Also on the blog this week
Celgene files motion for sanctions against
Why Twitter is not seeing the funny side to
Meet our most diverse MIP 50 ever
Study on USPTO teleworking
An eight-month study by the National Academy of Public
Administration into the USPTO’s teleworking
programme was released on Friday. The
Washington Post reports that the study found that the
patent system stresses "quantitative production over quality"
and questions whether examiners work hard enough.
The report found that oversight has been improved in the
past year, such as making it tougher for examiners to take
credit for work they have not submitted and requiring some
employees to use an electronic device to indicate when they are
at their computers.
"We were struck by the supervisors’ need for
better backing," The Washington Post quoted David Chu, who led
a panel of five public policy specialists conducting the study,
as saying. "They need more tools and more authority."
Examiners have been given two-and-a-half hours on average to
examine patents in recent years, which is an increase on
"This one-size-fits-all approach may provide more time than
necessary for less-complex patent applications," the review
said. It noted that technological advances such as search
engines speed up examinations, not slow them down.
The Washington Post last year levelled charges against the
that the teleworking programme was a hotbed of
mismanagement and that employers were abusing the
work-from-home programme by lying about work hours.
A Happy Birthday present
The long-running dispute over the song "Happy Birthday to
You" was back in the headlines this week.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a "smoking gun" had
emerged on the eve of a judge’s ruling in the
dispute over filmmakers working on a documentary and
Warner/Chappell, which claims rights to the song.
The filmmakers are working on a documentary about the song
and are suing for right to use it without paying a $1,500
licence fee. They filed documents this week claiming to prove
"conclusively that there is no copyright to the Happy Birthday
The documents cited a book of children’s songs
from 1922 that included the song’s lyrics without
any copyright notice. The plaintiffs argue this shows the
lyrics were dedicated to the public before the copyright
registration in 1935 that Warner/Chappell is relying upon.
A hearing two days after the filing was made
did not include discussion of the motion, however. "I was a
little disappointed that [discussion of the new evidence]
didn’t happen because I think the evidence is so
compelling," the plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Rifkin
told The Hollywood Reporter.
TTAB calls attorney "pedantic, unreasonable, and
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board this week called out
the attorney for chocolate maker Cadbury UK.
According to the TTABlog, the Board grated
Meenai’s motion to compel petitioner Cadbury to
respond to a request for documents.
Cadbury had refused to do this because it said there was "an
obvious and inadvertent" typographical error in the request.
The TTAB said that Cadbury’s response was
"unreasonable" and wasted the time of the parties and the
In Meenai’s motion it had mistakenly referred
to the petitioner as "Venture Execution Partners".
TTAB said: "The isolated reference to Venture Execution
Partners, Inc, was clearly a typographical error; it did not
cause a matter of real confusion or misunderstanding. The
motion to compel is the result of Petitioner’s
attorney apparently concluding, upon the discovery of a
typographical error, that he had found an excuse to become
pedantic, unreasonable, and uncooperative."
identified Fross Zelnick as Cadbury’s law firm
in the case.
Federal Circuit gives
Qualcomm good news
ParkerVision has lost in its efforts to revive a $173 patent
infringement verdict against Qualcomm. On Friday,
the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court for the
Middle District of Florida’s verdict of
non-infringement of ParkerVision’s patents
relating to "down-converting" electromagnetic signals.
In the initial trial, the jury awarded ParkerVision $173
million in damages but found that Qualcomm’s
infringement was not wilful. The damages verdict was later
overturned by the judge in the case.
The Federal Circuit furthermore upheld the district court's
decision denying Qualcomm's judgement as a matter of law (JMOL)
motion for invalidity with regard to claim 27 of the '518
patent but reversed the district court's decision with regard
to Qualcomm's JMOL for invalidity on the remaining claims in
Jeffrey Parker, ParkerVision's chairman and chief executive
said in a statement: "Despite this setback, we will
consider further options on appeal, and will move forward in
our second infringement case against Qualcomm, HTC and
Jordan loses China trade mark dispute
Basketball legend Michael Jordan has lost a lawsuit against
Qiaodan Sports in China’s Supreme Court after a
number of appeals,
reports International Business Times.
Jordan sued the company in 2012 for using his Chinese name,
his 23 playing number, and a silhouette logo (left) similar to
Nike’s iconic Jumpman one. He said
of Michael Jordan’s name and its aggressive
marketing tactics have misled Chinese consumers".
The lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that there was
insufficient evidence that Qiaodan’s trade marks
referred to Jordan.
IP referenced in Capitol
Building barricade crash
A driver who crashed into a barricade at the US Capitol
Building on Friday said that he was angry about a patent
According to NBC Washington, Antonio Pierorazio hit a
barrier intentionally. "I have a European Brazilian patent that
are gone," he said as police escorted him away. This apparently
was a reference to his clothing designs.
In our news and analysis this week:
US legislators consider trade secrets bills
and patent box
USPTO names Drew Hirshfeld as commissioner for
The 50 most influential people in IP
Federal Circuit says TTAB must take
third-party registrations into account more
Federal Circuit says biosimilar applicants can
decline patent dance