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When thinking about intellectual property (IP), most people likely think about patents, trademarks and copyrights. In the most simplistic terms: patents protect novel and non-obvious inventions; trademarks protect a business’ brand names and logos; and copyrights protect tangible, fixed works of creative expression. Trade secrets are also increasingly being recognized as the fourth main pillar of IP and can run the gamut from things like customer lists and pricing, to inventions that may or may not be patentable. Every business has some or all of these forms of IP, but what about lesser known forms of IP such as “trade dress”? Trade dress is a kind of trademark that protects the overall look and design of products and packaging. Many (if not most) product companies and retail establishments have protectable trade dress, although not all companies recognize that they have it (and therefore don’t protect it!).
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By Li-Jen Shen, Cory Smith and George C. Chen
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has finally filled a gap left by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the standard for finding deceptive intent when trying to prove fraud on the USPTO.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
The Ninth Circuit ruling in Flo & Eddie may turn out to be last stop on the long and winding road the owners of pre-1972 recordings have traveled in their efforts to obtain compensation for public performances through platforms like Sirius.
By Willem Klein
Patent marking is an important step in the patent lifecycle as it is generally required to seek damages from infringers prior to the date the suit is filed. While virtual marking has somewhat reduced the overhead of marking, it suffers from the same problems all Internet-based evidence runs into in court: websites are ephemeral and have intermittent accessibility, as well as poor public logging of when information existed where, and for how long. NFTs on a digital blockchain could potentially overcome these hurdles, while still providing the benefits of virtual marking via websites.
By Joshua R. Stein and Jeffrey S. Ginsberg
Pair of Federal Circuit Decisions Address Standing to Appeal Adverse IPR Decision