Posted in: Intellectual Property


Have a Game Plan When Seeking to Secure Intellectual Property Rights

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July 29, 2020  When attempting to secure certain intellectual property rights, it is best to have a game plan in place before taking the field. This plan should be enacted timely and include provisions to overcome potential obstacles…

Supreme Court Rejects USPTO Rule That Addition of “.com” to a Generic Term is Ineligible for Trademark Registration

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July 6, 2020  On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the Supreme Court rejected the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) proposed rule that a generic term, combined with a generic Internet suffix (e.g., “.com’), is generic and, thus, not…

Protecting Digital Content from Copycats and Infringement Claims

May 15, 2020  At a time when social distancing is mandated, gatherings are banned and connecting with loved ones in person is discouraged, people are increasingly looking to bridge the gap in human interaction by using social media. They…
Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Amid COVID-19

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March 17, 2020  In the world of intellectual property, it is essentially business as usual as many examiners at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) have been tele-working for years. Although, their tele-working set-up…
Royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

A Tough Lesson in Global Intellectual Property Law

A Los Angeles-based attorney has taken it upon himself to attempt to teach Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of England’s royal family a lesson in global intellectual property law.  It’s likely that the intricacies of trademark law may come…
Gavel on top of trademark law book

Don’t Leave Yourself Exposed with a Naked Trademark License

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Clothing your trademark license with certain contractual provisions can possibly cover an otherwise uncomfortably bare exposure. An owner of a trademark has a duty to ensure the consistency of its trademarks, as well as the good(s) and/or…
Fragrant scent

The Sweet Smell of Differentiation: Protecting Brand Intangibles as Trademarks

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In the never-ending quest to prove to consumers that a product is truly unique, manufacturers in recent years have begun to seek trademark protection on intangible brand qualities, such as scent. In 2014, Verizon registered a “flowery…
United States Patent and Trademark Office

USPTO Now Requiring U.S. Representation for All Foreign Trademark Applicants, Registrants, or Parties

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Effective August 3, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will require all applicants, registrants, or parties (including Canadian attorneys) not domiciled in the United States to be represented by a U.S. attorney…

Upcoming Changes in Canadian Trademark Laws and Practice

Beginning June 17, 2019, sweeping changes to Canadian trademark laws will finally be in effect. The transition comes after longtime lingering rumors. United States entities that conduct business in and are trademark owners in Canada should be…

Trademark Oppositions: A Play for Your Playbook

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is playing defense once again to protect its valuable trademarks for MARCH MADNESS® via a trademark opposition. In short, if a party determines that it could be harmed by the registration…

Inking the Deal on Body Art: Determining Who Owns the Rights to Your Tattoo

Once reserved for sailors, ex-cons and members of biker gangs, tattoos today adorn the arms, legs, necks, torsos and faces of more than 45 million Americans, roughly 13 percent of our nation’s population. The extraordinary proliferation of…

Supreme Court: Copyright Applications Don’t Give Ability to Sue

On March 4, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a copyright owner must have a federal copyright registration in order to sue a potential infringer in federal court. Simply filing a federal copyright application is not enough…

The Business of Patents

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Why would someone, or some business, want to file for or ultimately obtain a patent? The short answer is that there are many different answers and reasonings, and inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses should make a balanced assessment on an…

European Patent Office Says No to Artificial Intelligence

The European Patent Office (EPO) implemented two guidance changes in November that state that no patents may be given on artificial intelligence.  The move on artificial intelligence patents mirrors the EPO’s stance on software, which is…

Adviser: Beware of the blurred lines between professional and private social media

Walter | Haverfield attorney Jamie Pingor advises companies to adopt social media policies that protect their brands and limit what employees may post on their personal pages. His article appears in Crain’s Cleveland Business.

You Have a Design: How Do You Protect It?

