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June / July 2022 IP Newsletter

Ideas on Intellectual Property Law

June 1, 2022

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A notable shift
Software survives patent-eligibility test
Patents covering software can face an uphill battle when challengers contend the software is actually a patent-ineligible abstract idea. In Mentone Solutions LLC v. Digi Int’l Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently upheld one such patent. This article sheds some light on how these patents can withstand judicial scrutiny.
Mentone Solutions LLC v. Digi Int’l Inc., No. 21-1202 (Fed Cir. Nov. 15, 2021); Two-Way Media Ltd. v. Comcast Cable Communications, 874 F.3d 1329, 124 U.S.P.Q.2d 1521 (Fed. Cir. 2017); CosmoKey Solutions GmbH & Co. KG v. Duo Security LLC, No. 20-2043 (Fed Cir. Oct. 4, 2021).
 
Off the leash
Design copyright case gets another life
A common phrase such as “I love you” written in a lower-case cursive, italicized font on garments can’t possibly be copyrightable, right? Probably not, but as this article shows in a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Cat and Dogma, LLC v. Target Corp. a design using such a phrase may gain copyright protection.
Cat and Dogma, LLC v. Target Corp., No. 20-50674 (5th Cir. Oct. 8, 2021).
University of Strathclyde v. Clear-Vu Lighting, LLC, No. 20-2243 (Fed Cir. Nov. 4, 2021).
 
USPTO announces new trademark sanctions process
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has taken another step in its ongoing campaign to protect the integrity of the trademark register. It recently announced a new administrative process it will wield to investigate improper submissions filed with the USPTO in trademark matters. This article summarizes the newest USPTO sanctions process.
 
Post-AIA patents aren’t immune to interference proceedings
When the America Invents Act changed the U.S. patent system from a “first to invent” to “first inventor to file for a patent” system, it created some confusion. For example, questions arose about the applicability of interference proceedings to patent applications filed after the “first to file” provision took effect on March 16, 2013. This article discusses SNIPR Tech. Ltd. v. The Rockefeller University, in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has attempted to provide some clarity.
SNIPR Tech. Ltd. v. The Rockefeller University, Pat. Interf. No. 106,123 (PTAB Nov. 19, 2021).

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