. A recent Federal Circuit decision, Delano Farms v. The California Table Grape Commission, illustrates...more

4/30/2015 - Patents Plant Patents Public Use Wine & Alcohol Young Lawyers

Transgenic Salmon: A Primer on FDA Food Safety Regulations

When Meriwether Lewis tasted his first roasted morsel of a fresh Chinook salmon at a Shoshone camp along the Lemhi River (in modern day Idaho), he ate it with “very good relish.” It convinced him that “we were on the waters...more

4/29/2015 - FDA Food Labeling Food Safety Popular Regulatory Standards Transgenic Animals

POM Wonderful: The New Prescription for False Advertising

The ability of private parties to pursue mislabelling claims depends on whether allowing such claims to proceed would conflict with the purpose and intent of federal labelling laws and implementing regulations, such as those...more

3/2/2015 - Advertising False Advertising FDA FDCA Food Labeling Food Manufacturers POM Wonderful POM Wonderful v Coca Cola SCOTUS

Assessing the Validity of Food Processing Patents, Post-Alice

Patent eligibility is in a state of flux. Software and business method innovations challenge the boundary of what is patentable under U.S. law. That dividing line is crossed when inventors claim exclusive rights in what...more

2/10/2015 - Alice Corporation Chipotle Grill CLS Bank v Alice Corp Covered Business Method Patents Food Manufacturers Patents

Assessing the Validity of Food Processing Patents, Post-Alice

Patent eligibility is in a state of flux. Software and business method innovations challenge the boundary of what is patentable under U.S. law. That dividing line is crossed when inventors claim exclusive rights in what...more

1/19/2015

Trademarks as a Barometer of Change: A Pop Quiz

Designed to appeal and speak to the customers of a specific time and place, trademarks can become hallmarks of a bygone era. The controversy surrounding the use of the REDSKINS trademark and logo shows just how much...more

11/25/2014 - Brand Native American Issues Redskins Trademarks

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The California Strawberry Commission’s Claim to University Plant Breeding Research

Plant patents are often overshadowed by their more well-known utility and design patent counterparts under U.S. law. Yet, with the increasing branding and differentiation of agricultural commodities, plant patent rights...more

11/6/2014 - CA Strawberry Commission Contract Disputes Food Commodities License Agreements Patent Infringement Patents Popular Scientific Research UC Davis

Why Plant Patenting Floats Free of GMO Crop Controversies

Public debates about the merits of genetically modified crops often end in polarized shouting matches. They pit so-called “romantic environmentalists” against scientifically-minded advocates for companies that derive their...more

11/5/2014 - GMO Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Patents

The Power of Smell: Scent Marketing Meets the Future of Gaming and Internet Surfing

Scent marketing is as old as a real estate agent baking cookies in a house for sale and as new as Oscar Mayer’s “bacon” alarm clock. Harnessing the primal power of smell represents a new frontier of subliminal...more

9/24/2014 - Marketing Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patents Sony

The Dire Consequences of Misleading Patent Examiners and the Court During Patent Prosecution and Litigation

As the summer winds down, vacations recede in the rear-view mirrors, and the “school” year begins, two recent cases offer a refresher course in the dire consequences awaiting inventors who misrepresent prior art during...more

9/2/2014 - Patent Examinations Patent Infringement Patent Litigation Patent Prosecution Patents

Credibility Challenges Posed by the Eccentric Inventor Witness

Eccentric inventors can be their own worst enemies at depositions and on the witness stand at trial. General Electric Co. v. Wilkins (Fed. Cir., May 8, 2014) is a recent case on point. The General Electric case involved a...more

5/22/2014 - Depositions Expert Witness General Electric Inventors Patent Litigation Patent Ownership Patents Witness Statements

Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success: When Does Ambient Scent Marketing Become a Deceptive Trade Practice?

Scent marketing is as old as a realtor baking cookies in a house up for sale and as new as Oscar Mayer’s “bacon” alarm clock. Harnessing the primal power of smell represents a final frontier of subliminal advertising....more

5/13/2014 - FTC Marketing Retail Market Retailers Section 5 Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

Core Issues - New Patents in the World of Apples

When one speaks of an “apple” and patentable technology in the same breath, thoughts naturally turn toward Silicon Valley and Steve Jobs’ storied company. Yet, in Wenatchee, Washington (the “Apple Capital of the World”), and...more

3/28/2014 - Apple Patents Technology

Strawberry Patent Rights, Forever

Ripe strawberries define lusciousness. Fragile, with fleeting taste, these heart-shaped berries inspired Shakespeare’s pen: “The strawberry grows underneath the nettle; and wholesome berries thrive and ripen best;...more

3/6/2014 - Patent Applications Patents USPTO

Playing Fast and Loose With Corroborating Evidence: Patent Advocacy Inequitable Conduct

Patent litigation often involves the assertion of prior art anticipation and obviousness defenses. U.S. patents are presumed valid, so a defendant seeking to overcome this presumption must persuade the fact-finder of a...more

2/13/2014 - Evidence Obviousness Patent Litigation Patents Prior Art

Will the Recent Scientific Attack on Vitamin Use Spawn a New Wave of False Advertising Litigation?

For centuries, we’ve ingested magic elixirs in pill and syrupy forms to cure whatever ails us and to ward off future illness. Hard scientific evidence of efficacy may have been lacking for these nostrums, but lingering...more

1/13/2014 - DSHEA False Advertising FDA FDCA NLEA Nutritional Supplements

In re Beineke: Cultivating the Legal Boundary Between the Exploring and Patenting of Plant Life

Plant breeders and plant explorers once captivated the imagination as our true American heroes in the late 19th and early 20th century. Luther Burbank, our country’s most famous plant breeder, became known as the...more

9/26/2013 - Patent-Eligible Subject Matter Patents USPTO

“Faux” Foods and False Advertising Claims: A New Recipe for Whipping Up Lawsuits

With an era of 3D printable food dawning, the Star Trek “food replicator” is beginning to look more like modern reality instead of the stuff of science fiction. Every day and in every way, food scientists and flavor...more

8/28/2013 - Animal Cruelty Competition False Advertising Food Manufacturers Lanham Act Standing Veganism

Why Does Food Mislabeling Outrage Consumers?

“There’s a Chinese restaurant on every block, and if you think mouths won’t water when you come strolling by, then you don’t know squat about Oriental cuisine. They prize the taste of dog, friend. The chefs round up strays...more

3/15/2013 - Food Allergies Food Contamination Food Labeling Horse Meat Seafood

The Patent Legal Malpractice Implications of “Walker Process” Antitrust Claims

As experienced trial lawyers know, successfully trying or defending a case is all about presenting a compelling, understandable theme and narrative that comports with a judge and jury’s common sense and experience....more

3/5/2013 - Attorney Malpractice Fraud Jury Verdicts Litigation Strategies Patents Sherman Act Walker Process Claims

Antitrust Monopolization Considerations in Licensing Cutting-Edge Food Technology Patents

The term pioneer patent is often misapplied with hyperbole and exaggeration. When it comes to the shrimp peeling machine invented by Fernand and James Lapeyre, however, that blockbuster label is spot-on. Their automated...more

12/6/2012 - FTC Licenses Monopolization Patents Technology USPTO

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