Intellectual Property Constitutional Law

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Points & Authorities - Winter 2016

Attention California Employers: New Employment Laws Affecting Your Business Take Effect on January 1, 2016 - In past years the Governor of California has enacted new laws related to employment that place additional...more

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles – Court Grants Motion for Summary Judgment in Favor of “Empire” TV Series

On February 1, 2016, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ruled that Twentieth Century Fox Television’s (“Fox’s”) use of the term “Empire” in the network’s hit TV series was protected by the First Amendment. Judge Anderson...more

Federal Circuit Rejects Disparaging Trademarks’ Ban on First Amendment Grounds

A December ruling by the Federal Circuit emphasized the value of commercial speech through trademark registration, and the case may have implications for the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s Super Bowl dreams may be over,...more

Naruto v. Slater - USDC, N.D. California, January 28, 2016

District court dismisses copyright infringement action brought on behalf of macaque monkey who took “selfies” using defendant photographer’s camera, holding that animals lack standing under the Copyright Act....more

Split Federal Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of Single PTAB Panels Rendering Both Institution & Final Written Decisions

On January 13, 2016, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the PTAB in Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, IPR2013-00209, that all of the claims of U.S. Patent 8,317,070 are obvious. While the obviousness...more

2015 U.S. Trademark Developments Every Food and Beverage Lawyer Should Know

In 2015, U.S. courts provided trademark practitioners with several issues to discuss and debate. Identified and summarized below are the top five most discussed issues....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle II: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Around this time last year, I started worrying about what would happen if someone at a Super Bowl party asked me to explain an NFL-related lawsuit, particularly one of those IP-ish lawsuits that I’m supposed to know about. So...more

Court Enters Final Dismissal of “Monkey Selfie” Case

As anticipated, the judge presiding over the “monkey selfie” copyright case has dismissed the complaint for copyright infringement brought by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ostensibly on behalf of a...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

Federal Circuit Review | January 2016

The Federal Circuit Will Review Appeals from Inter Partes Review Proceedings Under the “Substantial Evidence” Standard - In Merck & Cie v. Gnosis S.p.A., Appeal No. 2014-1779, the Federal Circuit affirmed a PTAB IPR...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Trademark Review | January 2016

Federal Circuit Holds Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks is Unconstitutional - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the...more

Post-Grant PTAB Procedures Are Constitutional - MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co.

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. The Federal Circuit ruled that because patents were a public right,...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: January 2016

Key Issues Facing Food Retailers - Compliance and Cybersecurity: Consero Group surveyed the general counsel of Fortune 1,000 companies in June 2015 and learned that 60 percent still lack the proper preparation for a...more

USPTO Implementation of AIA Does Not Violate Due Process: Federal Circuit Affirms the PTAB Panel Determining Institution of an IPR...

In Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien LP, a 2-1 panel split of the Federal Circuit held that neither the American Invents Act (“AIA”) nor the Constitution precludes the same panel of the Patent Trial & Appeal Board...more

Stolichnaya: Comity or Confiscation; and Is That For US Courts to Decide?

The Second Circuit recently issued its latest ruling in a long-running legal battle over the trademark rights to the STOLICHNAYA trademark. In this latest decision in the 12-year dispute, the Court ruled that an agency of the...more

[Webinar] Registration of 'Disparaging' Trademarks After 'The Slants' - January 27, 12:00-1:00pm, EST

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars registration of marks that “disparage” a group of people, is an unconstitutional infringement of First Amendment free speech...more

Challenge to the Constitutionality of the Post-Grant Review Process, Thwarted

“In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved…” unless the controversy involves the validity of a patent as determined by the Patent and...more

In re Simon Shiao Tam - USCA, Federal Circuit, December 22, 2015

In case with potentially far-reaching effects, including on Washington Redskins’ ongoing legal battle to maintain federal trademark registration, Federal Circuit sitting en banc strikes down federal statute that permits...more

Federal Circuit Confirms Constitutionality of IPR Proceedings

On December 3, 2015, in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co., a panel of the Federal Circuit unanimously upheld the constitutionality of IPR proceedings, finding that delegation of patent invalidity determinations to a...more

Progress made on the Trade Secrets Directive

On 15 December 2015, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) came to a preliminary agreement over new rules against the theft or misuse of trade secrets. The rules, which are set out in the draft Trade Secrets Directive,...more

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Refusal to Register Disparaging Trademarks Struck Down on First Amendment Grounds

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a 9-3 decision in In re Tam, has declared a provision of the federal trademark law unconstitutional as violating the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. The...more

Of Slants, Skins and Signs: Another Step Closer to the Showdown

In September, we discussed In re Tam and the potential for a showdown over the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. At that time, a panel of the Federal Circuit had recently upheld the PTO’s refusal to...more

Exclusive Ownership” Is Not Necessary for Standing in an IPR - Legend3D Inc. v. Prime Focus Creative Services Canada Inc.

Addressing the standing requirement for participating in an inter partes review (IPR), the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) held that, unlike district court, there is no “exclusive ownership” requirement for...more

Washington Redskins Haven’t Won Yet: Why the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) is Not Yet Final

What do Washington D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, and Mr. Tam’s rock band, The Slants, have in common? Both have enjoyed unexpected victories recently and both have been called “disparaging” by the Patent and Trademark Office...more

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