Celebrating National Inventors Month in May

By Blog Staff

As we celebrate National Inventors Month, we would like to thank all our clients who, through their passion and hard work have created inventions to improve our way of living. Whether you started off as a child inventing things in your parents’ basement, or as an educated researcher, trained engineer, or a problem-solving consumer, your […]

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Plant Patent filings can now be made Electronically Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

By Heidi Sease Nebel

Yesterday in a press release, The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicated that it considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be an “extraordinary situation” and therefore will permit the filing of plant patent applications and follow-on documents via USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center). The requirements for filing […]

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Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Advisory Board Update

By Heidi Sease Nebel

I was honored to have attended the Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Advisory Board meeting last week. I continue to remain very impressed with the great work the PVP office is doing to implement the vast policy changes of the 2018 Farm Bill. In brief, the bill authorized the extension of United States PVP protection to […]

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Patents 4 Partnerships Marketplace

By Luke T. Mohrhauser

The USPTO recently rolled out a new IP Marketplace Platform called “Patents 4 Partnerships” ( According to a press release and information released by the USPTO, the marketplace is an attempt to bring together those who have technologies and want to make them available for licensing and those who have an interest in and the […]

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Supreme Court in Romag v. Fossil Finds Willfulness Relevant but Not Required for Trademark Profits

By Christine Lebron-Dykeman

On April 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in a trademark infringement matter. They answered the long-standing question: When can courts order trademark infringers to disgorge their profits to a trademark owner? Over the years there has a been a long-standing circuit split on the answer to this question with […]

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Fish Hook Claims Can’t Catch a Patent

By Julie L. Spieker

On April 24, 2020, The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) held that claims concerning a method for fishing, specifically that of selecting a fishing hook based on observed water conditions, are directed to an abstract idea. According to 35 U.S.C. § 101, “[w]homever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, […]

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How can we help? The USPTO Midwest Regional Director calls to talk about coronavirus impact on patenting

The call was from the US Patent Office but it wasn’t an examiner calling to discuss a restriction requirement.  It was the office of Damian Porcari, the Midwest Regional Director for the USPTO who wanted to talk to one of our clients and myself regarding problems and impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is having on […]

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Open Covid IP Pledge

By Kirk M. Hartung

The Open Covid Pledge is a recent initiative to assist in finding solutions to the corona virus. In essence, companies that sign on to the pledge agree to provide royalty free, limited time licenses to their intellectual property, so that others may research, develop, use, and make publicly available technology that may fight the corona […]

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PTAB Determines the “Publicly Available” Standard Varies Between Examiners and Third Party Challengers

By Sarah M.D. Luth

In a precedential decision issued December of 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) in Hulu, LLC. V. Sound View Innovations, LLC (IPR 2018-01039) considered what is required for a petitioner in an inter partes review (IPR) to show that an asserted reference qualifies as a “printed publication.” Petitioner Hulu argued that patentee Sound View’s patent […]

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Court Rules Photographer Gave Up Exclusive Copyright Licensing Rights by Posting to Instagram


In a controversial opinion, a New York federal court judge recently ruled that a professional photographer gave up exclusive licensing rights by posting a photo on Instagram. The photographer, Stephanie Sinclair, posted a photo on the popular social media site, Instagram. Later, the news site Mashable contacted Sinclair requesting to use the photo for a […]

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