Patent reform to be derailed by human trafficking?
Tensions in the Senate Judiciary Committee over a human
trafficking bill are holding back progress on patent reform,
measure introduced by Senator John Cornyn has been criticised
by Senator Patrick Leahy (right), who said Republicans are
playing "political games" by inserting an abortion provision
into the bill.
Politico quoted sources reporting delays in progress on
patent reform as a result of the skirmish. However, it also
quoted Cornyn denying the human trafficking bill is causing a
holdup in the patent reform. "We’re big boys and
girls and can decide each on its merits," Cornyn said. He had
previously said a patent reform deal could be come up with by
"sometime late in April".
Leahy also denied the abortion dispute had stopped patent
negotiations. "We are close and I would rather take a few days
longer and get it right and get everybody together on it than
try to rush something through simply to have something," he
Does the USPTO know what it is
A report released on Monday by the inspector general for the
Commerce Department concluded that the USPTO has almost no way
of knowing if patent examiners are doing their jobs well,
reports The Washington Post.
Commerce Department report identified deficiencies with
quality assurance, which "make it difficult to distinguish
between patent examiners who are issuing high-quality patents
and those who are not".
Between fiscal years 2011 and 2013, more than 95% of
examiners received outstanding or commendable ratings for
"quality" in their annual evaluations. And between 2009 and
2013, 99% of examiners received ratings that made them eligible
for almost $145 million in bonuses a year, or an average of
$6,000 per examiner.
sued Marc Jacobs in the District Court of Oregon, claiming
a jacket with four parallel stripes on its sleeves infringes
Adidas’ three-stripes mark.
The court will decide whether no other designer can feature
three parallel stripes or four parallel stripes on a garment.
Adidas alleges trade mark infringement, trade mark dilution and
unfair and deceptive trade practices. It wants the court to
stop Marc Jacobs from making the garment, to stop using the
mark and order the destruction of goods using the mark, as well
as award damages.
"It remains to be seen if the court will be convinced that
four stripes on a garment infringes the Three Stripes Mark,"
noted the Marie-Andree Weiss blog. "However, if Plaintiffs
are unsuccessful in their trademark infringement claim, they
may still be successful in their dilution claim."
Do the prices for .sucks suck?
Icann has asked the US and Canadian trade authorities to
investigate Vox Populi, which has the rights to sell the .sucks
gTLD. The BBC reports
that Icann is concerned about the prices being set for
The BBC quotes a source saying that a $2,000 sunrise premium
is being charged to those wishing to register .sucks addresses
early and that Vox Populi is using a list of words and names
that have defensively been registered for similar domain
addresses and for which they are charging the top amount.
were considering a fee of $25,000 at one point when we spoke to
them," Kevin Murphy from Domain Incite told the BBC. "I think
they are charging as much as they can get away with."
Intellectual Property Constituency, which advises Icann on
policy issues, in a letter to Icann demanded a "halt" to Vox
Populi's "illicit", "predatory" and "coercive" selling
Berard, CEO of Vox Populi Registry, responded to
a blog post on DLA Piper’s Re: Marks On Copyright
and Trademark blog by saying his company’s
mission is not just to sell names but to "create a new
destination" where "criticism can be heard and engaged".
in comments published in a
blog post by DLA Piper: "Right now, companies don't always
get the chance to correct the record. Heck, a lot of what shows
up in search results can't even be run to ground.
the beginning I have said there is no need (it is certainly not
mandatory) for a company to register its dotSucks domain. Just
be willing to engage. In 2015 with 20 years’
experience of the Internet as a business platform, I would not
have thought this to be so radical an idea."
Circuit takes on Lexmark en banc
The Federal Circuit has ordered an en banc briefing on the
issue of international patent exhaustion in Lexmark v
Impression Prod, as
noted on the Patently-O blog.
presents two questions:
(a) Should this court overrule Jazz Photo Corp. v.
International Trade Commission, 264 F.3d 1094 (Fed. Cir.
(b) The case involves (i) sales of patented articles to end
users under a restriction that they use the articles once and
then return them and (ii) sales of the same patented articles
to resellers under a restriction that resales take place
under the single-use-and-return restriction. Do any of those
sales give rise to patent exhaustion? In light of Quanta
Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc., 553 U.S. 617 (2008),
should this court overrule Mallinckrodt, Inc. v. Medipart,
Inc., 976 F.2d 700 (Fed. Cir. 1992), to the extent it ruled
that a sale of a patented article, when the sale is made
under a restriction that is otherwise lawful and within the
scope of the patent grant, does not give rise to patent
Also on the blog this week:
Two trade mark questions to be clarified in
Free webinar: Avoiding the pitfalls in
post-grant trials at the PTAB
In our news and analysis this week:
Analysing PTAB filings in the first quarter of
Euromoney LMG Americas Women in Business Law
Awards 2015 – shortlist announced
$150 million savings – how far can
What to consider before obtaining and
enforcing a Unitary Patent
Trends in US patent damages in 2014 and
Breaking down the class (and subclass) barrier
Has the USPTO 'failed’?
EFF succeeds in podcasting patent IPR
proceeding at the PTAB