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patent law Archives

Patent trolls target small business

Patent trolls are patent assertion entities who buy up patents from bankrupt businesses, auctions and inventors for pennies on the dollar. They traditionally would then use these purchases to go after large corporations and sue for infringement. They do not engage in any business other than suing operating companies.

2019 National Hall of Fame Inventors inducted

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) recently inducted 19 of the country’s greatest inventors (nine of which are still living) into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The gala event, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., spotlighted the transformative role of innovation in our society and reminded us all of the importance of protecting our own innovations.

Don't let your marijuana intellectual property go up in smoke

Cannabis has become an attractive industry for entrepreneurs as more states legalize its use for medical purposes, as well as a recreational drug. As a result, protecting brands, processes, trade names, logos and other intellectual property has become a more critical issue within the cannabis industry.

UGG uses design patent to protect its boots

UGG boots have been popular women’s winter wear for more than a decade. For much of that time, UGG’s parent company Decker Outdoor Corporation (DOC) has spent considerable time and effort to protect its soft, moccasin-like boot made of sheepskin with a wooly lining against cheaper knockoffs. Unfortunately, the  general appearance of the UGG boots has been challenging to protect, so DOC has recently tried to become more creative in fighting off encroachment. 

Breweries engage in playful cease and desist orders

Intellectual property rights are established to create legal protection so companies do not steal products or ideas. However, there are a growing number of cases where companies are engaging in playful back and forth using parody. This seems to be particularly popular among small craft breweries.

Another intellectual property issue involving a color

We recently talked about a unique type of trademark based on the senses such as sound, scent and color. As we wrote, these kinds of marks, while rare, can be registered when a color is associated with a product, service or company in the marketplace such as brown with UPS or canary yellow with Post-It notes.

IWPR study of programs and leaders promoting female innovation

This spring, we posted a series on the theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day: “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity.” As we said then, our intellectual property law firm encourages girls and women to continue to excel in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

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