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Patent Examiner groups air their grievances

In an open letter to the heads of the United States, European, Canadian, German, and Austrian patent offices, an international coalition of patent examiner groups seeks changes in the demands on patent examiners, stating that the increase in productivity demands and the number of applications to be examined, combined with the increased complexity of applications […]

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Congress to introduce patent reform bills today

In a press conference scheduled for 2:30 2:15 pm EDT this afternoon, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), with Representatives Howard Berman (D-CA) and Lamar Smith (R-TX), are expected to announce introduction of identical bills in both the House and Senate in an effort to reform the patent system. [Update (4/19): see this […]

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Splenda leaves a bitter taste in competitors’ mouths

The business may be all about sweetness, but the competition can be bitter. That's the story right now in the artificial sweetener business, with much of the action centered around sucralose, the sweetener in Splenda®. The sweetener is the subject of several currently pending cases. In the first, rival sweetener maker Merisant, maker of Equal® […]

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USPTO to partner with National Inventors Hall of Fame and Ad Council to promote innovation in youths

Today the USPTO scheduled a press conference for Tuesday, April 10, to discuss details of a new public service advertising campaign to "engage a new generation of children to make innovation, invention and technological development an integral part of their lives." The USPTO will be partnering with the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation, operators […]

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Reebok files patent infringement against Nike over collapsible shoes

Earlier this week, #2 shoe manufacturer Reebok sued #1 shoe manufacturer Nike for patent infringement. The patent at issue, number 7,168,190, just issued in the end of January, and relates to collapsable shoe technology. The idea is that the shoe design allows it to be rolled or folded for easier packing into, for example a […]

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Trademark infringement helping the needy?

In November, 2006, approximately $200,000 worth of action figures were detained at the United States-Canada border by US Customs and Border Protection. They were stopped under the authority granted to the US Customs and Border Protection office, to prevent importation of goods that violate another company’s trademark or copyright rights. In order to take advantage […]

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USPTO releases strategic plan for 2007-2012

Today the USPTO released its strategic plan for the next five years, 2007-2012. The summary is available here, and the full plan here. Some thoughts on the strategic plan after the jump.After a quick read-through, much of the strategic plan appears to be a “let’s keep doing what we’re doing right and stop doing what […]

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Wall Street Journal on Viacom v. YouTube

Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal has a column discussing the Viacom v. YouTube case (previously blogged about here). Mr. Mossberg thinks the problem is not confined to the particular dispute between Viacom and YouTube/Google, but rather is indicative of a need for greater guidance in copyright law from Congress. The Digital Millennium Copyright […]

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Leo Stoller v. Google: the final chapter?

Over at the TTABlog, John Welch has a report about what appears to be the final chapter in notorious “intellectual property entrepreneur” Leo Stoller’s fight with Google over the rights to the Google trademark. Mr. Stoller, through his various entities, had both opposed Google’s application to register the Google mark and also filed for registration […]

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FTC charges various invention promotion companies with contempt

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed contempt charges against several companies and individuals who had been found to be swindling inventors under the guise of providing so-called “invention promotion services.” In 1998, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order preventing these individuals and companies from fraudulenty promoting: the […]

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