Intellectual Property

  • Intellectual Property, Uncategorized

    Trademark Review (July 2014)

    Past Disparagement Results in Present Cancellation: REDSKINS Marks Cancelled by TTAB

    The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) cancelled six registrations for marks consisting in whole or in part of the term REDSKINS for use in connection with a professional football team, because the marks were found to be disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered (between 1967 and 1990).

    The Board found that when used in connection with football services, REDSKINS retains the meaning of “Native American.” Videos of football games, newspapers, and press guides created between 1967 and 1990 established that the respondent “made continuous efforts to associate its football services with Native American imagery.”

    / Jul 31, 2014 at 4:17 PM
  • Intellectual Property

    Federal Circuit Review – Nautilus, Limelight, and Alice (July 2014)

    Supreme Court Sets New Indefiniteness Standard

    In Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., Appeal No. 13-169, the Supreme Court vacated and remanded Federal Circuit’s reversal of summary judgment because the Federal Circuit’s definiteness standard was too lenient.

    Biosig filed a patent infringement suit claiming Nautilus’ exercise machines infringed its patent. Biosig’s patent claims a heart rate monitor that includes a “live” electrode and “common” electrode “mounted . . . in spaced relationship with each other.” The district court granted Nautilus’ motion for summary judgment on the basis the claim term “in spaced relationship with each other” failed the definiteness requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded, finding a patent claim meets the definiteness threshold so long as the claim is “amenable to construction” and the claim is not “insolubly ambiguous.”

    The Supreme Court held the Federal Circuit’s test does not satisfy the statute’s definiteness requirement and can leave courts without a reliable compass. The Court held a patent is invalid for indefiniteness if its claims, read in light of the specification and the prosecution history, fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention. The Court emphasized this standard not only takes into account the inherent limitations of language, but also requires a patent must be precise enough to afford clear notice of what is claimed. The Court vacated and remanded to the Federal Circuit for reconsideration under the proper standard.

    / Jul 31, 2014 at 4:00 PM
  • Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 1.27.43 PM

    Intellectual Property

    A Window into the Future for Apple’s Trade Dress?

    A few weeks back, Steve discussed Apple’s recent applications to register a trio of non-verbal trademarks.

    Spoiler alert:

    This post contains the USPTO’s ultimate decision regarding the registrability of the design and layout of various application icons as part of a computer operating system, using rectangular geometric figures in rows. However, it isn’t a spoiler for Apple’s applications referenced above (those applications have yet to be assigned to an examining attorney).

    No, instead, I’m referring to a since-abandoned application that provides some interesting contrast with Apple’s applications. In 2012, Microsoft filed an intent-to-use application for the mark shown below:

    / Jul 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM
  • trademark

    Barack Obama, Basketball, Intellectual Property, Job Searches, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Patents, Politics, Trademarks, Trusts and Estates

    Morning Docket: 07.31.14

    * “We’re in uncharted waters.” Following a split vote down party lines, the House of Representatives authorized Speaker Boehner to move ahead with his lawsuit against President Obama. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * “Vultures! Don’t take our pound of flesh.” Despite last-minute settlement talks, it seems Argentina has defaulted on its debt for the second time in 13 years. Oopsie! [DealBook / New York Times]

    * The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has added 19 additional schools to its law school clinic certification pilot program. IP is hot right now, so congrats if your school made the cut. [USPTO.gov]

    * What are some of the pros of working before going to law school? Well, if you can’t get a job after you graduate, you can go back to your old field, so that’s a plus. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

    * California probate attorneys’ hearts were all aflutter following Shelly Sterling’s win against her husband, specifically because of the new precedents the Clippers case left in its wake. [National Law Journal]

    1 Comment / / Jul 31, 2014 at 9:16 AM
  • Kung_Pao_chicken_(western_version)_-1

    9th Circuit, Alex Kozinski, Blogging, Celebrities, Free Speech, Movies, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, Politics, R. Ted Cruz, Videos

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.30.14

    * Court needed a Chinese language interpreter. Rather than find a professional legal interpreter, the judge just told the lawyer to head down to the local Chinese restaurant and grab somebody. [Legal Cheek]

    * News from former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s trial. As one tipster summed up the story: “Hon, I think I dropped my keys under that bus. Would you take a look?” [Slate]

    * Everyone concedes Ted Cruz is smart. Why exactly? [Salon]

    * A follow-up from a previous story: Connolly, Geaney, Ablitt & Willard shuts down after the foreclosure market that made them turned on them. [Mass Lawyers Weekly (sub. req.)]

