U.S. and Mexico Patent Offices to Collaborate

By Kirk M. Hartung

Yesterday, January 28,2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) signed an agreement which is expected to expedite issuance of patents in Mexico for owners of US patents.  The two agencies will now cooperate in a process that lets the IMPI have access to USPTO examination […]

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2019 Trade Secret Law Developments

By Jonathan L. Kennedy

Since the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) in 2016, there have been questions as to how the law would be applied in trade secret litigations. 2019 provided indicators on some trends in the application of the law as well as its interplay with state trade secret claims. Two issues of particular relevance […]

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Trademarks Filed for OK, Boomer

By Gregory Lars Gunnerson

There are now at least nine pending trademark applications incorporating “OK Boomer.” The applicants notably include Fox Media, who wishes to use the mark for a television series. It appears the applicants are unlikely to receive rights in the mark because the memed-to-death slogan conveys ordinary or familiar concepts or sentiments, as well as social, […]

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Supreme Court Declines to Further Deal with 101

On January 13, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in five additional patent cases involving 101, including Athena, Vanda, and Berkheimer. Many sides, including industry, academics, and the government, were encouraging the Supreme Court to uptake at least one case in order to help clarify or define the Alice/Mayo framework. However, even given the pressure, the Supreme Court still denied every case. Further, […]

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Supreme Court Passes on 101 Patent Eligibility

By Kirk M. Hartung

On January 13, the US Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari by Athena Diagnostics seeking the highest Court’s review of patent eligibility under 35. USC 101. The petition relates to the en banc decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo on July 3, 2019, wherein the appellate Court […]

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When YouTubers Cry: Prince Concert Videos Deemed Not Fair Use

By Nicholas J. Krob

Last week, U.S. District Judge Leo T. Sorokin granted summary judgment in favor of the estate of the late artist Prince regarding its claim of copyright infringement against Kian Andrew Habib, who had previously posted six Prince concert videos to his YouTube channel. In doing so, Judge Sorokin rejected Habib’s fair use defense, claiming Habib’s […]

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Notable Works Entering the Public Domain in 2020


The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it. Currently, a copyright’s term […]

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