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Patent reform, USPTO, Adidas, Marc Jacobs, .sucks, Federal Circuit – the week in IP

Patent reform being held back by a fight over human trafficking, a report saying the USPTO cannot distinguish between good and bad examiners, Adidas suing Marc Jacobs for trade mark infringement, criticism of the .sucks gTLD, and the Federal Circuit ordering an en banc rehearing of Lexmark v Impression were in the IP headlines this week

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, reports Politico.


A trafficking 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 said.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Sukanya Sarkar shares her thoughts on this year’s annual meeting in Singapore, where debates ranged from AI opportunities to improving law firm culture
The court’s ruling is a good reminder that US parties aren’t guaranteed attorney fees just because they win, say sources
With business confidence in a shaky state, Rachel Tong and Lisa Yong of Rouse discuss how in-house IP teams can manage their trademark portfolios through uncertain times
The Court of Appeal had stern words for Med-El’s representatives after they highlighted a deputy judge’s background as a solicitor
Funders and NPEs say asserting patent portfolios can minimise risk at the USPTO’s PTAB, where procedure remains a controversial topic
The US Supreme Court’s ruling wasn’t a surprise and reflects a trend that had already been bubbling away for a while, say tech and pharma counsel
Previous attempts at major transatlantic tie-ups have failed, so lawyers will keep their eyes firmly on Allen & Overy’s grand plans
INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo shares his plans if he were to win the EUIPO leadership race and says his application does not affect his INTA role
The French finance minister told António Campinos the timing of an EPO event in Lisbon could be seen as interference in the EUIPO leadership race