Intellectual Property Law Blog

Archive for the ‘Trademarks’ Category

Recognizing Inventor Howard Head

July 7th, 2017

Try as he might, tall and lanky Howard Head never could claim to be truly proficient at the sports he loved. But he could say that he changed them forever. As he explained it when I first met him, he was a frustrated weekend athlete, and he thought that his frustration was linked to the equipment available.

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SCOTUS Rules Trademark Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

June 22nd, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the U.S. Trademark Office’s refusal to register “The Slants” as a trademark for an Oregon-based rock band was unconstitutional. This is a case the trademark attorneys at Panitch Schwarze have been watching closely, as this landmark decision could reshape U.S. trademark law significantly.

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Trademarks Update: Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Disparagement Provision

October 20th, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to answer a question that has plagued federal trademark law for decades: Does the government have the right to refuse to register trademarks which it has deemed “disparaging?” And, given that the First Amendment prohibits our government from restricting speech, does it make sense to have the U.S. Trademark Office approve or deny trademark registrations on grounds that may limit speech?

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What Does the Brexit Vote Mean for IP Protection?

July 7th, 2016

As is well known by now, the citizens of Great Britain have chosen to leave the European Union (EU), a move popularly dubbed the “Brexit.” Despite the economic upheaval and media firestorm surrounding the vote, the realm of intellectual property law is unlikely to see any immediate consequences from the Brexit.

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Honoring Great American Inventor Lonnie G. Johnson

April 26th, 2016

From the trademark protecting “Star Wars” merchandise to the patent protecting the repositionable adhesive on the Post-It® note, the legal protection of intellectual property drives innovation and fuels our economy.

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3 Top IP Moments of 2015

January 7th, 2016

It’s that time of year when seemingly every blog and online publication posts year-end “listicles,” and, for better or worse, we are no exception. It’s more difficult for us, though, because as engineers and intellectual property attorneys, we prefer objective analysis. “Biggest,” “best,” and other superlatives are invariably laden with subjective judgment. In a year…

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CAFC: Gov’t Can’t Censor ‘Disparaging’ Trademarks

December 29th, 2015

When we discussed the provision of U.S. trademark law that prohibits the use of “disparaging” words in a registered trademark, we noted that “change may be on the horizon.” On Dec. 22, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that at least the prohibition against registration of “disparaging marks” (Section 2(a) of…

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What is the Status of Patents for Software Inventions, Post-Alice?

October 15th, 2015

It has been more than a year since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Alice v. CLS Bank which ruled that the two-step Mayo analysis should be applied to all patents in determining patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. While this analysis provides a few bright line rules (e.g., implementing a known process using generic computer elements is not patentable), it failed to offer any clarity regarding how to perform the two-step Mayo analysis on software inventions, which requires determining whether an abstract idea is recited, whether there is preemption of the abstract idea, and whether an “inventive concept” is recited such that the invention is directed to something “significantly more” than the abstract idea itself.

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U.S. Trademark Law and Google and BMW’s Shared ‘Alphabet’

August 26th, 2015

Once you’ve trademarked the name of your business, no other entity can use that name in commerce. Everybody knows that. Right?

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Protecting Your Intellectual Property on the Web

August 6th, 2015

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas made headlines earlier this year for a reason completely unrelated to his politics. Shortly after Cruz announced his candidacy for the next presidential election, the news media discovered that the presumptive Internet address for the new candidate’s campaign had been “hijacked” and now displayed a message that was contrary to Cruz’s own political stances.

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