Can Material Properties be an Abstract Idea?
In the scientific community, material properties have long been used to define and characterize materials and other compositions of matter. However, under a recent decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC), some types of material properties may now be considered an "abstract idea," and thus patent ineligible subject matter.
Means-Plus-Function Claiming: A Path to The Darkside
A U.S. district court's recent Markman claim construction order highlights once again some of the problems associated with means-plus-function claiming allowed in U.S. patent practice pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). Because no algorithms for performing the specialized functions of the claimed "controller" of the "Tower Ride" portion of the amusement park ride "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance," an attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland in California, are disclosed in the asserted patent, the claim term "controller" was held to be indefinite.
SuperGuide; How "At Least One of A, B, and C" Has Been Interpreted
How should the phrase "at least one of A, B, and C" be construed? Can it be understood as disjunctive, where A, B, or C can be optional? Or should it be interpreted as conjunctive, where one of each of A, B, and C are all required? Both interpretations have been used by district courts and the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit ("CAFC") in the past; however, the conjunctive construction has been applied only in a particularly narrow set of fact-specific cases. Particularly, the CAFC focused on the application of grammatical principles necessitating that treatment of modifiers of a list (e.g., at least one of) be applied to all of the listed elements (e.g., A, B, and C).
Jack Daniel's Trademark Dispute Against Parodying Toy Maker Argued Before US Supreme Court
On March 22, 2023, the US Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case about the rights of a trademark holder in conflict with the First Amendment's freedom-of-speech rights of a company wanting to use those trademarks to sell humorous products. This case has generated great interest because the US Justice Department is siding with Jack Daniel's in the dispute, and the Biden administration urged the justices to hear and decide the case. Several well-known brand owners such as Nike have filed amicus briefs in support of Jack Daniel's.
OBWB is a Silver Sponsor of INTA 2023
OBWB is pleased to participate as a silver sponsor of the 2023 INTA Annual Meeting Live+. A team of seven delegates will be attending this event in person. We look forward to connecting with colleagues and wish all attendees a productive conference.
OBWB Partner Tammy Terry is New Head of Litigation
Effective March 1st, 2023, OBWB partner, Tammy Terry assumes the role, "Head of Litigation" at the firm. An experienced IP litigator and dispute resolution expert with 20-years of practice experience under her belt, Tammy brings a unique level of expertise and insight to her new position.
Name-calling of Public Officials: Another Step in the Shifting US Perspective on Trademark Registration
Over the past decade, a number of limits on trademark coverage have been found to be unconstitutional limits on free speech. The United States has traditionally prioritized freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution over any limits on registrability of scandalous, offensive, or disparaging marks, but has the U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit gone too far this time? Some think so, but others do not.
Patenting Internet and Online Dating Apps: The Current State of Affairs
Since the dawn of humankind, people have searched for other people for a variety of reasons including cooperative food gathering, safety by mutual or combined protection, companionship, friendship, romance, and marriage. In about the last quarter century, and particularly for those seeking friendships, romantic partners and spouses, "there are apps for that." While many patents directed to algorithmic "matchmaking" methods and systems have been granted, almost every relevant patent that has been challenged under Section 101 has been invalidated for claiming unpatentable subject matter.
Information on the Forthcoming Launch of the Sunrise Period and Start of the Unitary Patent and Unitary Patent Court
Germany, the last mandatory state for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement to enter into force, has deposited its ratification instrument of the agreement on February 17, 2023. This deposit triggers March 1, 2023, as starting date of the sunrise period for opting out European patents and applications from the jurisdiction of the UPC and June 1, 2023 as starting date for requesting unitary patents and for the UPC to become operational. The establishment of the new Court and the introduction of the new patent represent a major change in the field of patents in Europe.
USPTO Surcharge for Non-DOCX Format Filing to Start April 3, 2023
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has extended the effective date of the $400 surcharge for new non-provisional utility patent applications where the specification, claims, and abstract are not filed in DOCX format to April 3, 2023. The surcharge will apply to all Paris Convention and non-convention applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), including divisional, continuation, continuation-in-part, and PCT bypass continuation applications. Other documents and submission types, including drawings, may still be filed in PDF format without incurring a surcharge.