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October 2017 Archives

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Free Speech Issue in THE SLANTS Trademark Case

It isn't very often that trademark cases make their way to the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS). But yesterday, SCOTUS heard arguments in Lee v. Tam, a high-profile case that will decide whether the First Amendment overrides the ban on federally registering offensive or disparaging trademarks. The case was brought by an Asian-American rock band that was denied trademark registration for its band name, "The Slants." At issue is the constitutionality of Section 2a of the Lanham Act's prohibition against immoral, deceptive, and scandalous marks. The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) relies on Section 2a to refuse federal registration of marks that it deems to be offensive or disparaging.

Trademarks and Patents: Where to Start?

Trademarks and patents can be incredibly valuable business assets, but they should be pursued with a strategy in mind. Partners Cheryl Burbach and Crissa Cook are presenting a workshop on November 14th as part of KC's Global Entrepreneurship Week, happening Nov. 13-17. Register today! http://www.kcsourcelink.com/calendar/event-detail/2017/11/14/default-calendar/trademarks-and-patents-where-to-start-

Sovereign Immunity and Patent Challenges, Part II

Over the last several months, the USPTO's Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has dismissed multiple petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR) challenging the validity of a patents owned by university entities, including the University of Minnesota, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Florida Research Foundation. These dismissals were each based on the fact that these entities are state institutions, and as such they are protected by Sovereign Immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.

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