On 21 June 2022, the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO) issued interim guidance on how the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) should exercise its discretion when determining whether to institute a post-grant proceeding.Read More
NFTs have gone mainstream. But what are NFTs? Should your business develop its own NFT? How are they regulated? In The NFT Collection series of alerts, we will delve into these questions to help your business understand this new technology.Read More
The issue of contributory infringement of a patent under the Australian Patents Act 1990 (Act) does not often arise for consideration by the Australian judicial system. When it does arise, the question of whether or not the product supplied is a ‘staple commercial product’ under the relevant provisions of the Act is always of particular interest.
In only a few cases has the impugned product been held to be a staple commercial product, and so any case that expands upon that product class is a particularly valuable aid. It is therefore of interest that the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court has recently considered contributory infringement in Hood v Down Under Enterprises International Pty Limited  FCAFC 69.Read More
In part 1 of this series (here), we considered the welcome introduction of a 12 month grace period that came into effect as of 10 March 2022. The grace period protects a design owner against inadvertent disclosure of a design before an application for protection of the design is filed – previously, this was fatal to having enforceable design rights. In part 2, we delve into the prior use infringement exemption that concurrently came into effect to mitigate the commercial risks that might arise as a result of the grace period.Read More
Bad faith has been a hot topic in UK and EU trade mark matters in recent years – not least in the sports world where recent prominent cases have concerned the football superstars, and one time teammates, Lionel Messi and Neymar. Whilst in those cases bad faith was found to be a valid ground for refusal of the trade marks in question, which the players did not consent to, a recent decision of the Appointed Person in the United Kingdom has provided an important clarification on how bad faith objections must be raised in the UK.Read More
In a widely distributed Notice of Penalty Offense sent to over 700 companies last year, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) warned businesses about use of fake endorsements and consumer reviews. Forewarned should be forearmed.” This is a continuing reminder to companies to have systems in place to ensure endorsements and reviews comply with FTC guidelines. Companies that are found to be in violation after receiving a “we’re watching you” letter can face civil penalties of up to $46,517 per violation.
Recipients of the FTC’s letter included major consumer products companies, retailers, and advertising agencies. Recipients were not accused of any wrongdoing but were put “on notice” of their responsibilities under the FTC Act and the Commission’s increased focus on specific advertising practices, particularly endorsements.Read More
The General Court recently decided the case Nowhere v EUIPO (Case T-281/21) and overturned the EUIPO decision (and general position) on the validity of UK earlier rights in the context of EU oppositions post-Brexit.
The EUIPO Communication No 2/20 made clear that the EUIPO will treat all UK rights to cease to be ‘earlier rights’ for the purposes of inter partes proceedings. However, the General Court held that the EUIPO Second Board of Appeal made an error in rejecting an opposition solely due to the UK earlier rights losing validity in the EU post-Brexit and that the relevant date to assess the validity of UK earlier rights should be the filing date of the opposed application.Read More
In July 2021, Australia was thrust into the spotlight as a favourable country to patent AI-created inventions as a result of the Australian Federal Court’s decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 879 – see our previous coverage here.
At first instance, the Court construed “inventor” as including “a person or thing that invents”.1 The decision was an appeal from a Patent Office hearing where the Office rejected a patent application in the name of Stephen L. Thaler as the creator of the “inventor”, AI system (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS)). As DABUS had autonomously generated the invention, for the purposes of the patent application Dr Thaler derived title to the invention from DABUS.Read More
The U.S. Supreme Court will review the standard for a “transformative” work as “fair use” under the Copyright Act. Specifically, whether a second work of art is “transformative” when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material, or not where it recognizably derives from and retains the essential elements of its source material.
The Court agreed to review the Second Circuit’s decision that Andy Warhol’s Prince Series portraits of the musician Prince did not make fair use of celebrity photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s photograph of Prince. Andy Warhol Found. for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith, No. 21-869 (petition granted Mar. 28, 2022).Read More
Russia’s bold response to Western economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine now includes what amounts to legalizing patent theft against “unfriendly countries.” On March 5, 2022, the Kremlin issued Decree 299, which states that Russian companies and individuals can use inventions, utility models and industrial designs without owner permission or compensation, if the patent hails from a list of “unfriendly countries.”1 Specifically, the decree sets compensation for patent infringement at “0%” if the patent holder is a citizen of, is registered in, or has a primary place of business or profit in any of the 48 countries Russia previously designated as “unfriendly.”2 Unsurprisingly, the list includes the United States, Great Britain, European Union members, Australia, and other critics of Russia’s actions against Ukraine.Read More