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Copyright, Fair Use, and the Internet

By Brandon W. Clark

In the most general sense, copyright infringement is copying, or using, a work protected by copyright without permission from the copyright owner. Almost inevitably, soon after you hear the words “copyright infringement,” you will also hear the words “fair use.” Fair use is one of the most frequently discussed defenses to copyright infringement but it […]

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What is Assignor Estoppel and What Implications Remain Post Minerva?

By Blog Staff

Particularly within the patent industry, it is common to see that an employment agreement contains a provision where an employee agrees to assign the rights in any future inventions developed during the course of employment to the employer. Provided the prevalence of assignments filed in patent applications, inventors and patent owners should be aware as […]

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Supreme Court Sides with Google in Major Copyright Case

By Brandon W. Clark

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed Google a win in a long-standing copyright dispute over the software used in the Android mobile operating system. The case dates back to 2005, when Google included roughly 11,500 lines of code from an Application Programming Interface (API), a tool that allows software applications to more easily communicate by […]

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Has the Federal Circuit Made It Nearly Impossible to Maintain Genus Claims?

By Blog Staff

A recent denial by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to hear an appeal by Merck’s Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC (Idenix), leaves unanswered questions regarding the overall validity of genus claims, particularly within the biopharma field. The SCOTUS denied a petition for writ of certiorari to clarify certain Section 112 requirements with respect to […]

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The Verdict is In – Implications on the Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Attorney’s Fees

By Blog Staff

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 […]

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Generic.com: SCOTUS to Consider Whether a Top-Level Domain Creates a Protectable Trademark

By Nicholas J. Krob

Much to the chagrin of companies such as Bayer, DuPont, Westinghouse, and Motorola—former owners of trademark rights in, respectively, the terms “aspirin,” “cellophane,” “laundromat,” and “flip phone”— U.S. law does not protect terms that identify the general nature of a product or service itself rather than the source thereof, or “generic” terms, as trademarks.  What […]

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Resolving Circuit Splits: Supreme Court Addresses Issues Regarding Legal Fees

By Blog Staff

On March 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest, Inc. to settle the debate over what “all the expenses” means under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) win-or-lose attorney fee policy. This controversial policy involves seeking attorneys’ fees from applicants, regardless of the outcome of a case. During […]

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Inter Partes Review Proceedings (IPRs) Do Not Violate Article III of the Constitution per U.S. Supreme Court

By Jonathan L. Kennedy

The U.S. Supreme held in a 7-2 decision (Justice Gorsuch and Chief Justice Roberts dissenting), Oil States Energy Servs. V. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, that the Inter Partes Review proceedings, commonly referred to as IPRs, do not violate Article III or the Seventh Amendment. The Court was deciding two primary constitutional challenges: (1) whether IPRs violate […]

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Constitutionality of Inter Partes Reviews: A Look at Supreme Court Oral Arguments in Oil States

The enactment of the AIA in 2011, inter partes review (IPR), has been available as a method to challenge the validity of a patent in the US Patent and Trademark Office. A total of 6139 IPR petitions (92% of all petitions) have been filed with the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) since that time. […]

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Say What You Will About Trademarks

Simon Tam chose to name his band “The Slants” with the intent to reclaim the term and erase the denigrating connotations associated with it. However, he was confronted with the denial of his trademark application based on the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. This raised an interesting issue of whether the disparagement clause violates […]

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