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“Big Chocolate” Gets Injunction Against Whack-A-Mole Senator; Trademark “Services” Include Political Activities

Last week, Judge William Quarles of the District of Maryland issued an injunction preventing Maryland Republican State Senator Steve Hershey from using his own campaign literature. The case was brought by the Hershey...more

House Tries One More Time: Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act of 2014 ("TROL Act")

U.S. Representative Lee Terry (R-NE) opened a recent subcommittee meeting by quoting Thomas Edison: "The most certain way to succeed is to try one more time." The occasion was the meeting of the House's Energy and Commerce...more

SCOTUS Roundup: How were patent trolls affected?

While much of the attention this year has fallen on Congress and its now failed attempts to pass patent law reform, the U.S. Supreme Court may have quietly provided significant ammunition to those trying to curb abusive...more

North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in...more

"STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA" Is Disparaging

In re Pamela Geller and Robert B. Spencer - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) refusal to register the mark “STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA” in...more

The Bifurcation Blues

In the last Letter from Europe, I looked at the potential financial impact a single judge could have on the economy. As I alluded to in my conclusion, the United Patents Court (UPC), a proposed common patent court open for...more

Continued Chaos in Obama Administration Patent Policy

President Obama has reportedly decided against nominating Johnson & Johnson executive Philip Johnson in the face of political pressure from the hi-tech industry and Members of Congress, including Senator Charles Schumer...more

Turning The Tide on “Trolls”

When a non-practicing entity (NPE) accused 16,000 small businesses of violating its patent by merely emailing scanned documents, the New York attorney general cracked down, forcing a settlement. Then the FTC threatened to sue...more

Uncertain Fate of Non-competes in Massachusetts: Senate Passes Compromise; Legislation Heads to Conference Committee Negotiations

On July 1, 2014 the Massachusetts Senate voted for a compromise on employee non-compete agreements, and the Joint Economic and Emerging Technology Committee heard testimony on the same issue. Governor Deval Patrick spurred...more

Supreme Court Aiding Fight against Patent Trolls: Alice, Nautilus, Limelight, Octane Fitness and Highmark

The Supreme Court may be making up for where Congress has left off. Legislation designed to curb abuse from patent assertion entities, or so-called patent trolls, has been shelved indefinitely. The legislation passed the...more

Bill Updates That Will Make Your Head Spin - Weekly Wrap-Up.

Patent Trolling - The contents of HB 1032 - Patent Trolling have been added to SB 648 - NC Commerce Protection Act and sent to the Senate for a concurrence vote. The new SB 648 now addresses contracts between the NC...more

ITC Section 337 Update – June 2014

ITC Updates Facts And Trends In Section 337 Investigations – On June 10, 2014, the Commission issued an Update entitled “USITC Section 337 Investigations – Facts And Trends Regarding Caseload And Parties.” On...more

Patent Reform: It's Alive!

When Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced on May 21 that he was pulling patent reform off the agenda of the Senate Judiciary Committee, commentators were quick to pass judgment: "Patent reform is dead." These reform...more

US Congress may act again on patent reform

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), enacted in 2011 after three different US Congresses considered various iterations of the legislation, was the most sweeping reform of our patent system since 1952. But since...more

Update!—New TN Law Concerning Patent Infringement Allegations

In recent years, state legislatures have attempted to pass legislation regarding patent law – an area that the U.S. Constitution states is exclusively governed by federal law. The stated goal behind many of these laws is to...more

DEAR JUSTICE THOMAS: A Court Seal Cannot Protect My Trade Secrets, Pleads Florida Political Consultant

Florida may be the Sunshine State but there has been too little illumination into the Florida Legislature’s congressional redistricting process, according to the League of Women Voters of Florida. In 2010, voters amended the...more

Why patent reform won’t wait for Congressional action

Last month, after repeated delays and countless compromises, Sen. Patrick Leahy took the Senate’s version of comprehensive patent reform legislation off the calendar — dashing the hopes of those seeking reform without even a...more

Hershey Is Not So Sweet on Maryland Senator’s HERSHEY Campaign Logo

When you think of The Hershey Company, you think of delicious chocolate candy bars, chocolate kisses, and a fabulous amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company’s brown candy bar wrappers with the HERSHEY’S trademark...more

Weekly Wrap Up

Promises kept: we're starting to see the General Assembly narrow its focus as they promised before this Short Session convened in May. House and Senate calendars are stacked with similar bills including committee work and...more

Weekly Update from the NC State House - June 2014: After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after...

Conflicting Budgets - After giving its final approval to their version of the state budget just after midnight Saturday morning, the Senate took a long weekend, not returning to Raleigh until Wednesday. The budget...more

Making a Federal Case Out of Trade Secret Misappropriation

NEWSFLASH-Congress may actually do something. There is talk of a bipartisan (you read that right, BIPARTISAN) bill to provide redress for trade secret theft in federal courts. Today trade secrets are the poor relations...more

Proposed Legislation Seeks to Limit Patent Trolls’ Access to ITC Investigations

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, U.S. Congressmen Blake Farenthold (R-TX) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) introduced legislation aimed at reducing the ability of patent trolls to initiate ITC investigations....more

North Carolina Abusive Patent Assertions Act (H1032) Makes Its Way Through General Assembly

The 2013 General Assembly convened its 2014 Regular Session on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 with the introduction of House Bill 1032 The Abusive Patent Assertions Act by primary sponsor Representative Tom Murry (Rep). The Bill...more

SB 786 - Energy Modernization Act / Fracking Clears Another Legislative Hurdle

Senate Bill 186 passed the House today 64 to 50 largely along party lines. Members debated 16 amendments. A key point of debate is that chemicals used in fracking are considered trade secrets and state officials privy to...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation Moves Forward in North Carolina

Just over a week into the new session of the North Carolina General Assembly, legislation aimed at the abusive assertion of patent infringement claims by “patent trolls” may be gaining traction, with a bill apparently headed...more

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