Tag Archives: USPTO

Thinking of Registering a Service Mark That Primarily Benefits Your Company? Think Again

If you are contemplating registering a service mark that primarily benefits your company and not others, don’t bother; it will be refused registration. This issue was recently addressed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) in In re California Highway Patrol, SN 88796327 (TTAB Nov. 4, 2021) [not precedential] (CHiP). In CHiP, the TTAB … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Requires Prior Art Be Analogous for Anticipation of Design Patents

Design patents offer valuable protection in a patent portfolio, including conferring different strategic advantages compared to those of utility patents. For example, design patents allow for recovery of “total profits” — not just lost profits or reasonable royalties as provided for infringed utility patents.[1] Likewise, design patents are not subject to attacks under 35 U.S.C. … Continue Reading

Courts Rule That AI Inventorship Can Rust in Peace

On Sept. 2, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia addressed what it called a “core issue”—whether an artificial intelligence (AI) machine can be an “inventor” under the Patent Act. It ruled that the “clear answer” is no. The Patent Applications Plaintiff Stephen Thaler, Ph.D., is the owner of a Device … Continue Reading

Circuit Courts Continue To Limit Preclusive Effect of TTAB Decisions

On Sept. 17, 2021, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals became the latest Circuit Court to limit the preclusive effect of Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (“TTAB”) decisions. In 2015, the Supreme Court, in B&B Hardware,[1] decided in a 7-2 vote that issues decided in TTAB proceedings may have preclusive effect if the elements of … Continue Reading

No Wrong Notes: Federal Circuit’s Piano Factory Decision Holds TTAB in Tune with Arthrex

This blog previously reported[1] that on June 21, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc., holding – in Chief Justice Roberts’ 5-4 opinion – that “the unreviewable authority wielded by [administrative patent judges, or APJs] during inter partes review [IPR] is incompatible with their appointment by the Secretary … Continue Reading

A Brief Overview of the USPTO’s Interim Procedures Implementing Arthrex

On June 21, 2021, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in United States v. Arthrex, 19-1434, 19-1452, 19-1458. The issue in Arthrex was “whether the authority of Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) to issue decisions on behalf of the Executive Branch is consistent with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.” The Supreme Court held that … Continue Reading

Tips for Benefitting from a U.S. Trademark Examiner’s Amendment

Trademark examiners in the U.S. often will reach out to applicants to handle certain amendments to their applications, avoiding the issuance of formal office actions. There are many benefits to working with the examiners, even though the window of opportunity is usually quite short. Notably, prosecution will proceed much more quickly if applicants can take … Continue Reading

USPTO Implementing Trademark Modernization Act

Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice of proposed rule-making[1] to implement provisions of the Trademark Modernization Act (TMA), which Congress passed in December 2020.[2] The public has until July 19, 2021, to comment on the proposed rule-making before implementation. The proposed rules create new nonuse cancellation procedures, … Continue Reading

USPTO Provides Guidance in View of ‘Booking.com’

On June 30, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States decided USPTO v. Booking.com B.V., rejecting a rule that a proposed mark consisting of the combination of a generic term and a generic top-level domain, like “.com,” is automatically generic.[1] Booking.com arose from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) refusal to register the … Continue Reading

Appeal Argues AIA Proceedings Are Unconstitutional

Briefing is complete in an appeal asking the Federal Circuit to find that the America Invents Act (AIA) post-grant reviews violate the due process clause of the Constitution based on “structural bias.” New Vision Gaming & Development, Inc. (New Vision) v. SG Gaming, Inc. (SG), f/k/a Bally Gaming Inc., and Andrei Lancu, undersecretary of commerce … Continue Reading

The USPTO Harmonizes the Indefiniteness Standard Used for AIA Trials Making it More Difficult to Find a Claim Indefinite

Recently, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a memorandum to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) requiring the PTAB to change the standard used to assess the definiteness requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 112 for AIA trials. The PTAB must now use the indefiniteness test set forth by the Supreme Court … Continue Reading

Strategic Considerations for Participation in the USPTO’s COVID-19 Deferred-Fee Provisional Application Pilot

On Sept. 17, the United Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice implementing a deferred-fee provisional application pilot program for COVID-19-related technologies. The pilot is designed “[t]o disseminate information designed to combat COVID-19 on a more expedited basis while still securing rights for inventors.” I. Fundamentals of the Pilot Program Participation is limited to … Continue Reading

USPTO Grants Additional COVID-19-Related Relief to Patent Applicants

On June 29, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued another notice under the authority granted by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to grant COVID-19-related relief to patent applicants. In issuing the notice, the USPTO recognized that some stakeholders, in particular small businesses and individuals, will require additional … Continue Reading

USPTO Grants Relief for Patent Applicants Who Failed to Timely File Patent Applications Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has again exercised its authority under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to grant patent applicants additional COVID-19 outbreak-related relief. In addition to the prior actions taken to help patent applicants, the USPTO has issued a notice granting relief also to applicants seeking to restore … Continue Reading

Fast-Track Examination for COVID-19-Related Trademarks and Service Marks

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a notice on June 12 announcing a new, accelerated examination program for certain COVID-19-related trademark applications. The USPTO will begin accepting petitions for fast-track examination on June 16, 2020. This is great news for those developing and researching new products to help combat COVID-19. Applications are typically … Continue Reading

A Brief Summary of the Key USPTO Initiatives to Speed Up Development of Treatments for COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has implemented initiatives designed to expedite the grant of patents directed to COVID-19 treatment or to expedite the licensing/commercializing of patents/published patent applications directed to COVID-19 treatments. The key USPTO initiatives are summarized below. I. COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for small and … Continue Reading

[Insert Yell Here]: Rapper Pitbull Receives Trademark Registration for “EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!” Sound Mark

Platinum-selling music artist Pitbull has received two trademark registrations for a signature yell used in his music. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued two sound mark registrations, U.S. Reg. Nos. 5877076 and 5877077, for “entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances” and “musical sound recordings; musical video recordings,” respectively. For … Continue Reading

US Patent and Trademark Office Issues FAQ on Temporary Extension of Due Date in Patent and Trademark Matters Authorized by CARES Act

As previously noted, on March 31, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) used its authority granted under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to extend by 30 days due dates for certain patent and trademark matters having an original due date between March 27 and April 30. The USPTO now has … Continue Reading

US Patent and Trademark Office Uses Authority Granted Under CARES Act to Temporarily Extend Due Date for Certain Patent and Trademark Matters

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act gives the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the ability to manage due dates in patent and trademark matters if certain criteria are met. On March 31, the director of the USPTO issued a notice of waiver of patent-related timing deadlines (patent notice) … Continue Reading
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