    * Interesting look at the volume of patent cases throughout history. Check out the troll phenomenon with charts! [Patently-O]

    * More folks wasting time complaining about blog posts. [South Florida Lawyers]

    * Clint Eastwood talks with Chief Judge Kozinski and Judge Fisher at the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. These days it’s exciting whenever Clint isn’t talking to an empty chair. Video embedded below… [YouTube]

    2 Comments / / Jul 30, 2014 at 5:06 PM
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    2nd Circuit, 4th Circuit, Copyright, D.C. Circuit, Food, Gay, Gay Marriage, Health Care / Medicine, Immigration, Music, Non-Sequiturs, Rankings, Rape, Supreme Court

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.28.14

    * Have you heard that Staci invited Justice Ginsburg to her wedding? [TIME]

    * The Fourth Circuit welcomes Virginia to the fold of marriage equality. [National Law Journal]

    * What might be the biggest insider trading case ever hinges on Greenberg Traurig. [New York Post]

    * Most exciting of all is that we may never need to hear the depressing “copyright-free” Happy Birthday song ever again. [boingboing]

    * With all the fire-breathing over the humanitarian crisis at the Mexican border, Texas Judge Clay Jenkins stands out for being reasonable. “I don’t feel like we have to solve the border crisis for a terrified child to be shown some compassion.” Why don’t we hear about more people like Judge Jenkins? This article suggests there’s a deeper problem with the media. [Dallas Observer]

    * I’ve been beating the drum that the Obamacare cases aren’t bound for SCOTUS because the D.C. Circuit will reverse Halbig en banc. The contrary view is that the Supreme Court may not let the lack of a real circuit split stand in its way. [Constitutional Accountability Center]

    * Outrage over the government’s school lunch health standards have Republicans fighting back at the state level. Remember, we need fatass kids because… freedom! [National Journal]

    * The Second Circuit approved antibiotics in animal feed for animals that aren’t even sick. Enjoy your superbugs! [Kitchenette / Jezebel]

    * Judge allegedly fell asleep during a child rape case. It’s not like it’s an important case or anything. [Gawker]

    * Gaming the rankings — not just for law schools any more. [The Kansas City Star]

    * Karen Mantler can’t afford her lawyer. And she’s singing about it. After the jump…. [WNYC Spinning On Air]

    1 Comment / / Jul 28, 2014 at 5:12 PM
  • Incredible Hulk

    Advertising, American Bar Association / ABA, D.C. Circuit, Health Care / Medicine, Legal Ethics, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, Pets, Racism, Supreme Court

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.25.14

    * Proximate cause and the Incredible Hulk. Whatever, everyone knows Kirby was the real brains behind Palsgraf. [The Legal Geeks]

    * Someone is having fun with their RFAs: Admit… that we are going to whip the dog piss out of you. We were specifically chided: “please don’t say ‘only in Arkansas,’” so we won’t. You should feel free to say exactly that though. [Hawg Law Blog]

    * Not really surprising, but patent trolling is the worst it has ever been. I’ll sit here and wait for the New York Times to blame millennials. [io9]

    * The most important Supreme Court decision you’ve never heard of! Well, except I have heard of it. In fact, there was a year-long college debate topic about it. But it’s still important. [Washington Post]

    * What’s the appropriate sentence for having a dog off a leash? Confining the guy to a seven-county area? [LA Weekly]

    * Things to do in Denver when you’re a lawyer: allegedly scam a few million off a client. [Denver Post]

    * Meet the lawyer who came up with the quirky reading that got the D.C. Circuit to temporarily derail Obamacare. [Wall Street Journal]

    * Meanwhile, this title says it all about Halbig: “Well, Conjecture, Tendentious Misreadings, and Cherry Picking Are Kinds of Evidence.” Pour a little out for Lionel Hutz. [Lawyers, Guns & Money]

    * Everyday we (the ABA) hustlin’. [Law and More]

    0 Comments / / Jul 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM
  • saulgoodman__130409172658__130726211708-275x213

    Books, Constitutional Law, D.C. Circuit, Drinking, Health Care / Medicine, Non-Sequiturs, Patents, Sexual Harassment, Television

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.24.14

    * Have you all called the Breaking Bad law firm number yet? Because it works, so go for it! [Legal Cheek]

    * How to make airlines more profitable: make everyone sit on bicycle seats! [Lowering the Bar]

    * Ilya Somin explains why the D.C. Circuit’s interpretation in Halbig isn’t absurd. And it’s not absurd. It just reflects the hilariously cynical conservative opposition to giving their own citizens tax breaks. [The Volokh Conspiracy / Washington Post]

