news

This Week in Intellectual Property History

  On July 13, 1836 the U. S. Patent Office issued Patent No. 1 to John Ruggles of Thomaston, Maine for traction wheels used in locomotive steam engines. The Patent was not the first patent issued by the Patent Office but rather was the first one issued under a new patent numbering system implemented by…

INTER PARTES REVIEWS ARE CONSTITUTIONAL – Issued Patents Can Be Cancelled By The Patent Office

On April 24, 2018, the Supreme Court issued the much anticipated decision in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-712_87ad.pdf). The Court held Constitutional the provisions of the America Invents Act authorizing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) to conduct an Inter Partes Review (IPR) in which the PTO reconsiders…

FTC’s First COPPA Settlement Involving Internet Connected Toys

On January 8, 2018 the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a settlement with the toy manufacturer VTech Electronics concerning alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) arising from VTech’s collection of personal information from children through internet connected toys.  Under the terms of the settlement VTech is required to pay a fine…

February 5th, 2018 news No Comments Continue Reading »

Free Speech and Registration of Disparaging, Immoral or Scandalous Marks

On December 15, 2017 a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) held that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits registration of a trademark that is immoral or scandalous, violates the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional.  In re Brunetti, Appeal No. 2015-1109 (Fed. Cir. December 15, 2017). …

January 11th, 2018 news No Comments Continue Reading »

Supreme Court Holds the Lanham Act’s Bar on Registration of Disparaging Marks Unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017 the United States Supreme Court held that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act (“Section 2(a)”), which prohibits registration of a trademark that may disparage people, “institutions, beliefs or national symbols,” violates the First Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional.  The decision was unanimous, but the justices divided over the proper legal framework…

Supreme Court Provides Some Clarify to BPCIA Patent Dance

On June 12, 2017 in Sandoz v. Amgen the Supreme Court decided two issues concerning the Biologics Price Competition And Innovation Act of 2009 (BPCIA).  It is now clear that the 180 day notice required before the date of first commercial marketing of a biologically equivalent drug can be given prior to FDA approval.  The…

Supreme Court Reverses Federal Circuit on the Issue of Patent Exhaustion – Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.

On May 30, 2017 the Supreme Court made it clear that “a patentee’s decision to sell a product exhausts all patent rights in the product regardless of any restrictions the patentee purports to impose or the location of the sale”, i.e., in the U.S. or elsewhere.  Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc.  Restrictions placed…

Supreme Court Limits Where Patent Lawsuits May Be Filed

On May 22, 2017 the United States Supreme Court in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC held that a domestic corporation resides only in its state of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute, i.e., 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).  This decision may have a significant negative impact on “forum shopping” and…

Supreme Court – Equitable Defense Of Laches Unavailable To Defeat Claim Of Patent Infringement

In SCA Hygiene Products AB v. First Quality Baby Products LLC, Case No. 15-927 (Mar. 21, 2017), the United States Supreme Court held that “[l]aches cannot be interposed as a defense against damages where the infringement occurred within the period prescribed by [35 U.S.C.] § 286.” The Supreme Court relied on its 2014 decision in…

USPTO Enacts Post-Registration Audit Program

The USPTO has instituted a permanent audit program under which it will conduct random audits of at least 10% of all maintenance and renewal filings to assure that the goods and services claimed are actually in use As part of the review of the selected filings, in addition to the one specimen of use per…

February 2nd, 2017 news No Comments Continue Reading »