Getting Off on the Wrong Foot: How Marketing Strategies Can Backfire

The European Court of Justice affirmed an earlier decision of the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in a case where Puma was attempting to gain a European Union (EU) Community Design on its “Puma Creeper Shoe.” On March 6, 2024, the EU Court struck down the validity of Puma’s registered EU design, based on a …

You Received a “Notice of Data Security Incident” from the USPTO—Now What?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued a notice that a data security incident exposed domicile addresses of numerous trademark applicants who filed applications between February 2020 and March 2023. A copy of the first page of the notice is below: The USPTO stated that the incident occurred when a vulnerability in …

The Effect on Trade Secret Protection by the Federal Trade Commission’s Proposed Ban on Non-Compete Agreements

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a ban on non-compete agreements between an employer and its workers as an unfair method of competition. The FTC’s proposed ban is intended to promote competition and innovation by providing workers with more freedom to move between companies. However, this proposal has raised concerns about …

New USPTO Fee Schedule Reduces Costs for PCT Patent Filings and Small and Micro Entities

The enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 includes the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022 (UAIA), directed toward increasing innovation of small businesses and inventors in America. Congress is using the UAIA to reduce barriers to patent system entry, such as the costs associated with filing and prosecuting patent applications as well as maintaining …

PROTECTING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THROUGHOUT THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS

Many companies, including U.S. companies, find manufacturing abroad attractive because of its affordable costs, capacity, and distribution networks. Typically discussions or negotiations with a foreign manufacturer will concern the type of product to be produced, which often involves providing the manufacturer with sufficient detail to enable the manufacturer to provide a proposal. These seemingly harmless …

Freedom to Operate Opinions: What Are They, and Why Are They Important?

What is a freedom to operate opinion, and why is it important? A freedom to operate opinion (FTO) is a legal opinion from a qualified intellectual property attorney that concludes a proposed commercial product or process may be made, used, sold, or offered for sale without infringing another party’s intellectual property rights. Although there is …

New Stimulus Bill Creates Small Claims Copyright Court

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the highly anticipated COVID-19 stimulus relief and government-funding bill. The second stimulus package is omnibus legislation spanning over 5,500 pages, and includes several provisions that will influence the intellectual property legal landscape. In this article, we will take a brief look at the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement …

THE SURPRISING SCOPE OF EUROPEAN DESIGN PATENT RIGHTS

The scope of European design patents are quite surprising. Unlike in the U.S., design patent applications in Europe are not reviewed by an Examiner to determine patentability – the patent application just has to meet the formality requirements to grant. Thus, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) does not determine the scope of a …