    * Ohio State fired its band director amid sexual harassment allegations. To fire a guy, Ohio State must have dotted every “i” in this investigation. [USA Today]

    * Speaking of sexual harassment, the Navy’s Blue Angels are the subject of a sexual harassment suit. And somehow it involves a blue and gold penis seen from space. [Slate]

    * The Chevron battle over Ecuador continues. Turns out the star witness Chevron paid upwards of $1 million to testify took 50 days of prep to finally get his ever-shifting story straight. [Huffington Post]

    * There’s a new book out called Kate’s Escape from the Billable Hour (affiliate link). We haven’t read it, but apparently this tale of “a burnt-out, second-year attorney working in the dysfunctional world of Big Law” mentions ATL. So they definitely did their research. [Amazon]

    * Watch a drunk guy give cops a lesson in Con Law. Video after the jump…. [Barstool Sports]

    0 Comments / / Jul 24, 2014 at 4:55 PM
  • Just try telling him to put out his smokes. Not gonna happen.

    4th Circuit, D.C. Circuit, Gay, Guns / Firearms, Health Care / Medicine, Non-Sequiturs, Police

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.23.14

    * Looming legal battle over the confidentiality agreement at the center of lawsuit over which team John Travolta plays for. [Gawker]

    * The fallout from yesterday’s Obamacare Appellageddon continues. The D.C. Circuit and the Fourth Circuit are going to have some awkward parties until this gets resolved. [Federal Regulations Advisor]

    * Somebody got confused and thought that Stand Your Ground laws applied to protect black people. [News 4 Jax]

    * In Louisiana, a justice of the peace is given public money to hire all their staff and buy all their equipment and pay themselves whatever salary they want out of the remainder. One guy had a very clever idea about how to allocate that money and it set off a legal fight. Oh, and apparently the best job in Louisiana is to be a constable. So now you know. [Times-Picayune]

    * Do you know the 12 Rules of Client Service? Are you at least ready to fight over them? [What About Clients?]

    * Newark police can’t even come up with constitutional excuses for 75 percent of what they do. [Slate]

    * Lululemon figured that patent trolls were onto something and patented its clothing designs and aggressively pursues anyone who dares design a tank top with a built-in bra. Who would ever have thought of such an original idea? [Jezebel]

    * The University of California is increasing non-resident enrollment for budget reasons. Law schools presumably follow suit. [TaxProf Blog]

    0 Comments / / Jul 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM
  • Beyond Biglaw

    Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Intellectual Property, Litigators, Patents, Small Law Firms, Technology

    Beyond Biglaw: When You Need It, Build It

    Would you be interested in getting automated alerts of new docket entries and opinions in the cases you are monitoring? A boutique law firm might have the solution for you.

    1 Comment / / Jul 22, 2014 at 10:17 AM
  • prayer LF

    Copyright, Debra Wong Yang, Education / Schools, Gay, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, Police, Religion, SCOTUS, Sexual Harassment, Supreme Court

    Non-Sequiturs: 07.14.14

    * Man claims his former employer discriminated against him because he was an atheist. Yep, this Hobby Lobby thing isn’t going to have any repercussions at all. [Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal]

    * Speaking of atheists and SCOTUS, the Court may have authorized the Town of Greece to get all religiousy at town board meetings, but an atheist is stepping up to the plate to deliver an invocation. Freedom of religion does mean he gets a turn. [Rochester Homepage]

    * There’s an icky sexual harassment story coming out of an elite L.A. school. And they’ve hired an elite law firm to investigate. [Gawker]

    * Cops do hear some pretty funny stories when they pull people over. [Legal Juice]

    * If you’re out of work, here’s an idea: this solicitor-to-be posted a selfie with a pigeon on Facebook and got an offer — along with a lot of publicity. [Legal Cheek]

    * Is the future of legal education online? Perhaps the better question is, “How will law schools overcharge when they no longer have brick-and-mortar facilities?” [Tipping the Scales]

    * A judge explains that incest and pedophilia aren’t such big deals anymore because gay people are accepted. Wow. [Jezebel]

    * Are you keeping up with Kirby v. Marvel? Because Jack Kirby’s estate is making a run at the Supreme Court in a case that affects billions. Embed below… [Bloomberg]

    7 Comments / / Jul 14, 2014 at 5:17 PM
  • Beyond Biglaw

    Biglaw, Boutique Law Firms, Intellectual Property, Patents, Small Law Firms

    Beyond Biglaw: The Limits Of Lawyers

    Lawyers, it’s not all about you.

