News & Analysis as of

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 -

Taking Advantage of the Global Supply Chain for Patent Examination

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

Innovation and Traditional Patent Process - When you develop an innovation, its potential patentability is typically unknown, thus making it difficult to determine whether it is worth the significant expense involved if...more

Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Sandoz Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2017)

In multiple ANDA litigations against multiple defendants, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. had several of its asserted claims held invalid for obviousness at the district court. The Federal Circuit reversed these decisions...more

“All Expenses Paid” Is No Trip to the E.D. Va. for Patent and Trademark Applicants

by BakerHostetler on

On June 23, 2017, the Federal Circuit confirmed in Nantkwest, Inc. v. Matal (No. 2016-1794) that patent applicants facing rejection from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) may seek relief in the Eastern District of...more

Cannabis Industry FAQ

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Can marijuana businesses receive federal copyright protection? Yes. The requirements for registration with the U.S. Copyright Office are that the work is original, creative and fixed in some form of expression. These...more

Securus Technologies, Inc. v. Global Tel*Link Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2017)

Over the last 18 months, the Federal Circuit has been quietly shoring up the non-obviousness provisions of 35 U.S.C. § 103 by enforcing the requirement that an obviousness argument entails making the full prima facie case. ...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

PTO Erred by Not Identifying Algorithm Corresponding to §112, ¶ 6 Element Before Invalidating Claims

In IPCOM GmbH & Co. v. HRC Corp., [2016-1474] (July 7, 2017) the Federal Circuit found that the Board failed to conduct a proper claim construction of the “arrangement for reactivating the link” claim limitation, and...more

PTAB Denies Motion to Withdraw as IPR Counsel

by Jones Day on

In an order entered June 30, 2017, the PTAB denied a motion by counsel for patent owner Purple Leaf, LLC (“Counsel”) to withdraw from representation in a trio of IPRs (IPR2016-01720, IPR2016-01721, and IPR2016-01722). Counsel...more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Launched July 8, 2017: New USPTO Rules to Clear “Deadwood” in the Federal Trademark Registry

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

With the latest rule changes having taken effect July 8, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office continues its efforts to clear deadwood from the federal trademark register. Earlier this year, we reported on the...more

Shocking Trademarks May Now Be Viable, But Medical Marijuana Marks Remain an Impossible Dream

by Baker Donelson on

The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down as unconstitutional the ban on disparaging trademark registrations, but that doesn’t mean a dispensary can get a federal trademark registration. The Supreme Court’s June 19...more

Issue Six: PTAB Trial Tracker

by Goodwin on

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Decide Whether IPRs Are Constitutional - The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to answer the following question: Whether inter partes review – an adversarial process used by the...more

PTAB May Institute Re-Examination Even Where Requester Wants It Denied

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) properly instituted an inter partes re-examination even though the requester had asked it to deny institution and had...more

Fantastic Beast Sighting in the District of Massachusetts—Motion to Strike Allowed

In PetEdge, Inc. v. Yahee Technologies Corp., PetEdge accused Yahee of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,621,236 (the “’236 patent”), which is entitled “Folding Pet Ramp and Steps.” PetEdge designs, makes, and sells merchandise...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Ex Parte Hafner Provides Clarity in Assessing Patent Subject Matter Eligibility for Software Patents

by Knobbe Martens on

In Ex Parte Hafner, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed the Examiner’s rejection that claims directed to an energy transaction plan were subject-matter ineligible. Ex...more

Offensive Trademarks Are Protected Free Speech Under The First Amendment

by Weintraub Tobin on

Simon Tam is the lead singer of the rock group call “The Slants’, which is composed of Asian-Americans. Tam applied for federal trademark registration of the band’s name. While the term “slants” is a derogatory term for...more

You Are Suspended...Now What? Four Strategies for Dealing with Trademark Office Suspensions

It’s happened to the best of us -- the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO") suspends action on an application based on a potential likelihood of confusion with a prior filed/pending application, essentially...more

The United States Patent Office Totally Rejected Your Claims? Don't Panic!

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

In my almost 17 years of practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), by far the most common telephone call I receive from inventors is a frantic inquiry about an Office Action received from the PTO...more

You Get A Golden Ticket! You Get A Golden Ticket!

Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, the bigger holiday is approaching – at least for Chicagoland expatriates in the Twin Cities. That’s right, next week marks the grand opening of Portillo’s Hot Dogs in Woodbury,...more

Master of Your Domain – ACPA Damages Sought by Greg LeMond

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

You might want to think twice before registering a domain name containing a competitor’s personal name or trademark. Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond put his “pedal to the metal” recently, suing two Minnesota...more

Bring on the Bad Word Brands? What the Supreme Court's Decision in Matal v. Tam Means for Trademark Owners

The Supreme Court’s June 19, 2017 decision in the Matal v. Tam case has been burning-up the news wires all week. The decision struck down a 70-year-old ban on federally registering disparaging trademarks, finding that the...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University v. Chinese University of Hong Kong (Fed. Cir. 2017)

Detection of paternal cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in maternal blood (the technology at issue in Ariosa v. Sequenom) was in a different incarnation the subject of an interference between professors at two universities; the...more

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