Wednesday, 27 August 2014 22:55

Champagne, Roquefort, Eau Rouge?

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To most motorsport enthusiasts, Eau Rouge is evocative of speed, precision, and a certain intestinal fortitude required of those whose hobbies involve donning fire-proof suits. It is no wonder, then, that Infiniti would choose the moniker to adorn its latest sports concept, and furthermore, seek to register the term as a trademark.

Bingo, the popular game of chance and subject of a multi-billion dollar gaming industry, came within the sights of the Federal Circuit’s application of patent eligibility recently.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Aereo “performs” the copyrighted works “publicly” as those terms are defined by the Copyright Act, thus infringing the copyrights of the content owners.

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that all claims at issue in the highly anticipated case of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l. are invalid under §101 of the patent statutes.

In a 2-1 landmark decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six (6) "WASHINGTON REDSKINS" federal trademark registrations finding that the name “Redskins” is “disparaging to Native Americans” at the respective times they were registered, in violation of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act.

Friday, 23 May 2014 19:45

Chief Judge Rader Stepping Down

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Chief Judge Randall Rader announced that he will be stepping down from his position as chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, effective May 30, 2014. Judge Sharon Prost will succeed Judge Rader as chief judge. Judge Rader, who leaves the position with three years remaining in his seven-year term as chief judge, will remain in active service to the Court.

Friday, 16 May 2014 20:42

API is Subject of Copyright, Says Fed. Cir.

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The Federal Circuit held recently that an application programming interface (“API”) may fall within the scope of copyright protection despite its functionality.

Oracle v. Google primarily concerned Google’s copying of the “structure, sequence and organization” of numerous API packages of Oracle’s Java software package.

Effective June 2, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will commence a six-month Glossary Pilot Program to promote clarity in patent claims, particularly for software-related inventions (falling under technologies examined by USPTO Technology Centers 2100, 2400, 2600, and 3600/Business Methods).  Possible benefits of the program could include quicker and more consistent examination, with hopes for higher quality patent claims.  Possible concerns about the initiative might include a potential for inadvertent over-narrowing of certain defined terms.

The program requires an applicant to include a glossary section in the patent application specification to define terms used in the patent claims.  Applications accepted into the pilot program will receive expedited processing and be placed on an examiner’s special docket prior to the first office action.

The March 27, 2014 Federal Register details for the Glossary Pilot Program can be found here.

A link to the USPTO press release about the program is provided here.

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