United States Patent and Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.... more +
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.    less -
News & Analysis as of

Changes in U.S Certification Mark Requirements

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a final rule codifying current USPTO practice relating to certification marks. Certification marks are used by authorized users to indicate the following:...more

The B&B Hardware Case and its Potential Impact on Trademark Litigation

Trademark disputes can often play out in a number of forums. Trademark disputes often start off in the marketplace, with a confused consumer, and then proceed to litigation in several tribunals including the Trademark Trial...more

#AliceStorm In June: A Deeper Dive into Court Trends, and New Data On Alice inside the USPTO

The most important thing that happened in June was not the invalidation of yet another pile of patents, but the rather more consequential decision of the Supreme Court to recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. ...more

Katy Perry Hits Roadblock in Obtaining Trademark Registration for Left Shark

Singer Katy Perry’s attempt to register the term “Left Shark”—the name of her dancing companion during the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has been delayed, while her...more

Closing the U.S. Border Gates Against Infringing Imports

Could infringing imports be jeopardizing your intellectual property rights without your knowledge? U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may be a valuable resource to protect your registered U.S. trademarks and copyrights,...more

Preparing For The Obvious At The PTAB

There is little debate that inter partes reviews have proven to be an effective means of challenging the validity of a patent. During the first two-and-a-half years, more than 73 percent of claims originally challenged in IPR...more

McRo, Inc. v. Square Enix, Inc. (C.D. Cal. 2014)

Note: This coverage of a district court case from last year provides an overview of the patented invention, as well as the decision currently being appealed to the Federal Circuit. In a subsequent article, we will review the...more

Federal Circuit Strikes Final Blow to Celebrex Patent

In 2008, the Federal Circuit determined that claims 1-4 and 11-17 of U.S. Patent No. 5,760,068 were invalid for obviousness-type double patenting (OTDP) over a related parent patent, in part because the ‘068 patent was filed...more

The Status of Business Method Patents

Business method patents have a checkered history. They were once very much in vogue—numerous such patents issued, and many of them were litigated. Then, about two years ago, Congress enacted a special procedure that made it...more

Federal Circuit Revisits and Recasts Means-Plus-Function Claim Interpretation

An en banc decision from the Federal Circuit last week overruled a line of cases governing the interpretation of functional claim language, calling into question how courts, the PTO, and industry will treat such language in...more

Design Patents and the Hague Agreement

Design patents protect the visual characteristics or aspects (e.g., appearance, ornamentation) of any article of manufacture. A design patent can be used to prevent competitors from producing similar items (e.g., knock-offs)...more

Newsflash, Politico: ‘Patent Death Squad’ Alive and Well

Politico, the popular political journalism publication, recently ran the story “Patent Reform Advocates: PTO Process Not Patent ‘Death Squad.’” The story was based on a blog post by patent reform advocate Unified Patents. ...more

Federal Circuit Reverses Unreasonable PTAB Claim Construction, Upholds Idle Free Standard for Motions to Amend

The Federal Circuit decision in Microsoft Corp. v. Proxyconn, Inc., addressed several important issues relating to post-grant patent trials conducted by the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), including the PTAB’s...more

Williamson Decision Will Encourage Patent Defendants to Challenge Software Claims

In Williamson v. Citrix Online, announced on June 16, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a partially en banc opinion that claims expressed in terms of functionality can be subject to statutory requirements...more

Selling Products Outside the US? If Yes, New Patent Laws are Available to Streamline International Design Protection

In recognition of ever growing cross-border sales, the U.S. recently expanded its design protection laws to make it easier to file a single application in multiple jurisdictions. Read on if you deal with products that could...more

Catching-Up On House Judiciary Committee’s Revised Innovation Act

Recently the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-8 to approve a revised version of the Innovation Act. As we previously discussed, the Innovation Act was re-introduced in the House earlier this year in the same form approved...more

Case Dismissed After Claims Upon Which Lawsuit Was Initiated Were Cancelled During Re-Examination

Defendant Extended Disc North America, Inc. ("EDNA") filed a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and invalidity, and, alternatively, a motion to dismiss against plaintiff Target Training International, Ltd.'s...more

Rebalancing Your IP Portfolio

Financial advisors often advise their clients to maintain a balanced investment portfolio. Occasionally these advisors recommend rebalancing the investments within a portfolio to account for changes in market...more

Purple-Colored Fabric Tags Attached to Remote Control Found Inherently Distinctive

News flash, last Friday the USPTO approved for publication a non-traditional trademark that I’ve seen in real life before. Let’s just say it is attached to one of our many remote control devices that I’ve had to dig out from...more

The One Year Anniversary: The Aftermath of #AliceStorm

It's been one year since the Supreme Court's decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. On its face the opinion was relatively conservative, cautioning courts to "tread carefully" before invalidating patents, and emphasizing that...more

Going YARD with the VARO Brand for Batters?

Time spent with my boys in Omaha at the College World Series is hard to beat. Although, last year, Father’s Day weekend was hard to beat too. And, the archives indicate five years ago was pretty wonderful as well. Basically,...more

USPTO Pilots Expedited Patent Appeal Program But at What Price?

In a June 15, 2015 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced the Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot program, which will run until 2,000 ex parte patent appeals are expedited under the program, or until June 20, 2016, whichever...more

An Overview, A Summary And An Update To The Latest Patent Reform

Just four years ago in 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act (AIA) into law. Since the enactment of the AIA, there has continued to be steady pressure for further reform. In 2013, the Innovation Act was...more

New USPTO Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot Program

On June 15, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued Notice in the Federal Register announcing a new pilot program, the Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot. Under the program an appellant may have an ex...more

Hope for Computer-Related Patents

“Let's be clear: if all of these claims, including the system claims, are not patent-eligible, this case is the death of hundreds of thousands of patents, including all business method, financial system, and software patents...more

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