December 01, 2017
Post by Christine Lebron-Dykeman

“It’s all a Twitter” If you spend a lot of time on Twitter… and these days it seems like everyone does, you have probably noticed an increase in the use of customized emojis/images—known as hashflags. The hashflag is automatically inserted by Twitter whenever a certain hashtag (#) is used, i.e., #ShareaCoke. Twitter first launched hashflags in 2010, but soon realized this was a gre....... Read More

Cancellation of a registered trademark for non-use soon could be easier
November 22, 2017
Post by Xiaohong Liu, Ph.D.

According to Chief Administrative Trademark Judge Gerard F. Rogers in his blog post on the Director’ Forum last week, PTO found out through a pilot program that “more than half of registrations being maintained include at least some goods or services for which the registered mark is not actually being used.” “These registered trademarks that are not actually in use in commerce unnecessarily block someone e....... Read More

USPTO Releases Patent Fee Schedule for 2018
November 20, 2017
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy

Post By Jonathan L. Kennedy This past week, the USPTO released its final patent fee schedule for 2018. The USPTO has been actively seeking to reduce the overall patent pendency, number of unexamined applications, and reduce its appeal backlog. Part of these efforts have been the continual recruiting and training of new examiners and new Administrative Law Judges at the Patent and Trial Appeal Board. The US....... Read More

REMINDER: Deadline to Re-Register Your DMCA Agent is December 31, 2017
November 08, 2017
Post by Brandon W. Clark

Post By Brandon Clark As previously discussed on this blog (Copyright Office Establishes New Electronic DMCA Agent Registration), the U.S. Copyright Office has recently enacted changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor registration process. As part of the new system, the Copyright Office is requiring any service provider that designated an agent in the old paper-based system to sub....... Read More

Outside an infringement claim: the use of sovereign immunity and an attempt to limit its’ use
November 08, 2017
Post by Patricia A. Sweeney - Of Counsel

The sovereign – that is the government or government owned entities – are immune from lawsuit by the Eleventh Amendment. Thus, the United States government, state government, or a state-owned university are protected from legal action, including a lawsuit for patent infringement. Universities that are state owned thus can proceed with their research without concern of an infringement action, unless an exce....... Read More

Federal Circuit claims "Control Means" deciding factor in Summary Judgement
October 27, 2017
Post by Gregory "Lars" Gunnerson

On Thursday, October 19, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided Lufthansa Technik Ag v. Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Corp., an appeal which arose from a patent infringement suit brought in the Western District of Washington. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant—Astronics Corp., finding all claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,016,016 (the ‘016 patent) to be ....... Read More

Patenting Abstract Ideas: Technology, Turnstiles, and Transformation
October 19, 2017
Post by Sarah M. Dickhut

Post By Blog Staff On October 18, the Federal Circuit again examined the existing bounds of the patentability of abstract ideas. InSmart Systems Innovations (SSI) v. Chicago Transit Authority, the Federal Circuit determined that SSI’s four patents claimed an abstract idea and were invalid. SSI’s patents were directed to a fare collection system for mass transit (e.g. bus, train, etc.). Instead of using a p....... Read More

To Defer or Not to Defer? Uncertainty Ahead for USPTO Rules
October 16, 2017
Post by Blog Staff

In an en banc decision on October 4, 2017, the Federal Circuit made it easier to amend patents during AIA proceedings. However, in reaching this decision, the Federal Circuit raised questions as to whether Chevron deference would apply to the USPTO’s rules made without following a formal rule-making process. During an inter partes review proceeding, the PTAB denied the petitioner’s motion to amend its pate....... Read More

Levi's Sues Over Pocket "Tab"
October 10, 2017
Post by Nicholas J. Krob

Post By Nicholas Krob Can you use of a piece of fabric no bigger than a fingernail to constitute a trademark infringement?  Levi’s appears to think so. Late last month, Levi Strauss & Co. filed a federal lawsuit in San Francisco against Vineyard Vines, LLC alleging the clothing company has been infringing Levi’s trademark rights by sewing a small “tab” onto the back pocket of its jeans. Levi’s claims ....... Read More

Broadest Reasonable Interpretation is NOT Broadest Possible Interpretation
September 30, 2017
Post by Xiaohong Liu, Ph.D.

Post By Xiaohong Liu In a decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals last week, In re Smith International, Inc., the Federal Circuit reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) decision affirming the Examiner’s rejections of some claims in an ex parte reexamination. The invention is directed to a downhole drilling tool for oil and gas operation. The involved claims recite the word “body”....... 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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