“STRONGER Patents Act” Introduced; future uncertain

On June 22, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

This week Senator Coons (D-Del.) and others jointly introduced the captioned legislation in the United States Senate (attached) which would weaken the current mechanisms to challenge patent validity that were introduced in the Leahy Smith America Invents Act of 2011. The fate of this legislation is uncertain. STRONGERPatents(2017)Coons Regards, Hal

TTABlog Test: Is GOLDENBERRY Merely Descriptive of Fresh Fruit?

On June 22, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The USPTO refused registration of  GOLDENBERRY, finding the applied-for mark to be merely descriptive of “fresh fruits.” Applicant appealed, arguing that its fruit is yellow, not golden, and is properly called “Gooseberry” or “Cape Gooseberry.” How do  you think this came out? In re Volcano Produce, Inc., Serial No. 86321169 (June 20, 2017) [not precedential] (Opinion by […]

VAGISAN Not Confusable With VAGISIL for Feminine Products, Says TTAB

On June 21, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board dismissed this opposition to registration of VAGISAN for various feminine hygiene products, finding no likelihood of confusion with the registered mark VAGISIL for overlapping products. The Board, relying on proof of applicant’s capacity to produce its products, also dismissed opposer’s claim that applicant lacked a bona fide intent to use the mark when it filed the opposed application. Combe Incorporated […]

Proposed Rulemaking to Mitigate the Impact of the Alice Case

On June 19, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

Thanks to everyone who reviewed the draft of the paper,Rethinking Patent-Eligibility: Whither Alice.  As a result of further revisions, this paper has been incorporated as part of a proposed rulemaking, as per the attached letter to the Hon. Joseph Matal in his role as acting head of the Office. MatalLetterJune19 Regards, Hal

Precedential No. 16: TTAB Affirms Refusal of PHARMACANN for Medical Marijuana Services Due to Illegality under CSA

On June 19, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board affirmed refusals to register PHARMACANN and PHARMACANNIS for “Retail store services featuring medical marijuana” and for “Dispensing of pharmaceuticals featuring medical marijuana” on the ground that applicant lacked a bona fide intent to use the marks in commerce because the recited services are prohibited by a federal statute and cannot be in lawful use. Although Congress has forbidden the […]

Patent-Eligibility for Software and Biotechnology: A Proposed Fix to Distinguish the Alice Case

On June 18, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

Thanks to everyone who reviewed the draft of the paper,Rethinking Patent-Eligibility: Whither Alice (A Non-Statutory Fix to Overcome Alice).  An edited version of that paper is attached. It suggests a pathway to gaining patent-eligible protection for software and biotechnology innovations that have been stymied by the Aliceand other recent cases. PatentEligibilityREV2june19 Regards, Hal

Rethinking the Scope of § 101 Patent-Eligibility: A New Proposal (Non-Statutory)

On June 17, 2017, in Wegner's Writings, by Hal Wegner

Attached to the pdf version of this note is a draft of a paper,  Rethinking Patent-Eligibility: Whither Alice (A Non-Statutory Fix to Overcome Alice).  Overcoming Alice:  The paper proposes a non-statutory, case law reform of Section 101 in the wake of Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank, to open the door once again to patenting innovations in the biotechnology and software […]

Rejecting Equivalents Argument, TTAB Affirms Surname Refusal of WEISS WATCH COMPANY

On June 16, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board affirmed a Section 2(e)(4) refusal of WEISS WATCH COMPANY for watches, clocks, and related goods [WATCH COMPANY disclaimed], finding the applied-for mark to be primarily merely a surname. Applicant argued that WEISS has non-surname significance because “weiss” means “white” in German, and thus the doctrine of foreign equivalents immunizes WEISS from the surname bar. Nein, […]

Precedential No. 15: LITTLE MERMAID Merely Descriptive of Dolls, Says TTAB

On June 15, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board affirmed a Section 2(e)(1) refusal of LITTLE MERMAID, finding the mark merely descriptive of “dolls.” Drawing a distinction between character names in the public domain and those derived from works in which the applicant owns intellectual property rights, the Board concluded that consumers will not perceive LITTLE MERMAID as a source identifier but instead […]

MIROSA for Beer Confusable with MIRASSOU, a Strong Mark for Wine, Says TTAB

On June 14, 2017, in The TTABlog, by John L. Welch

The Board sustained this opposition to registration of the mark MIROSA for “beer, ale, lager, stout, porter, shandy,” finding a likelihood of confusion with the registered mark MIRASSOU for wine. Noting Professor McCarthy’s observation that only the CAFC uses the term “fame” instead of “strength” for the 5th du Pontfactor (See the CAFC’s the recent INSIGNIA decision [TTABlogged here]), the Board […]

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