Intellectual Property Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Intellectual Property Law

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Newsletter articles from 2015

A discussion of facial recognition technology, interactive displays and recent legal developments By Deirdre A. Fox November 2015 Contemporary facial recognition software facilitates finding friends' photos, but also raises privacy concerns and may engender liabilities for database compilations of biometric data (facial geometry) that identify individuals. Suits against Faceebook and Shutterfly allege their tag suggestions violate Illinois law protecting biometric data, 740 ILCS 14 et seq. Digital interactive signs that change in real time dependent on demographic data raise parallel problems. The FTC issued guidance. The Internet of Things promises more issues.
Ethical issues for business and intellectual property lawyers By Eugene F. Friedman December 2015 Our ethics codes provide guidance when encountering conflicting choices. Multiple codes and enforcement entities, including Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, Patent and Trademark Office, Northern District of Illinois. Eugene Friedman outlines and comments on issues intellectual property and business attorneys may confront.
Five considerations for drafting an online privacy policy By Meghan K. Nugent November 2015 Most business Web sites benefit from an explicit online privacy policy; some require one. But copying another’s privacy policy risks gaining liabilities. A privacy policy creates affirmative duties. Five considerations are presented.
From the Chair By Deirdre A. Fox November 2015 A message from Section Chair Deirdre Fox.
Intellectual Improbabilities By Daniel Kegan November 2015 News and updates of interest to intellectual property law practitioners.
Intellectual Improbabilities By Daniel Kegan August 2015 News and updates of interest to intellectual property law practitioners.
Intellectual Improbabilities By Daniel Kegan May 2015 Recent news and developments of interest to intellectual property law practitioners.
Intellectual Improbabilities By Daniel Kegan January 2015 Recent news and developments of interest to intellectual property law practitioners.
Interior design is a competitive business By David Adler August 2015 The case of Hunn v. Dan Wilson Homes, Inc., offers several lessons for interior designers.
Know when to stop wasting money on trademark litigation By Eric R. Waltmire November 2015 Pursuing litigation to achieve an apology or an an acknowledgment of wrong doing (litigating on principle) often yields unsatisfying results at high expense. Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, Inc., 14-13178 (8th Cir. 2015) illustrates physicians forgetting the maxim, First Do No Harm, among cybersquatting, false designation of origin, and unfair competition claims. The case continued through a four-day bench trial and 8th Circuit appeal, due to defendant’s refusal to accept responsibility while plaintiff sought a statutory windfall for a short and largely pointless deceit.
Life extension for lesser-known works By Daniel Kegan July 2015 Five steps to ensure an author's work remains available to the public. 
Literary estates for the not-so-rich and famous: Making sure the author is not forgotten (and not unrewarded) - Part I By Sarah M. Linsley July 2015 The best way to be sure that your literary works will not have a life after you die is to not plan for that inevitability.
Major hidden IP costs of mergers and acquisitions By Volker Spitz January 2015 A look at the potential IP pitfalls that could befall a company involved in a merger or acquisition.
Media creation & consumption is challenging traditional legal notions By David Adler May 2015 Fair use continue hard to predict. Fox News Network infringes the now iconic photograph of firefighters raising the American flag on the ruins of the World Trade Center, 9/11/2001. Fox denied copyright infringement against TVEyes, which provides subscribers a searchable database based on indexed and organized data from its 24/7 recording of many tv and radio broadcasts. The additional features TVEyes provides were sufficiently transformative to find fair use.
An open letter to the sponsors of the revised Defend Trade Secrets Act By David S. Levine and Sharon K. Sandeen August 2015 The authors provide their understanding of how the new DTSA compares to the Senate version of the DTSA that was introduced last year.
Preclusion and the TTAB—Why B&B Hardware matters to trademark owners: Can a TTAB decision determine a court judgment on trademark use and infringement damages? By David Adler May 2015 So long as the other ordinary elements of issue preclusion are met, when the usages adjudicated by the TTAB are materially the same as those before a district court, issue preclusion should apply. B&B Hardware, Inc v Hargis Industries, Inc, 575 US ___ (24 Mar 2015).
Save the Date—Protecting and Preserving Author Rights: Contracts, Digital Publishing, & Literary Estates May 2015 Join us for a special all-day joint Continuing Professional Education Program co-sponsored by Science Fiction Writers of America and the Intellectual Property Law and Trusts & Estates Sections of the Illinois State Bar Association, aimed at both authors and their attorneys. Topics include a review of rights and contract provisions, especially authors’ rights in the digital age, self-publishing, and (particularly for the less well-known authors) the creation of literary estates. Lawyer-author Scott Turow has agreed to be one of the speakers. Space in the room is limited, so early registration is strongly recommended. Concurrent with the SFWA’s annual Nebula Awards weekend—the professional SF authors (not the fans) honoring their own. Register at www.isba.org/cle/upcoming. CLE pending.
SCOTUS to decide a tacky situation By Denny Esford January 2015 The U.S. Supreme Court has already heard oral arguments in the case of Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hank Bank and Hana Financial Group.
Taking a default By Daniel Kegan November 2015 Defaulting has pejorative connotations, but sometimes accepting a default judgment may be a wise decision. Courts sometimes permit alternatives to traditional service, FRCP 4. The Hague Service Convention, the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rotatory, and the ubiquitous, pervasive Internet make service of process easier. The Internet has also spawned complaints with hundreds of defendants, often for alleged copyright or trademark violations. For the innocent, downstream, small business defendant, defaulting may be more rational than defending, even when the complaint contains deceptive and false allegations. Decision considerations and likely settlement elements are presented.
Update from TM5 at the INTA 137th Annual Meeting By Margo Lynn Hablutzel August 2015 The members of TM5 began by each presenting information about the work handled by their respective offices, including the number of applications filed in 2014; effect of the Madrid system; and any improvement in processing, especially in the time period for examination.
Use your trademark consistently or it will be weak: WD-40 in the crosshair By Eric R. Waltmire August 2015 The consistent use of a trademark is very important to maintaining its strength. Trademark strength is one factor in determining whether there is a likelihood of confusion between two marks and therefore infringement. If you have a weak trademark you will have a harder time asserting infringement against similar marks.
What’s happening at the PTO By Andrew Byrnes January 2015 Read the remarks from Andrew Byrnes, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.