When attempting to protect the appearance of a product as opposed to its utility, either trademarks or design patents may be appropriate. It can be difficult to determine which type of intellectual property protection to pursue. Though they…

U.S. Supreme Court to Resolve Issue of Copyright Registration

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review a case which should clarify the longstanding question of whether a copyright owner requires a federal copyright registration in order to bring a federal suit. The Supreme Court will hear the case…

Do Your Homework Before Selecting a Brand or Company Name

  Prior to introducing a brand name in the marketplace, it is important to make an informed business decision by doing your due diligence. Any lack thereof could cost time and money, and risk embarrassment. For example,…

Decorative Elements in Apparel Design May Qualify for Copyright Protection

  A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision about cheerleading uniforms is likely to have a significant impact on the fashion industry, prompting more designers to apply for and enforce copyright of their work. In Star Athletica,…

Manufacturers Thrive by Leveraging Intellectual Property

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  “Not only do patents provide legal protection against competitive activity, but they also can help generate interest and investment in a company and serve to recognize inventors for their creativity,” writes Walter | Haverfield…

Trademarks and Service Marks – Can they be registered if functional?

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  There are many nuances and specific factors that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers when deciding if a trademark (which indicates the source of the goods or services) is a candidate for registration. Before…

Four Patent Challenges for the Sole Inventor and Tips to Succeed

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  Patent applications worldwide have been on a steady rise in recent years, up by nearly eight percent in 2015, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). And here in the U.S., the number of applications…

5 Ways to Safeguard Your IP

A company’s intellectual property is a vital asset that should be protected. Walter | Haverfield Attorneys Kevin Soucek and Jamie Pingor list five ways that businesses can safeguard their IP in an e-article published by the Council of…

Is this the end of the bar against registrability for scandalous and immoral trademarks?

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  On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) struck down the portion of the Lanham Act (aka the Trademark Act) which prevented immoral or scandalous trademarks from being registered with the United…

Five Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property

  The intellectual property you create is a vital asset. However, creating and maintaining a durable intellectual property portfolio can be costly. Many sophisticated entrepreneurs or business leaders forgo prioritizing protection…

Design Patents and Graphical User Interfaces

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  Design patents on graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are the fastest growing area in design patent applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Peter Hochberg explains why these are so important in an article which…

Patent and trademark registrations are on the rise; are your business assets protected?

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Without patents and trademarks, some of the most valuable business assets in the U.S. would be left unprotected and vulnerable to misappropriation. In Crain’s Cleveland Business, James Pingor, chair of our Intellectual Property group,…

Adviser: Trademarks are more valuable than ever

  Amazon.com launched a new program earlier this year to protect registered trademarks and crack down on counterfeiters. Sean Mellino, a partner in our Intellectual Property group, describes the program in Crain’s Cleveland…

Controversial trademarks still face uncertain future

  It was nearly a year ago that Crain's published my blog post headlined, "Will Chief Wahoo be around for another World Series?" So here we are again in familiar territory. The Cleveland Indians had another great season (even…

Patent and Trademark Registrations on the Rise - Are your business assets protected?

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Let’s start with that oh-so-dreadful morning alarm on your iPhone®. That annoying sound forces you to get up from that oh-so-comfy Serta® mattress and sleepily walk to the kitchen to make that oh-so-delicious Starbucks® coffee. It’s…

Questionably Offensive Trademarks Cleared for U.S. Registration

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Court decision clears registration path for "questionably offensive" trademarks; could possibly negate challenges to use of Chief Wahoo logo By Jamie Pingor and Kevin Soucek. “Questionably Offensive Trademarks Cleared for U.S. Registration,”…

Protect your creative assets - here and abroad

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In an article published by Crain's Cleveland Business on February 18, 2017 and titled, "Protect your creative assets - here and abroad," D. Peter Hochberg maintained that, unless a company's creative assets are protected with registered trademarks,…

Protecting Trademarks in the U.S. and Abroad - Registration is easy and inexpensive; provides numerous benefits

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If your business has a trademark but hasn't registered it, one of your most valuable assets could be at risk. A key challenge is that many businesses that use trademarks are not even aware that they can and should be registered. A trademark…

Will Chief Wahoo be around for another World Series? Latest related trademark battles could threaten longevity of controversial Indians icon

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As seen in Crain's Cleveland Business on November 15, 2016 No one would argue that the Cleveland Indians had a great run this past season. Thanks to their qualifying for the World Series, images of Chief Wahoo deluged our television screens,…