In Memoriam – Bruce W. McKee

By Luke T. Mohrhauser

We are deeply saddened by the passing of a great friend and partner. Bruce was born on May 3, 1934, and grew up on a farm in Poweshiek County in Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University in 1956 with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Engineering. After graduation, although recruited as an engineer by some […]

Continue Reading →

Unraveling EPA’s New Gene Edited Plant Rules – Effective July 31, 2023

By Cassie J. Edgar

Today, the EPA’s new gene editing rules go into effect, with noteworthy implications for the use of biotechnology in agriculture. This finalizes draft rulemaking that was proposed back in 2020, and these new rules clarify the broad scope of the agency’s jurisdiction over gene-edited crops, specifically those defined as plant-incorporated protectants (PIPs) under 40 CFR […]

Continue Reading →

No longer a little blue bird, what will IP look like for Twitter’s new “X”?

By Ashley E. Holland

Recently Twitter announced that they are attempting to rebrand into “X”. When businesses are rebranding, there can be significant implications on intellectual property rights and certain considerations one should consider such as a trademark search, trademark registration, and copyrights. Trademarks and copyrights can cover single letters, like “X”. A trademark is used to distinguish and […]

Continue Reading →

Taco Tuesday is for Everyone!

By Julie L. Spieker

Taco John’s has surrendered its Taco Tuesday trademark. As we reported in May, Taco Bell filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cancel a trademark for Taco Tuesday that rival chain Taco John’s had held since 1989. Along with the petition, Taco Bell launched a nationwide public relations campaign for […]

Continue Reading →

Ninth Circuit Sides with Instagram in Case Involving Copyright of Photographers’ Works

By Sarah M.D. Luth

In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the “server rule” which holds that websites embedding a copyrighted work do not violate the exclusive right to display that content under copyright law (17 U.S.C. § 106(5)) because they do not store or “fix” the copyrighted work in any “tangible medium of expression.” […]

Continue Reading →

The Patented Processes for Coffee Decaffeination

By Brian D. Keppler, Ph.D.

While many of us are unable to function without the caffeine in our morning cup of coffee, not everyone can tolerate its stimulating effects. Thus, decaffeinated coffee is a blessing for those who crave the flavor but seek to limit their caffeine intake. Ludwig Roselius, a German coffee merchant, is credited with inventing the first […]

Continue Reading →

Bill Introduced in Congress to Fix Patent Eligibility Mess

By Kirk M. Hartung

Last week, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Thom Tillis (R- NC), both long time members of the intellectual property subcommittee, introduced a bill entitled “Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2023.” This bill, if enacted, would eliminate the historical judicially created exceptions to patent eligibility. The law on patent eligibility has been in disarray for at […]

Continue Reading →

Supreme Court Remands Toy Story “Lotso” Case to 9th Circuit

By Melissa M. Mitchell

Following the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month in the Jack Daniel’s dog toy trademark dispute, the Supreme Court has remanded a case against Disney to the Ninth Circuit. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (aka “Lotso”), the strawberry-scented, sadistic antagonist in Disney’s Toy Story 3, is also the alleged villain of Diece-Lisa Indus., Inc. v. Disney Store USA, […]

Continue Reading →

Washington Commanders: So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?

By Nicholas J. Krob

“Registration of the applied-for mark is refused” are not exactly words a trademark applicant wants to hear from the USPTO. But are they as daunting as they sound? Over the past week, various news outlets have been reporting how “the Washington Commanders’ trademark has been denied by the USPTO” and asking questions such as “What’s […]

Continue Reading →

Taco Tuesday Trademark Tiff Gets Spicy

By Julie L. Spieker

Taco Bell recently launched an ad campaign featuring LeBron James and the censored phrase Taco T***day. In a commercial, Lebron repeatedly attempts to say the phrase “Taco Tuesday,” but the “Tuesday” is consistently bleeped out. He then helpfully explains that there’s a trademark on Taco Tuesday and therefore it cannot be used in a commercial, […]

Continue Reading →

Stay in Touch

Receive the latest news and updates from us and our attorneys.

Sign Up