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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

USPTO Asks Supreme Court to Uphold Its Right to Deny “Offensive” Trademarks

I previously wrote about a Supreme Court case pitting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) and Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act against the First Amendment, the Federal Circuit, the Slants and, lurking in the...more

ADD A ZERO v. ADIZERO

The long running trademark dispute between Adidas and a church in Illinois just had a decision handed down by a federal appeals court. Adidas thought it could outrun a church in Zion Illinois, but it appears that they...more

Supreme Court to Review Registrability of Disparaging Trademarks

On September 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States granted a petition for certiorari to consider the constitutionality of a provision of the US trademark laws directed to the registrability of disparaging...more

What's Happening with the Redskins Case?

For the past few years, the first question us trademark lawyers get asked at cocktail parties is, “What’s going to happen to the REDSKINS trademark?” – and now lawyers and football enthusiasts will have to wait until at least...more

Leaked Playboy Photographs Case Considers How Hyperlinking Can Infringe Copyright

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has blurred the lines between primary and secondary copyright infringement in a decision concerning hyperlinks to leaked photos of a Dutch celebrity’s Playboy photoshoot. For...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. -- Judge Mayer on the First Amendment

Decided September 30th, this Federal Circuit case is already making waves. The majority opinion seems to be at tension with the Court's outcome in BASCOM Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, but the real...more

PTAB Decision To Terminate IPR Proceedings After Institution Is Not Appealable

Medtronic, Inc. v. Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc., No. 2015-1977 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 20, 2016) - Applying the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the AIA’s provision making inter partes review institution decisions...more

Federal Circuit Finds Three Intellectual Venture’s Patents Invalid under the Mayo/Alice Framework

The Federal Circuit recently decided a case concerning three patents owned by Intellectual Ventures I LLC (“IV”). Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., Case Nos. 2015-1769, 2015-1770, 2015-1771 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 30,...more

Copyright and Trademark Case Review: The Slants, The Sims and SCAR Rifles

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies Washington Redskins' Petition to Join Proceedings - Supreme Court Agrees to Review Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks, Denies...more

Electronic Frontier Foundation brings suit over anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA

On July 21, 2016, the Electronic Frontier Foundation ("EFF") filed a complaint against various agencies and members of the U.S. government over Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), arguing that this...more

Supreme Court denies Cert in Cases Challenging Constitutionality of AIA Trials

On October 11, 2016, the US Supreme Court denied petitions for certiorari filed in two cases by parties challenging the constitutionality of post grant proceedings instituted under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act....more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

Judge Mayer’s Concurrence in IV Shows the Problem with Judicially Created Exceptions

The press is all abuzz with reactions to Judge Mayer’s concurring opinion bluntly stating that “claims directed to software implemented on a generic computer are categorically not eligible for patent.” Intellectual Ventures...more

Sovereign Immunity of State Universities: Can It Shield Them from AIA Patent Challenges?

In what appears to be a case of first impression, the PTAB is poised to rule on the question of whether state sovereign immunity prevents an IPR challenge from being maintained against a University of Florida (“UF”) patent...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Don’t Be Offended: Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Offensive Trademark Ban Violates First Amendment

The United States Supreme Court, on September 29, 2016, granted certiorari in a case involving petitioner Simon Tam, his band, The Slants, and the band’s attempt to register their band name as a trademark. Commentators...more

Supreme Court Benches Dan Snyder’s Team

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Mr. Simon Tam’s arguments and review the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s majority decision striking as unconstitutional Lanham Act Section 2(a)’s bar against the...more

Software Patent Eligibility: Preemption Gets Starring Role at the Federal Circuit

The Supreme Court decision Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) pronounced, in no uncertain terms, preemption “drives” patent subject matter eligibility and its exceptions. But after Alice, it appeared preemption’s...more

The Slants Set To Rock at the U.S. Supreme Court

Simon Tam and The Slants now have a gig at the biggest judicial venue in the country: The U.S. Supreme Court. On September 29, 2016, the Court decided it will take the case of Lee v. Tam....more

Supreme Court Update: Order List (9/26/16)

Greetings, Court fans! It's (still) the first Monday in October, which means the Supreme Court (and the Update) are back in action. Actually, The Eight dug in a bit last week, issuing cert grants from their September...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in USPTO Appeal of Slants Decision: Whether The Ban On Offensive Trademarks Violates The First...

The Supreme Court granted the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s petition for certiorari in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1101 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In that case, the USPTO denied registration of an application to register the...more

The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

Will anyone be offended if the Supreme Court finds the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act invalid?

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States announced that it has granted certiorari in Lee v. Tam, a case closely followed by trademark law gurus. Lee is before the Court after the United States Court of Appeals for...more

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