December 22, 2008

Posts on the Daily Dose of IP will resume after the holidays on Monday, January 5, 2009. Have a happy and safe holiday and new year, and thanks for reading the DDIP blog!

December 12, 2008

The USPTO recently announced that the implementation of its new rules regarding practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) in ex parte appeals were placed on hold. These new rules, as outlined in the first Federal Register excerpt (link below), include changes to clarify that the BPAI is not a tribunal for de novo examination, procedures to determine whether an appellant has established that the Examiner on the case has erred (requiring the appellant to explain why the Examiner has erred, noting that arguments not made are waived), the replacement of a “summary of the invention” section with a claims and drawing analysis and a means or step plus function analysis, limitations of 30 page briefs (excluding some required items), and others. As noted with the Federal Register delay excerpt (second link below), “[t]he effective date for the final rule published at 73 FR 32938, June 10, 2008, is delayed, pending completion of [Office of Management and Budget] review of the proposed information collection under the [Paperwork Reduction Act],” whereby “[t]he Office will issue a subsequent notice identifying a revised effective date on which the final rule shall apply.” According to the USPTO (announcement link below), and until the new BPAI rules go into effect, “the USPTO will continue to accept appeal briefs in either the current format, or the new format as outlined in the final rule.” No date has been specified for the implementation of the new rules.

Federal Register Excerpt (rules): LINK
Federal Register Excerpt (delay announcement): LINK
USPTO Announcement: LINK

December 09, 2008

1. The recent World Intellectual Property Organization Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) meeting concluded late last week, which focused on non-traditional marks (3D marks, color marks, hologram marks, etc.), trademark opposition procedures, and new topics including letters of consent and collective marks. The week-long meeting was attended by representatives of 72 member states.

WIPO Announcement: LINK
WIPO SCT Webpage: LINK

2. The introductory program documentation for the European Patent Forum and PATINNOVA 2009 & Inventor of the Year seminar to be held in April 2009 are now available on the European Patent Office website (link below). Initial information on several seminars and dozens of workshops are available including several recent “hot” patent topics from this past year.

EPO Seminar Webpage: LINK

3. The Daily Dose of IP Blog was recently highlighted within Kevin O’Keefe’s blog “REAL LAWYERS HAVE BLOGS,” which focuses on the law, law firm marketing, blogs, and other topics. Kevin also prepared a series of charts to graphically show how legal blogs are branded and the blogging services used to prepare those blogs. If you have an interest in legal blogging, the article linked below will be of particular interest to you.

RLHB Article: LINK

December 04, 2008

It was recently announced that the makers of Crocs and Skechers footwear have settled their dispute initiated earlier this year by Crocs Inc. According to the Rocky Mountain News article (link below), Crocs Inc. filed suit this past July claiming that certain styles of footwear manufactured by Skechers USA Inc., including "Wooly Bully" and "Low Tide," were infringing patents owned by Crocs Inc. According to yesterday’s press release from Crocs Inc. (available at the Crocs website link below), "[w]hile specific terms of the agreement are confidential, Skechers® has agreed to discontinue production and sale of certain molded footwear styles and focus on its core footwear styles," and that the companies jointly stated that they are "pleased that we were able to resolve these matters without either side having to absorb the energy and expense that ongoing litigation requires," with all remaining pending matters expected to be settled this month.

This settlement will end all outstanding worldwide litigation between these two companies, including the July 10, 2008 filing within the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. In that lawsuit, Crocs Inc. alleged that Skechers USA Inc. was infringing its U.S. Patent Nos. D517,789 and D564,207 (two design patents for “Footwear”), infringing trade dress related to its footwear, and engaging in unfair competition related to the Crocs Inc. logo., common law unfair competition, and unfair and deceptive trade practices under Colorado law. A link to the original complaint (as hosted via the Counterfeit Chic website, also linked below and permanently linked on the DDIP blog website) is provided below for your reference.

Rocky Mountain News Article: LINK
Crocs Inc. Website: LINK
Original Complaint: LINK
Counterfeit Chic Website: LINK
U.S. Patent No. D517,789: LINK
U.S. Patent No. D564,207: LINK
Justia.com Case Webpage: LINK

December 03, 2008

Last Friday, the USPTO announced that it is expanding its archive of online weekly issues of the Trademark Official Gazette (“TMOG”) available via the USPTO website. Prior to this expansion to a full year (52 issues) of the TMOG, only the last five issues were available at any given time. As noted within the TMOG archive (second link below), links to the TMOG, Registration Certificates issued on the Tuesday TMOG issue date, and Updated Registration Certificates issued on the same date are available on a weekly basis. Each electronic document is archived and available for download in .pdf format.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
TMOG Online Archive: LINK

December 01, 2008

Next month, the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”) will be hosting a life sciences symposium regarding the various national and institutional options for life sciences public sector IP management. According to the WIPO press release (link below), this seminar, to be held on December 15, 2008 in Geneva, Switzerland, the symposium “will explore different national approaches, institutional policies and public-private partnerships, with a view to learning from practical experience,” providing “informal discussion on these themes with the aim of reviewing the central issues in public sector IP management in the life sciences.” In addition, this meeting “will help identify the core options, at the strategic and project levels, review the implications of each, and will consider the factors to weigh when working through these options,” seeking “to identify the factors that have influenced policy choices to assist general understanding of policy options in this domain.” Additional information regarding this seminar, including background information pertaining to the impact of public research institutions on life sciences research, is provided in the link below.

WIPO Announcement: LINK

WIPO Press Releases

WIPO General News

Patent References

Click HERE to search issued U.S. Patents

Click HERE to search published U.S. Patent Applications

Click HERE to browse the MPEP (E8r6 in HTML and PDF, and E8r7 in PDF)

Click HERE to search patent assignments recorded with the USPTO

Click HERE to search Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (rev. 7/1/08)

Click HERE to browse Title 35 of the U.S. Code

Click HERE to view current USPTO fees

Disclaimer

Copyright 2006-2010, Mark Reichel. The Daily Dose of IP is my personal website, and I am not providing any legal advice or financial analysis. Any views expressed herein should not be viewed as being the views of my employer, Ice Miller LLP. Any comments submitted to this blog will not be held in confidence and will not be considered as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted to this blog should be considered as being public information, and the submitter takes full responsibility for any consequences of any information submitted. No claims, promises, or guarantees are made or available regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this blog or otherwise available by searching from or linking away from this blog.

EPO Updates

Trademark References

Click HERE to search issued and pending U.S. Trademarks

Click HERE to search TTAB proceedings (via TTABVUE)

Click HERE to search trademark assignments recorded with the USPTO

The DDIP Author





Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


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