Also on the blog in the past week were:
Kenyon comes to end of road but IP boutique model not
Webinar: IP Stars 2017
We’ve also posted the following articles in the
past week (log in via subscription or free
EPO President Battistelli on appeals reforms
IP Stars 2017 research now underway
Samsung ordered to pay treble damages in first TXED post-Halo
PTAB 4 Years In: Is the Board too hard on motions to
PTAB 4 Years In: Rule changes – a declaration of
Global IP & Innovation Summit, Shanghai - Day 2
PTAB "arbitrary and capricious" in denying motion to amend
Unitary Patent and UPC: A progress report (August 2016)
Global IP & Innovation Summit - live updates
Interview: Europol IP crime specialist, Bérengère
Report suggests USPTO attendance abuse
of Commerce investigation has charged that thousands of
USPTO employees billed almost 300,000 hours that they never
reports The Washington Post. The report says this is
equivalent to $18.3 million.
The Post explained: "Using records of turnstile badge
swipes, computer logins and remote connections from
examiners’ homes to federal computer systems,
investigators looked for discrepancies between the time
employees reported working and the hours they actually put
Deputy Inspector General David Smith’s office
found a gap of 288,480 hours covering not only employees with
permission to work independently from home but also examiners
assigned to the agency’s Alexandria, Va.,
headquarters who were gaming the system."
The USPTO noted that this is a small amount,
stating that "there was a lack of a digital footprint in
approximately 2% of the total hours claimed by the patent
examiners during the 15 month period".
The House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee responded by
setting up a hearing with USPTO Director Michelle Lee for
next Tuesday, September 13.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (left)
said: "I am extremely concerned about the recent Inspector
General’s report that indicates time and
attendance fraud is still a serious problem at the Patent and
Trademark Office. The amount of wasted man-hours that could
have been spent reducing the patent backlog is astounding, not
to mention the millions of taxpayer dollars that were wasted
paying USPTO employees for work they were not doing.
"I am also concerned about the recent Government
Accountability Office’s study that indicated the
increase in the number of patent infringement lawsuits being
filed can be directly attributed to concerns over patent
quality. While the Patent and Trademark Office has taken steps
to improve patent quality, the GAO found that more work is
needed in this area."
Lohan loses likeness lawsuit
Lindsay Lohan’s lawsuit against Take-Two
Interactive Software has been thrown out,
reports Bloomberg. The actress claimed that video game
Grand Theft Auto V violated her privacy by using her likeness
A New York appeals court ruled the
game was a work of fiction and satire, and that the use of a
character named Lackey Jonas fell outside the legal definitions
of advertising and trade and was protected by the First
"Video-game makers are increasingly battling athletes and
celebrities that claim their likenesses are being used in games
without permission," explained Bloomberg. "Actress Ellen Page
alleged in 2013 that a video game used her image for a
character, and a group of college athletes won a $40 million
settlement from Electronic Arts Inc in 2014 and Collegiate
Licensing Co after they sued over the use of their likenesses
in NCAA-branded video games."
It added: "Last year, Take-Two was sued in Manhattan federal
court over claims its National Basketball Association games
violated copyrights by depicting the actual tattoos of LeBron
James, Kobe Bryant and other stars. Take-Two has called the
claims don’t have merit, and last month, a judge
threw out the plaintiffs’ demands for statutory
damages and attorneys’ fees in the case."
Spangenberg aims digs at EFF
Erich Spangenberg has criticised a call from the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF) for universities to pledge not to
license of sell patent rights to patent trolls.
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation
(EFF) wants universities to roll over and play dead when giant
corporations steal their intellectual property,"
said Spangenberg on his blog. "Displaying a shocking level
of ignorance about how the patent system works, the EFF has
called on universities to sign a 'Public Interest Patent
Spangenberg continued: "It all sounds very noble, unless you
have some basic understanding of how the patent system
The EFF urged universities to "partner with those who are
actively working to bring new technologies and ideas to
Spangenberg countered that there’s only one way
to stop others from using your patents: through litigation. He
said that the EFF saying they should not hire patent assertion
entities to do it for them would be like saying
"don’t use FedEx to deliver your packages, you
should deliver them yourselves, because we don’t
like FedEx’s business model since they use big
trucks and not a Prius."
Mexico’s opposition system is live
Mexico’s opposition system entered into force
on August 30,
reports Clarke Modet & Co.
The amendments to Mexico’s industrial property
law introducing trade mark opposition proceedings
were published in the federal gazette on June 1.
The new procedure will last approximately three months.
Clarke Modet explained it will involve the following steps.
applications shall be published within 10 business days as of
the filing date;
third party may oppose the application within a non-extendable
term of one month, counted from the publication date;
the opposition period of one month has passed, the list of
applications that received an opposition shall be published
within the following 10 business days;
After the list of opposed applications has been published,
applicants shall be allowed a one-month period for replying to
Argentina signals PCT interest
In other Latin American IP news, the new president of the
Argentine PTO (INPI) has announced his intention to adopt the
Patent Cooperation Treaty,
reports Moeller IP Advisers.
Dámaso Pardo, who started his role in June,
also announced a plan to improve efficiency and modernisation
of the INPI, integrate INPI better with the rest of the world,
and focus on promotion and influence within the INPI.
(This story is updated to correct an earlier version that
said Pardo also signalled an intention to join Madrid. INPI
told Managing IP that he did not mention anything about
LV lawsuit not law professors’ bag
Techdirt has stuck the boot into "a ridiculous lawsuit by
the notoriously overaggressive trade mark enforcers at luxury
goods giant Louis Vuitton".
The case involved a small bag maker
called "My Other Bag" that used a drawing that looked like a
Louis Vuitton bag on the side of a tote bag. The court ruled
that it was clearly a joke and advised that in some cases "it
is better to 'accept the implied compliment in [a]
parody’ and to smile or laugh than it is to
Techdirt takes up the story: "For whatever reason, LV
appealed this decision. And while one hopes that the appeals
court will make quick work of the case and back the district
court ruling, something interesting may be happening as well. A
group of law professors has jumped into the case with a
fascinating amicus brief, not just arguing in favor of My Other
Bag, but actually making a constitutional argument that the
very concept of dilution in trademark law is unconstitutional
under the First Amendment."
the brief includes such well-known names as Chris Sprigman,
Rebecca Tushnet, Pamela Samuelson, Mark Lemley and Robert
Warner Bros flagged its own site to Google for infringing
reports Ars Technica.