Category:United States

1
USPTO Considering Changes to Enforceability of Patents Subject to a Terminal Disclaimer
2
Levi Strauss Settles Trademark Dispute Over Pocket Tab on Jeans
3
Federal Circuit Finds Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction Over Patent Owner Through Amazon APEX Agreement
4
Guidance on use of Artificial Intelligence-Based Tools in Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
5
New USPTO Guidelines on AI-Assisted Inventions Leave Many Questions Unanswered
6
Victory for Chanel in Luxury Reseller Trial
7
Jury Clears Los Angeles Tattoo Artist of All Copyright Infringement Claims In One of the First Significant Post-Warhol Transformative Use Cases
8
New Accelerated Patent Grant (APG) Program Enhances Opportunities for U.S. Entities
9
U.S. Copyright Review Board Affirms Rejection of Copyright Registration for Work Created With AI Application
10
Hydrogen Storage, Distribution, and Transportation: Developments in Hydrogen Carriers

USPTO Considering Changes to Enforceability of Patents Subject to a Terminal Disclaimer

On 10 May 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking aimed at changing the current practices surrounding terminal disclaimers. The proposed change could have substantial effects on the enforceability of patents that are subject to a terminal disclaimer.

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Levi Strauss Settles Trademark Dispute Over Pocket Tab on Jeans

Levi Strauss continues enforcement of its Tab trademark against other fashion companies. On May 7, 2024, just a couple months after filing suit against Brunello Cucinelli, Levi Strauss voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit. Levi’s filed suit against the Italian luxury fashion brand in the Northern District of California in January 2024 alleging infringement of Levi’s rectangular pocket tab trademark. Levi’s dismissed the suit after reaching a confidential settlement.

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Federal Circuit Finds Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction Over Patent Owner Through Amazon APEX Agreement

On 2 May 2024, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the Federal Circuit) entered its decision in SnapRays, dba SnapPower v. Lighting Defense Group,1 holding the submission of an Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) Agreement against infringing third-party product listings is a “purposefully directed extra-judicial patent enforcement activit[y]” subjecting the patent owner to personal jurisdiction in the alleged infringer’s home state.2

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Guidance on use of Artificial Intelligence-Based Tools in Practice Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office

On 11 April 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published guidance (referred to herein as the Guidance) on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) based tools, including generative AI, in practice. The USPTO recognizes the benefits of AI and while practitioners are not presently required to disclose whether AI is used as a drafting tool there are a variety of duties that arise with its use. The Guidance outlines the current USPTO policies and illustrates how these rules interact with the use of AI tools. Below, we will highlight different uses of AI tools and provide an overview of potential risks the USPTO discusses in the Guidance.

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New USPTO Guidelines on AI-Assisted Inventions Leave Many Questions Unanswered

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued what it labeled as Inventorship Guidance for AI-Assisted Inventions [Docket No. PTO-P-2023-0043].1 Despite its name, the document provides little in the way of certainty that one could not garner from reviewing recent precedent addressing the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) inventions. To begin with, the USPTO warns that its “guidance does not constitute substantive rulemaking and does not have the force and effect of law.”2 Rather, “[t]he guidance sets out agency policy with respect to the USPTO’s interpretation of the inventorship requirements of the Patent Act in view of” controlling jurisprudence, but “[r]ejections will continue to be based on the substantive law, and it is those rejections that are appealable to the PTAB and the courts.”3 Adding to the confusion attendant to the actual purpose thereof, the guidelines admonish that, “[t]o the extent that earlier guidance from the USPTO, including certain sections of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. . . is inconsistent with the guidance set forth” in such guidelines, “USPTO personnel are to follow these guidelines,” and “[t]he MPEP will be updated in due course.”4

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Victory for Chanel in Luxury Reseller Trial

A New York federal jury sided in favor of Chanel on all of it claims against luxury reseller What Goes Around Comes Around (WGACA), awarding Chanel US$4 million in statutory damages for sales of counterfeit Chanel-branded handbags. In Chanel, Inc. v. What Goes Around Comes Around, LLC, et al., 1:18-cv-02253 (SDNY), WGACA was found liable for trademark infringement, false association and unfair competition, and false advertising claims. The jury further found that WGACA acted willfully, with reckless disregard, or with willful blindness. 

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Jury Clears Los Angeles Tattoo Artist of All Copyright Infringement Claims In One of the First Significant Post-Warhol Transformative Use Cases

On 26 January2024, a federal jury in Los Angeles handed down its verdict in one of the first copyright infringement cases to grapple with fair use after the Supreme Court’s 2023 Warhol decision.1 The trial concerned a dispute over a tattoo inked by Katherine Von Drachenberg (known as Kat Von D), and related social media posts. In the Kat Von D case, plaintiff Jeffrey Sedlik argued the tattoo and posts infringed upon his copyright in a photograph of jazz musician Miles Davis that was indisputably utilized to create the tattoo and featured in one of the posts. Emphasizing the case-specific nature of fair use, the Los Angeles jury handed down a complete defense verdict.

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New Accelerated Patent Grant (APG) Program Enhances Opportunities for U.S. Entities

On November 13 2023, the Mexican PTO (“IMPI”) released guidelines for the Accelerated Patent Grant (“APG”) Agreement. This is a patent work-sharing arrangement allowing qualifying USPTO patent holders the option of expediting prosecution for a corresponding Mexican patent application. The USPTO has been partners with Mexico through the Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) since 2010. PPHs are bilateral agreements among participating nations allowing qualifying patent applicants from one patent office to request expedited prosecution in a participating office. PPH programs have successfully reduced examination time and costs for clients by allowing examiners in later examining offices to utilize the search results from the earlier examiner. While the USPTO has a PPH partnership with IMPI, the APG Program is a new program giving USPTO applicants another opportunity to expedite a counterpart application in Mexico.

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U.S. Copyright Review Board Affirms Rejection of Copyright Registration for Work Created With AI Application

In a decision dated 11 December 2023, the Copyright Review Board of the United States Copyright Office affirmed the Office’s refusal to register an AI-generated artwork submitted by Ankit Sahni.

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Hydrogen Storage, Distribution, and Transportation: Developments in Hydrogen Carriers

According to the joint EPO-IEA report summarizing patent trends in the hydrogen economy  (summarized here), technologies related to storage, distribution, and transportation of hydrogen are among the most critical challenges for large-scale deployment. Standardized infrastructure for hydrogen trade is essential to allow the market to function and flow.

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