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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In December of 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309, the "Innovation Act," ostensibly to address the problem of abusive patent litigation, sometimes referred to as patent trolling. While H.R. 3309 passed with bipartisan support by an overwhelming margin of 325-91 votes, its companion bill failed to clear the Senate. Failure of the Senate bill is attributable to removal of controve....... Read More
The USPTO today released new Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility. The new guidance comes nearly 9 months after the first set of "2014 Procedure For Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws Of Nature/Natural Principles, Natural Phenomena, And/Or Natural Products" were released in March 2014. The March guidelines sought to implement new procedures to address changes in th....... Read More
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