Section Newsletter Articles on Intellectual Property
Judicially imposed limitations on “business method” patents
, May 2009
The U.S. Patent Act defines four categories of patentable subject matter: processes, machines, articles of manufacture, and compositions of matter. Anything outside these four categories is by definition nonstatutory and is, therefore, not patentable.
The consequences of committing fraud in trademark filings
, March 2009
For a multi-class application, fraud may potentially result in the cancellation of the mark within the international class of nonuse or misstated use. While a finding of fraud does not necessarily eliminate a mark owner’s common law rights, the owner does lose the benefits of a federal registration.
Obamas for sale: How much is too much?
, March 2009
Does the Obama family have legal recourse for the use of Malia and Sasha’s identities? The answer is most likely, yes. Most states, including Illinois, protect against the unauthorized use of an individual’s identity for commercial purposes. The so-called right of publicity extends to all people, regardless of whether they are public figures or private citizens.
PTO Consistency Initiative: 29 September 2008
, December 2008
In an effort to further improve quality, the Office has created a centralized process by which an applicant may bring to the attention of the Office situations where, in applicant’s opinion, the Office has acted inconsistently in its treatment of applicant’s pending applications/recent registration(s).
Who owns the IP rights to high school sports?
, July 2008
When you missed your son scoring a touchdown in his state championship game this past November, the question is not whether you can relive the moment by purchasing photographs of it on the Internet, it is who is going to sell you those photographs.
“One day you’re in…..” – Louis Vuitton’s recent trademark cases
, May 2008
On the Bravo Channel’s Project Runway reality show, host Heidi Klum warns designers “in fashion, one day you’re in, the next day, you’re out.” Louis Vuitton, a division of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, recently learned the same can be said in trademark courts, as it won a case and lost a case within a week of each other.
Primer on copyright law
Federal Civil Practice
, March 2008
Sophisticated digital equipment like handheld scanners, cellular telephones with built in cameras, and the easy accessibility of protected works via the Internet, are making the task of copying another’s work relatively easy, cheap and unsophisticated.
Protecting trade secrets in cyberspace
, January 2008
This article will review the facts and findings in QSRSoft, Inc. v. Restaurant Technology Inc., a recent Northern District of Illinois opinion, and examine the court’s reasoning as guidance on measures to take in protection of trade secrets for Internet based systems.
“Pull My Finger Fred” gets his day in court
, September 2007
For years to come, Illinois courts will cite the JCW Investments case (or the “farting doll” case, as it is affectionately known) for the proposition that federal law does not preempt state law in the realm of punitive damages. Who would have thought that Pull My Finger Fred would be such a pioneer?