Another excellent bulletin from the INTA. The INTA is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. The Association's member organizations represent some 30,000 trademark professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits. There are also government agency members as well as individual professor and student members. To visit their website click here or their logo.
This bulletin, titled "Are Hashtags Capable of Trademark Protection under U.S. Law?" reviews the findings of a federal district court in Eksouzian v. Albanese where the court held that hashtags are “merely descriptive devices, not trademarks, unitary or otherwise.” and that a hashtag is “a functional tool to direct the location of Plaintiffs’ promotion so that it is viewed by a group of consumers, not an actual trademark.". Another federal district court is dealing with similar issues in the case, Fraternity Collection, LLC v. Fargnoli. However this case is ongoing and no decision has been made. No appeal has yet been filed for Eksouzian v. Albanese but it is clear that the value of a hashtag trademark is under fire.
To read the bulletin click here.
The International Trademark Association (INTA) is a global association of trademark owners and professionals dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce. The Association's member organizations represent some 30,000 trademark professionals and include brand owners from major corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises, law firms and nonprofits. There are also government agency members as well as individual professor and student members. To visit their website click here or their logo.
From time to time the INTA issues bulletins on various topics all related in some way to trademarks. This bulletin, titled "The U.S. Trademark Registers: Supplemental vs. Principal" and written by Daniel M. Gurfinkel of Dennemeyer & Associates, reviews the differences between the two registers and the advantages of registration on the supplemental register. If you are dealing with with a USPTO Office Action on your application where the examiner is asking you to amend the application for registration in the supplemental register this bulletin will provide you with useful information to help you in making this decision.
To read the bulletin click here.
Let me introduce you to Edith Clarke. Born in a family of eight children in 1883 she was the first woman to graduate from MIT's Electrical Engineering department, first woman to be employed as an Electrical Engineer at General Electric, and the first woman to give a technical presentation at a conference sponsored by the IEEE. Her field of expertise was the transmission of electrical power over cables and has to her name a patent for a calculator to help in the design of power lines. See her patent by clicking here or click the USPTO video below to see her story.
You see them on TV advertising services to promote and protect your new idea so that you can leave you current place of employment and move to Tahiti. Remember that these firms do not hold any ethical duty to you as patent attorneys do. If a patent attorney breaches their ethical duty to you it may mean a loss of their license and their income. It takes years of study to become a patent attorney and to lose it all over unethical dealings is just not worth it. However it is a far different story for Invention Promotion Firms and their craftily worded contracts that you will be signing. Click here to see a great article at the Federal Trade Commission's website providing some guidance when dealing with these firms. Click here to see more articles on this topic here on my website.
How many patents were filed worldwide in 2014? What country received most patent applications? Who are the world’s top innovators? Key facts and figures on global patent activity in 2014 from WIPO’s 2015 World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI).
'Inventors' is a series of portrait videos chronicling the work of contemporary inventors from all walks of life. In this video Ralph Baer, the father of video games, talks about those early days of video game history and why now, at 90 years old, he's still inventing. To see his patent click here.
A video of Dr. Francis Gurry, Director General of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), speaking at Melbourne Law School. This lecture explored the major economic, social, and political developments affecting intellectual property. It also examined how innovation and intellectual property are increasingly central to economic strategy and competitive advantage, and showed how the knowledge economy is causing an adjustment to the way in which we think of the role of intellectual property.
This USPTO video provides a quick and easy breakdown of the three main types of intellectual property: trademarks, patents, and copyrights. You’ll learn how trademarks differ from domain names and business names. By the end of the video, you’ll understand how to use each type of intellectual property to protect a different aspect of your business.
The Patent Resources Group is a provider of courses and publications in all aspects of patent practice and will be kicking off their annual advanced courses program in Florida on April 10 - 16. They will be having a number of really interesting offerings and I am currently interested in "Art & Science of Patent Searching". Check out all of the courses by clicking on their logo.
This month, March, has been National Kidney Month. The purpose of National Kidney Month is to raise awareness about various forms of kidney disease that affect one in every 10 adults in the United States a number likely to rise due to bad dietary and lifestyle choices. Once the kidneys fail to function there are only two choices available - death or treatment by a dialysis machine. The kidney dialysis is the invention of a remarkable man -- Dr. Willem Kolff. Kolff is a Dutch physician born in 1911. One of his first patients was a 22 year old man who died of kidney failure. The death made an impact on Kolff and he began studying how to replace kidney function artificially. Just as Kolff’s research began to yield results World War 2 started. As a result Kolff found it difficult to find the parts he needed for his artificial kidney and his first machine was built from sausage casings, beverage cans, a washing machine, and anything else he could get his hands on in 1943. Although initially his machine was not effective he kept improving it and in 1945 a 67-year-old comatose woman was treated and she regained consciousness following 11 hours of hemodialysis with his machine dialyzer. Eventually she was discharged and lived lived for another seven years before dying from an unrelated condition. In spite of the success of his machine Kolff never applied for a patent on his invention and never received any royalties on his remarkable machine that saved the lives of countless individuals.