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

USPTO's Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Roundtable on Dec. 5, 2015

On December 5, 2016 the USPTO will hold its second Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Roundtable to discuss issues in patent eligibility. The USPTO published a list of eighteen questions in anticipation of the event, dealing...more

Changes to the “But-For” Standard For Materiality at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office?

On October 28, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing revisions to the materiality standard for the duty to disclose information in...more

MarkIt to Market® - November 2016

The November 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for registering certification marks, a look at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's latest revisions to the Rules of Practice-its most...more

A Day Late And A Dollar Short – Court Grants Summary Judgment On Laches Defense

Order Granting Summary Judgment On Dropbox Laches Claims, Dropbox, Inc. v. Thru Inc., Case No. 15-cv-01741-EMC (Judge Edward M. Chen) - The proverb “[e]quity aids the vigilant, not the sleeping ones” aptly describes the...more

Busting the Myth of the Unlimited RCEs

In June, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a performance audit of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity.” The report was...more

Trademark Scam Results in More than $600,000 in Refunds in New Zealand

The records of applications and registrations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are publicly available, allowing individuals and companies to evaluate the registered trademark rights of third-parties. Unfortunately,...more

A Tale Of Two Hats: Trademark “Use In Commerce” Expanded In A Potentially Game-Changing Decision

Our readers no doubt understand that trademark use is the basis for trademark protection in the U.S. But all use is not created equal, and sometimes it’s not so easy to tell whether a trademark is actually used in a manner...more

Federal Circuit Firmly Rejects PTAB Criteria For Covered Business Method Review - Brooks Kushman Post-Grant

In a recent panel decision that deviates from the Federal Circuit’s current tendency to defer to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s interpretation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the court vacated a final written...more

Just Wait Until the USPTO Lays Its Hands on These Single and Dual Color TM Applications

Back in 2009, we wrote about what was then Kimberly Clark’s pair of single color purple trademark registrations in connection with “gloves for medical and surgical uses” and “disposable nitrile gloves for general use,” now...more

Proposed “Patent Agent Privilege” Promises Protection For Patent Practitioners And Clients

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) recently proposed a patent-agent privilege that would bring needed consistency to the discovery phase of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) proceedings....more

A Patent Does Not Become a CBM Patent Because its Practice Could Involve a Potential Sale of a Product or Service

In Unwired Planet, LLC, v. Google, Inc., [2015-1812] (November 21, 2016) the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s final written decision in Covered Business Method Patent Review No. 2014-00006, that found the...more

PTO Releases New Memo on Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decisions

In a memorandum to patent examiners dated November 2, 2016, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) addressed recent subject matter eligibility decisions. The memorandum was spurred by two precedential US Court of Appeals...more

Guest Post -- USPTO Charting the Way for Subject Matter Eligibility

On November 2, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an important and forward-looking memo on Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decisions for patent applications that offered guidance for drafting...more

Holiday Horror Series: Part 1- Could You Patent Christmas?!

The holidays are upon us. Given that everything seems to be protected by intellectual property rights, could someone protect Christmas? The most likely candidate to try to patent Christmas would be Santa Claus. But...more

Federal Circuit Reins in PTAB’s Use of CBM Reviews

In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 2015-1812 (Fed. Cir. November 21, 2016), the Federal Circuit rejected the PTAB’s broad application of CBM reviews to claims that are merely “incidental” or “complementary” to...more

Swearing Behind A Reference With Reasonably Continuous Diligence

In Perfect Surgical Techniques, Inc. v. Olympus America, Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision in an Inter Partes Review proceeding, finding that the PTAB imposed too...more

How Much Did the Federal Circuit Narrow Eligibility for Covered Business Method Review?

Earlier this week, the Federal Circuit narrowed the types of patents eligible for covered business method (CBM) review. In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 15-1812, (Fed. Cir. Nov. 21, 2016) (“Unwired Planet”),...more

A Compelling Invention Story May Support Patent-Eligibility

The Mayo/Alice two-step patent-eligibility framework focuses on the patent claims. Nevertheless, recent Federal Circuit decisions have relied on patent specification statements to support holdings that the claims are...more

Magistrate’s Recommendation That The Case Be Dismissed For Lack Of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Is Adopted

Stark, C. J. Plaintiff’s objections are overruled and magistrate’s report and recommendations adopted in full. This case involves a challenge to the result of a PTO interference declared after September 15, 2012....more

Alert: Federal Circuit Narrows the Types of Patents That Can Be Challenged in a Covered Business Method Review

In many ways, inter partes review (IPR) and covered business method (CBM) review are equivalent proceedings to challenge an issued patent efficiently. CBM proceedings have a key benefit in that they are not limited to...more

Trade secret protection under President-elect Trump

Without question, US companies face a growing and daily threat from rival companies and foreign governments. Thieves operating in cyberspace and using sophisticated technologies can quickly steal and transfer massive...more

Federal Circuit Narrows Availability of CBM Patent Review

In a key decision that both patent owners and accused infringers need to be aware of, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has significantly narrowed the availability of "covered business method" (CBM) patent...more

Determining Patent Eligibility Pre-Claim Construction May Be Premature

For the third time in two months, the Federal Circuit took on patent subject-matter eligibility in Amdocs (ISRAEL) Ltd. v. Openet Telecom, Inc. In a divided opinion, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court and held...more

Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016)

Federal Circuit Narrows USPTO's Definition of "Covered Business Method" - The America Invents Act (AIA) defines a covered business method (CBM) patent as "a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for...more

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

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