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October 2013 Prosecution Group Luncheon October 17, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "October 2013 Prosecution Group Luncheon October 17, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 October 2013 Prosecution Group Luncheon October 17, 2013

2 Trademark Office Announcements Online ID Manual enhanced – more examples, more quick tips and guidance RFC for draft guidelines on examination of gTLDs (10/23/13) RFC for potential change in policy for post- registration amendments of goods/services based on changes in technology (e.g. audio tapes to music recordings, printed magazines to online publications, installed software to software as a service) (12/1/13)

3 Super Trademarks – arent App for SUPERJAWS for machine and hand tools, including jaws for precision clamping and metal vice jaws – rejected as descriptive There is no per se rule for how USPTO should treat wordsuper when used in composite mark, –if super is combined with word that names goods or services, or principal component, grade or size thereof, mark will be considered merely descriptive, –if super is joined with suggestive term, combination remains suggestive of products and services; consumers would readily understand that Superjaws mark describes superior vice system for grasping and holding workpieces. In re Positec Grp. Ltd., 108 USPQ2d 1161 (TTAB 2013)

4 Dont Disparage Yourself Band applied to register THE SLANTS USPTO denied as disparaging to persons of Asian descent. EA relied on dictionary definitions, online articles, and applicant's own webpage and Wikipedia. –The band tried to own the stereotype –even if applicant is willing to take on the disparaging term as a band name, that does not mean that all members of the referenced group share his view In re Simon Shiao Tam, Serial No (September 26, 2013) [precedential].

5 Did You Hehr That Mahk? JIN-JA for herbal tea – rejected as merely descriptive Applicant contended that JIN-JA is an arbitrary term with no recognized meaning in English, and that U.S. consumers would not recognize or pronounce Jin-Ja as "ginger." EA - the mark is the phonetic equivalent of "ginger," particularly as pronounced by persons with non-rhotic accents (i.e., a Boston accent) SPLIT Decision – majority found insufficient evidence, dissent suggested Examiners supply more evidence when arguing based on regional accents In re Canada Enterprises LLC, Serial No (September 27, 2013) [not precedential].

6 ACHOUFFE? Gesundheit ACHOUFFE refused for beer - geographically descriptive Achouffe is the name of a small village in the municipality of Houffalize, located in the Wallonia region of Belgium EA s evidence insufficient to show that Achouffe is generally known to beer drinkers. Achouffe is "very much an obscure location and would be relatively unknown to the relevant American consumer." In re Brasserie DAchouffe, Société Anonyme, Serial No (September 26, 2013) [not precedential].

7 Patent Application Initiatives Website at USPTO

8 After Final Pilot Program 2.0. The original pilot program has been re- launched. To be eligible for consideration under AFCP 2.0, you must: file a response under 37 CFR §1.116, which includes a request for consideration under the pilot (Form PTO/SB/434) and amend at least one independent claim that does not broaden the scope of the independent claim in any aspect be willing to interview

9 Pre and Post AIA - Design Patent Priority Review –No provisional application priority –May be a continuing application of a utility, U.S. or PCT –A design application must be filed within six months of the foreign application to be entitled to foreign priority 35 USC §§119(a)-(d), 172 –No design application priority for PCT applications

10 Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products (CAFC)

11 Timeline Feb 8, 2005 Hamilton Beach Purchase Order Feb 25, 2005 Supplier confirms receipt March 2006 Hamilton Beach files Patent application – discloses clips on cooker June 2010 Hamilton Beach files Patent application – claims clips on lid. Sunbeam introduces Cook & Carry ® designing around application with clips on lid.

12 Purchase order February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues purchase order to foreign supplier for manufacture of Stay or Go ® slow cooker. February 25, 2005: Supplier confirms receipt of purchase order via and notes it will begin production of the slow cookers after receiving Hamilton Beachs release. March 2006: First patent application.

13 Hamilton Beach v. Sunbeam Products 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) Pre-AIA: A person shall be entitled to a patent unless (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States,...

14 On-Sale Bar Two conditions must be satisfied before the critical date: 1.The claimed invention must be the subject of a commercial offer for sale; and 2.The invention must be ready for patenting. Question of law based on underlying factual findings. Pfaff v. Wells Elecs., Inc., 525 U.S. 55 (1998)

15 ...on sale in this country... A commercial offer for sale made by a foreign entity that is directed to a United States customer at its place of business in the United States may serve as an invalidating activity. A commercial offer for sale under 102(b) is one which the other party could make into a binding contract by simple acceptance. In re Caveny, 761, F.2d 671 (Fed. Cir. 1985) Grp. One Ltd. V. Hallmark Cards, Inc., 254 F.3d 1041 (Fed. Cir. 2012)

16 Ready for patenting An invention is ready for patenting if the claimed invention is: 1.Reduced to practice; or 2.Depicted in drawings or other descriptions that were sufficiently specific to enable a person skilled in the art to practice the invention. This does not require a detailed element-by-element analysis on the prototypes and products samples on which it was working prior to the critical date. Pfaff

17 Purchase order February 8, 2005: Hamilton Beach issues purchase order to foreign supplier for manufacture of Stay or Go ® slow cooker. Offer to buy February 25, 2005: Supplier confirms receipt of purchase order via and notes it will begin production of the slow cookers after receiving Hamilton Beachs release. Offer to sell – it is at this point that the commercial offer for sale was made. Hamilton Beach could make into a binding contract by simple acceptance.

18 Holding Hamilton Beachs asserted claims are invalid under the on-sale bar of § 102(b).

19 Fair Use of References at the USPTO Magistrate judge in Minnesota finds that the copying and use of copyrighted reference at the USPTO is fair use. [T]his Court concludes that [defendant] Is entitled to the fair use defense as a matter of law and recommends that the District Court grant [defendant]s motion for summary judgment JEFFREY J. KEYES, United States Magistrate Judge in American Institute of Physics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Wiley Periodicals, Inc., v. Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., and John Doe Nos. 1-10

20 Questions?


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