2019 Trade Secret Law Developments
January 22, 2020
Post 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 were (1) interpretation of the timing requirements for filing a claim for trade secret .......
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Trademarks Filed for OK, Boomer
January 21, 2020
Post 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, political, religious, or similar informational messa.......
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Supreme Court Declines to Further Deal with 101
January 16, 2020
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
            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 .......
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Supreme Court Passes on 101 Patent Eligibility
January 14, 2020
Post 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 ruled that the medical diagnostic invention of the patent w.......
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When YouTubers Cry: Prince Concert Videos Deemed Not Fair Use
January 10, 2020
Post 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 arguments had “miss[ed] the mark.” Perhaps the only thing l.......
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Notable Works Entering the Public Domain in 2020
January 09, 2020
Post by Brandon W. Clark
  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 is for life of the author plus 70 years, or 95 years from .......
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Federal Circuit Clarifies Standard for Determining Nexus Between Claims and Secondary Considerations
December 20, 2019
Post by Julie L. Spieker
Julie L. Spieker On December 18, 2019, in Fox Factory, Inc. v. SRAM, LLC, the Federal Circuit (the “Court”) vacated and remanded the Patent Appeal Board’s (the “Board”) obviousness determination. Fox challenged SRAM’s patent for bicycle chain rings in an inter partes review. The Court found that the Board applied the wrong standard for determining whether or not challenged patent claims are entitled to a .......
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December 20, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
On December 11, 2019, the US Supreme Court ruled against the US Patent & Trademark Office’s recent practice of demanding its attorney fees for patent applications appealed to the U.S. District Court, regardless of whether the Patent Office won or lost.  See Peter v. Nantkwest, Inc., No. 18-801. 35 U.S.C. 145 provides that a patent applicant dissatisfied with a decision of the Patent Trial and App.......
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The Verdict is In – Implications on the Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Attorney’s Fees
December 12, 2019
Post by Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.
Tina G Yin-Sowatzke The United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled on December 11, 2019, that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cannot demand repayment of attorney’s fees in district court proceedings brought under 35 U.S.C. § 145. For a summary of the arguments presented during oral arguments, see the author’s previous post here. The opinion written by Justice Sotomayor not only pr.......
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Update from the AIPLA Biotech Committee Meeting
December 09, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
At the recent American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) conference the AIPLA Biotechnology Committee met to discuss two biotechnology issues: 35 USC 101 legislation and treatment of genetic resources (GR) and traditional knowledge (TK). Bob Stoll, former Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO and member of AIPLA’s 101 taskforce led the 101 discussion as part of the taskforce’s role to help sh.......
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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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