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LegalZoom Continues Unauthorized Practice of Law

It is unbelievable to me that the United States Patent and Trademark Office allows LegalZoom.com to continue in what can only be described, at least in my opinion, as the unauthorized practice of law.  It is perhaps even more unbelievable that the various State Attorneys General appear unwilling to stop what I believe to be widespread unauthorized practice of law, despite the…

Judd Gregg’s Columbia University Patent Past

Despite the fact that an official announcement is not due until sometime later this morning, it seems likely that everyone already knows that President Barack Obama has selected Judd Gregg, the Senior United States Senator from New Hampshire, to be his Secretary of Commerce.  All the political pundits have offered expert commentary on why President Obama might choose a Republican Senator to…

FTC Sues Regarding AndroGel Patent Settlement

The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint in federal district court challenging agreements in which Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc. paid generic drug makers Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Par Pharmaceutical Companies, Inc. to delay generic competition to Solvay’s branded testosterone-replacement drug AndroGel, a prescription pharmaceutical with annual sales of more than $400 million. “At a time of escalating health care costs,…

Former PTO Director Dudas Joins Foley & Lardner

I have been critical of Jon Dudas and the way that the USPTO was run during his Administration.  I think much could have been done better, including working together with the patent bar to attempt sensible fixes to the US patent system.  Now that Jon Dudas has entered private it is time to move forward and attempt to continue efforts…

Selecting the Right Trademark for Your Business

A “trademark” (which relates to goods) and a “service mark” (which relates to services) can be any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce. Trademarks, which is usually the term used to collectively refer to what are technically trademarks and service marks, serve two primary purposes. First, trademarks identify and distinguish…

Doll Wastes No Time, USPTO Considers Deferred Examination

John Doll has wasted no time moving forward to try and put his stamp on the United States Patent Office.  One week ago today Doll, who became Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office when Jon Dudas resigned, announced in the Federal Register that the USPTO will hold a…

Family Dog Cloned Thanks to Dolly Patents

BioArts International announced today that delivered the world’s first commercially cloned dog, a 10-week old Labrador named Lancey, to Florida residents Edgar and Nina Otto.  According to the press release issued by the company, “BioArts International is a biotech company focused on unique, untapped markets in the global companion animal, stem cell and human genomics industries. The Best Friends Again…

Obama Looking to Symantec CEO for Commerce

Word has started to circulate that President Barack Obama may be close to appointing John W. Thompson, the outgoing chief executive of network security firm Symantec Corp., to be the next Secretary of Commerce.  According to the LA Times, over the last several days Thompson has spoken on the telephone and met with key senators, and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.),…

Major League Baseball Sues Donruss Over Trademarks

Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. recently sued Donruss Playoff, LP and Donruss LLC alleging that Donruss, a former licensee of MLB with respect to baseball trading cards, has continued to make and distribute baseball cards that use images of Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball players in their team’s proprietary uniforms, thereby infringing up on the trademarks owned by…

Limits on Patent Damages Would Harm US Economy

Those familiar with the trials and tribulations surrounding recent attempts to get Congress to enact patent reform know that there were a number of controversial proposals that caused the demise of patent reform efforts in 2008.  One of the more controversial proposals was the proposal that would have significantly limited the amount of patent infringement damages awarded to successful patent…

Patent SOS: Inequitable Conduct Reform ASAP

Not long ago the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Abbott Laboratories v. Sandoz, Inc., a decision that just screams for Congress to codify Rule 56 and settle once and for all the duty of candor that is owed to the Patent Office during the patent application process. To be perfectly clear, it…

The History of Software Patents

Since the United States Supreme Court first addressed the patentability of computer software in Gottschalk v. Benson the law surrounding the patentability of software has changed considerably, leaving many to wonder whether software is patentable at all. Originally in Benson, the Supreme Court decided that software was not patentable, but then later retracted the blanket prohibition against patenting software.

Battle Between Software Patents and Open Source

President Obama is interested in moving the United States federal government away from proprietary software to open source solutions. I am not sure this ought to a top priority that is so important that it is on his mind during his first 48 hours in Office, but it is apparently ahead of a lot of things.

Obama Wants Open Source IT Solutions for US

Open source advocates are going to love the fact that Obama wants to transition the US government away from proprietary solutions. I don’t have any dislike for open source advocates, and I wish them well. I do have a different view of the economics though, and of the patent system. I hear all the time that software patents prohibit innovation, but then when you talk to those who say they cannot create because of patents it is clear that they don’t understand patent law and are saying that not because it is true, but because that is what they belief.

RIAA Challenges Copyright Hearing Broadcast

While it seems on one hand that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is standing down its enforcement efforts, there are several reasons to wonder whether this is really the plan or if there is more under-handed and insidious behavior yet to come. As was discussed on Monday, an RIAA favorite attorney will become the Deputy Attorney Generalof the…