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In Matal v. Tam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), the Supreme Court held that a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), prohibiting the federal registration of potentially disparaging trademarks and service marks, violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The eight justices participating in the case agreed that the prohibition constituted a viewpoint-based government restriction, but they divided evenly on the constitutional significance of that consideration. Whatever the resolution of that division ultimately may be, though, the outcome of the litigation is unlikely to affect the validity of most — but not necessarily all — of the Lanham Act’s other prohibitions on registration.
By Scott D. Locke
The recent In Re Rembrandt Technologies decision is a reminder of both the potential consequence of a patent holder’s disingenuous assertion of unintentionality and the challenges that defendants face when raising the improper filing of a petition to revive a lapsed patent as a defense.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
Recently, the Southern District of New York resolved a question that neither the Southern District nor the Second Circuit had ever squarely faced: Can the lawful owner of an art object create and post a photograph of that object in connection with the sale of the object through an online platform such as eBay, without the permission of the owner of copyright in the object?
By Olivera Medenica
A look at several unique trademark cases where the plaintiff fashion brand proactively sought to invalidate a competitor’s non-traditional trademarks, an action which reflects a push back on increasingly aggressive litigation tactics by fashion brands seeking to blur the lines between a non-protectable fashion trend and a protectable trademark.
By Scott Graham
The USPTO announced revisions to PTAB procedures that formalize Andrei Iancu’s control over the 250 administrative patent judges and their policy-making, while making that control more transparent.