Communications & Media Administrative Agency

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US Patent & Trademark Office Issues New Trademark Use Rule

On January 19, 2017 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register introducing new requirements for declarations of use in commerce filed pursuant to Sections 8 and 71 of the...more

What's in a Name?: An Overview of the TTAB's Recent Surname Decisions

Barr. Aldecoa. Hechter. Adlon. Kepler. Butterfields. What do these words have in common, you may ask? They were all recently found to be "primarily merely a surname," and refused registration by the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

MarkIt to Market® | January 2017

The January 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes an overview of the TTAB's recent surname decisions, the changes made by the USPTO to their trademark processing and services fees, and lists the new gTLD...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Work Gets Underway at Maine State House - Momentum is building in the Maine Capitol as...more

FDA Takes Action in the Last Days of the Obama Administration to Clarify Some of Its Views on Off-Label Communications

In the last few days of the Obama Administration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) issued a number of documents with implications for manufacturer communications with health care practitioners and payors. ...more

Federal Circuit Narrows Patent Eligibility for CBM Review

In the recently decided Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google, Inc. case, the Federal Circuit significantly narrowed the eligibility standards for covered business method (CBM) patent review. Prior to the decision in Unwired Planet,...more

FCC Shot Clock Not Tolled by Applicant Delays or Vague Notice of Incompleteness, Court Finds

A city granting an applicant’s request for a continuance of a public hearing over installation of a wireless tower is not a mutual agreement to toll the FCC’s “shot clock,” a federal court has ruled. In addition, a vague...more

OFCCP Sues Google, Seeking Pay Data

On January 4, 2017, the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) sued Google, claiming that the tech giant is illegally withholding information about the compensation it provides its employees.  OFCCP seeks...more

When the Strength of the Facts Cannot be Lifted – SDNY Dismisses Muscle Maker Slack-Fill Class Action

The Southern District of New York recently dismissed a putative class action against Cytosport, the maker of Muscle Milk protein powder. The plaintiff, Orlando Bautista, alleged that he bought a container of Muscle Milk...more

FTC Grants Summary Judgment Against California Naturel, Inc. Falsely Advertising “All Natural” Sunscreen Products

In its opinion in In re California Naturel, Inc., the Federal Trade Commission held that the California Naturel, Inc. advertising promoting its “all natural” sunscreen on its website as containing “only the purest, most...more

Diamonds In The Rough: TTAB Refuses Registration For Repeating Pattern

In a precedential decision in In re Fantasia Distribution Inc, Serial 86185623 (September 21 2016), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) held that a repeating diamond design pattern appearing on an electronic hookah...more

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”

Decision Expected Soon from California Supreme Court - Public agencies in California should prepare for the likelihood that communications on officials’ and employees’ private devices related to the agency’s “conduct of...more

MarkIt to Market® - November 2016

The November 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for registering certification marks, a look at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's latest revisions to the Rules of Practice-its most...more

No Love for ♥ DC

In a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), the Board cancelled and abandoned the trademark registration and trademark application for the I "Heart" DC marks owned by an individual, Jonathan A. Chien...more

Litigation Alert: The FCC Enforcement Bureau Advises That Text Message Senders Must Comply With the Telephone Consumer Protection...

On November 18, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau issued an Advisory declaring that autodialed text messages, also known as robotexts, must comply with the requirements set forth in the...more

Will the D.C. Circuit Overturn Fax Opt-Out Requirement?

Though not as common as they once were, fax advertisements continue to be used in several industries, particularly healthcare, where providers and manufacturers rely on faxes to comply with regulatory obligations. Earlier...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 4

What Happens After My Application is Filed? After your application is filed, you should receive an email from the USPTO confirming the submission. In a few business days, the USPTO will confirm the application has the...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - November 2016 #2

Four cities pass ballot measures to tax sugary drinks. Four US cities – San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, California and Boulder, Colorado – passed ballot initiatives on November 8 that will impose taxes on sugar-sweetened...more

Court of Appeals Holds Email Deliberations Among a “Quorum" of a Public Body Violates the Open Meetings Act

The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that email deliberations among a quorum of public body members violates the Open Meetings Act. The Nov. 1, 2016, unpublished opinion was issued by a three-judge panel in the case of...more

CASL News: The CRTC Provides Long-Awaited Guidance on Implied Consent and the Assessment of Administrative Monetary Penalties

Although Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL or the Act) has been in force since July 1, 2014 and a number of substantial penalties have been imposed under its terms, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications...more

FDA Guidance on Evaporated Cane Juice Not So Sweet for Class-Action Defendants

In recent years, a boomlet of litigation – primarily in California – has arisen regarding the product known as “evaporated cane juice” or “ECJ.” The product – made by extracting fluid from crushed sugar cane, clarifying the...more

Broadband Networks: FCC Says “One-Touch” Ordinance Does Not Violate Federal Law

The FCC has advised a federal district court that the City of Louisville, Kentucky’s “one-touch” make-ready ordinance does not violate the pole attachment provisions of federal law. Companies seeking to build new...more

Your Trademark on Steroids - Making Your Trademark Registration Stronger

In our previous articles we discussed ways in which trademarks are maintained and protected through filings that are mandatory and which filings would result in abandonment or cancellation if not timely...more

New Copyright Office Electronic Registration System for DMCA Agents – Are You Ready?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) sets forth a mechanism through which online service providers can avail themselves of a safe harbor from copyright infringement liability by recording an agent with the Copyright...more

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