Apple v. Samsung—Part II, A Design Patent Breakdown
May 21, 2015
Post by Luke T. Mohrhauser

  The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently decided the appeal for Apple v. Samsung, involving allegations of trade dress dilution, design patent infringement, and utility patent infringement. The case relates to Samsung's alleged copying of Apple's popular iPhone smartphone. A jury previously found that Samsung infringed Apple’s design and utility patents and diluted Apple’s....... Read More

Apple v. Samsung—Part I, Trade Dress & Functionality
May 21, 2015

Trade dress is a form of intellectual property related to trademarks, which deals with characteristics of visual appearance, usually of a product or its packaging, but also potentially of a commercial space such as a store or restaurant. Like trademarks, trade dress signifies to consumers the source of a product or service.Also, like trademarks, trade dress is protected by both common law and federal statu....... Read More

Blurred Lines in Copyright Law Following 'Blurred Lines' Jury Verdict
March 17, 2015
Post by Paul S. Mazzola

Under the Copyright Act of 1909, a work was protected when it was published with the notice of copyright protection. Although changed by the Copyright Act of 1976, releasing a sound recording of a composition under the 1909 act (i.e., musical notes and lyrics) did not constitute “publication” of a musical work. Thus, for musical works before the 1976 Act, protection was not typically afforded until the own....... Read More

Lost Profit Damages Require Actual Sales by Patentee
March 12, 2015
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy

The award of damages in patent infringement cases is governed by 35 U.S.C. § 284. The statute provides "[u]pon finding for the [patent owner] the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court." The statute does not de....... Read More

Michelle Lee Confirmed as USPTO Director
March 10, 2015

The Senate on Monday confirmed the White House's nominee for the long-vacant director position at the USPTO. Director Lee had been serving as Deputy Director and acting Director for over a year, pending the nomination process. Director Lee takes over for former-Director Kappos, who left the position in February 2013. The confirmation has been both long-expected and long-awaited. Congratulations to Directo....... Read More

Alternative Patent Reform Legislation Proposed in Senate
March 06, 2015
Post by Daniel M. Lorentzen, Ph.D.

Even though the America Invents Act is just over 3 years old, patent reform legislation has arisen on several occasions over the past years. The most visible legislative efforts have involved the "Innovation Act" proposed by Senator Goodlatte in 2013, and again in 2015. The version of the Innovation Act introduced in 2013 stalled out in the Senate, but has been re-introduced in the House with a la....... Read More

Cancelation of Trademarks due to First Actual Use After Application
March 04, 2015
Post by Daniel M. Lorentzen, Ph.D.

Federal registration of a trademark provides a number of benefits to the trademark owner, including protection throughout the entire country, advantageous litigation position—for example presumption of validity and enhanced monetary damages—and enlistment of the U.S. Customs Service to stop importation of counterfeit goods. The federal trademark system provides two separate avenues for protecti....... Read More

Claim Preambles as Limitations– the Saga Continues
February 25, 2015
Post by Daniel M. Lorentzen, Ph.D.

The preamble of a patent claim normally recites some purpose or objective, but is generally not considered to limit the scope of the claim unless it "breaths life and meaning into the claim." There are a number of ways that the preamble can take on patentable weight, including by serving as the antecedent basis for a limitation in the body of the claim. In Pacing Tech v. Garmin, the Federal Circuit add....... Read More

Are Trademarks for Beer Names Becoming a Commodity?
January 09, 2015

While typically we think of finite resources such as oil and coal as commodities, it could be that the next big commodities are names for craft beers and breweries. According to a recent NPR story, which can be foundhere, the craft brewing industry is becoming an increasingly crowded industry with more than 3,000 breweries in the United States. Unfortunately for many craft brewers, the individuals behind naming....... Read More

Trade Secret Symposium
January 06, 2015
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting a Trade Secret Symposium on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. This symposium is the first of its kind for trade secrets. More information is available on the USPTO website. Both live and webcast attendance is available for this event. The USPTO symposium will focus on the protection of U.S. trade secrets from mis....... Read More

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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.


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