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Federal Trade Secret Legislation Gathers Momentum, But Questions Remain

In many ways, trade secret protection has been the “odd man out” among intellectual property rights. While patents, trademarks, and copyrights are dominated by federal statutes, trade secret rights arise under state law. In...more

Anticipating a Federal Trade Secret Law

Unlike patents and copyrights, trade secrets have historically been protected primarily under state law rather than federal law. That long history may soon change, as bills to create a federal cause of action for trade secret...more

Federal Trade Secrets Legislation: What Is It? Will It Pass? What Does It Mean for Employers?

Theft of trade secrets is a constant concern for many employers. Congress has listened, and over the course of this year, it has been moving forward with federal legislation aimed at protecting trade secrets. ...more

Federal Trade Secrets Protection Act Approved by House Judiciary Committee

On September 17, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bi-partisan federal Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which we previously wrote about when introduced in July, 2014 by North Carolina...more

New North Carolina Law Provides Tool to Battle Patent Trolls

The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill aimed at the abusive assertion of patents. It was part of the Commerce Protection Act of 2014 (S 648, S.L. 2014-110, section 2.1) and was signed into law by Governor...more

Highlights of Congressional Hearings on Copyright Remedies: Statutory Damages, Small Claims and Felonious Streaming

On July 24, 2014, the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, through its Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, held hearings on the subject of copyright remedies. Most of...more

The House Introduces Another Trade Secrets Bill: Is It Really Any Better Than Before?

The Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (H.R. 5233) was introduced in the House by Congressman George Holding on July 29, 2014. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and...more

Duke, Hershey, and Winston: Who gets to trademark a famous name?

Common sense tells you that you can always use your own name. But under trademark law, that’s not always true. Three recent cases illustrate this conundrum, which plays a major role in many Internet marketing and domain name...more

The Cost of Defending Against Patent Trolls

It should come as no surprise that defending against Non-Producing Entities—most of which are Patent Trolls —is expensive, especially for small businesses and corporations. In support of his ongoing legal battle with the...more

“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

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

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

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

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

“Patent Trolls” in the Crosshairs – But How Will Patent Reform Legislation Impact the Rest of Us

Both Congress and the White House have been actively pursuing patent litigation reform in an attempt to combat the perceived “patent troll” problem. Of course, any legislation will impact all patent holders, even though most...more

Will Trade Secrets Finally Get Federal Civil Protection?

On April 29, 2014, Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), a proposed amendment to the Economic...more

Update Back From The Dead: Senators Resuscitate Legislation To Create A Federal Right Of Action For Trade Secret Theft

With a powerful industrial coalition lining up behind them, two senators are trying yet again to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secret misappropriation, potentially making trade secrets an IP stepchild no...more

What’s the best way to improve the odds in patent troll litigation?

One can hardly talk about the patent law or patent litigation anymore without addressing the issue of patent assertion entities (PAEs). PAEs develop nothing, make nothing, distribute nothing, and sell nothing. They exist to...more

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Senator Proposes New Bill To Create Civil Cause Of Action For Foreign Theft Of Trade Secrets

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday last week, Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the Future of American Innovation and Research Act, a new trade secrets bill that would allow American trade secrets owners to sue...more

Historic Patent Act Whets Washington's Appetite

On March 16, the most significant provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) came into force. The AIA was seen as the most extensive alteration to patent law in half a century, and was hotly debated over nearly a decade. The...more

White House Issues Executive Actions and Legislative Recommendations Aimed at Patent Assertion Entities

Recognizing a problem that has long plagued Silicon Valley technology companies, on June 4, 2013, President Barack Obama issued executive actions and legislative recommendations "to protect innovators from frivolous...more

White House Targets Patent “Trolls”

The White House today issued a fact sheet on high-tech patent issues, recommending seven legislative actions and taking five executive actions. According to the White House’s statement, innovators continue to face challenges...more

Copyright Lessons from the Campaign Trail: Romney, Gingrich and Fair Use

This Republican primary season has provided lots of fodder for political blogs, but it has also provided a few gems relating to — what else — trademark issues.    Now, U.S. copyright law is in...more

Patent Reform Legislation Makes Progress in the 112th Congress

On March 30th the House Judiciary Committee introduced H.R. 1249, the “America Invents Act.” That same day, the committee held a hearing to explore the issues still dividing stakeholders. After six years and three congresses...more

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