    2 Comments / / Jul 1, 2014 at 1:44 PM
  • iStock_000009923649Small-RF

    Food, Patents, Technology

    How Patents Are Stopping Your Microwave From Being Awesome

    Just another super awesome product being blocked by a broken patent process.

    23 Comments / / Jun 27, 2014 at 11:04 AM
  • persiancatkitten

    Animal Law, Biglaw, Copyright, Non-Sequiturs, Sex, Supreme Court

    Non-Sequiturs: 06.26.14

    * Watchcat! [Legal Juice]

    * On a similar note, New York banning “Tiger Selfies.” When do they give out the Darwin Awards again? [Lowering the Bar]

    * Are there lessons to be learned from the lawyer who applied for — and got rejected from — a paralegal gig? [Law and More]

    * Have you ever seen a standup comic playing music during a set? Well, they’re doing it to prevent others — clubs, networks, etc. — from lifting their work and selling it as their own. Welcome to the world of standups and copyright. [The Legal Geeks]

    * You already heard our take. Now for someone who took some actual time to think about what Noel Canning means. [Federal Regulations Advisor]

    * The sexiest law firm in the world? [The Careerist]

    * The Supreme Court is less conservative than we think. Let’s have a poll! After reading this, do you think SCOTUS is less conservative than you expected? After the jump…. [Washington Post]

    3 Comments / / Jun 26, 2014 at 4:28 PM
  • rainbow flag

    10th Circuit, Baseball, Biglaw, Crime, Gay Marriage, Morning Docket, Patents, Plaintiffs Firms, Tax Law, Technology, Utah

    Morning Docket: 06.26.14

    * In case you missed this piece of news amid yesterday’s Supreme Court madness, the Tenth Circuit found Utah’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional. It’s the first federal appeals court to make such a ruling. Hooray! [New York Times]

    * “Just about everyone he came in contact with, he managed to corrupt.” Paul Daugerdas, formerly of Jenkins & Gilchrist, was sentenced to 15 years for his role in an $8B fraud scheme. [Businessweek]

    * Despite what you may have been led to believe, not all patent awards are as high as those you see in media headlines. Fewer than 2% of infringement cases even result in damages. [National Law Journal]

    * When is it okay to turn down a Biglaw offer and head to a plaintiffs firm? Probably when you’re planning to file a massive class-action suit against the MLB on behalf of minor leaguers. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

    * William Mitchell Law’s new J.D. program is the first of its kind to be approved by the ABA. It’s half online, half on-site (does 9 times count as half?), and we see more like this coming down the line. [U.S. News]

    5 Comments / / Jun 26, 2014 at 9:09 AM
  • 'Would you like fries with that, Your Honor?'

    Biglaw, Crime, English Grammar and Usage, Fast Food, Federal Judges, Morning Docket, Patents, SCOTUS, Screw-Ups, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Supreme Court

    Morning Docket: 06.25.14

    * With OT 2013 drawing to a close, here’s a nifty chart that shows which Supreme Court justices vote together most and least often. The division is real, people. [The Upshot / New York Times]

    * “Not only do they have unique interpretations of the Constitution but they can’t even agree on how to pronounce words.” Listen to our SCOTUS justices flub the word “certiorari.” [Legal Times]

    * Quinn Emanuel and Samsung must now pay more than $2M in sanctions to Nokia and Apple after leaking confidential, “attorneys’ eyes only” information in a discovery blunder. Oopsie! [Legal Week]

    * “Why can’t you get a real job?” This judge — the same one who sentenced a rapist to just 30 days in prison — told a fast-food worker to get a better job to pay off his restitution more quickly. [Billings Gazette]

    * If you think you’ve seen the best of the “Law and ______” classes, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Say hello to some newcomers, like Video Game Law and Law of Robots. Justice Scalia is pissed. [WSJ Law Blog]

    3 Comments / / Jun 25, 2014 at 8:32 AM
  • Aunt Jemima 2

    Racism, Sexism, Trademarks

    Your Legal Guide To Offensive Trademarks

    Everything you ever needed to know about racist trademarks

    21 Comments / / Jun 20, 2014 at 3:42 PM
  • Redskins

    D.C. Circuit, Football, Quote of the Day, Racism, Trademarks

    Redskins Really Hoping For Judge Who Has Never Read A Dictionary

    A long time ago, one judge thought Native Americans weren’t necessarily offended by “Redskins.” Washington is really hoping they find another judge like that.

    37 Comments / / Jun 19, 2014 at 4:04 PM
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